Horse Racing at Doncaster: Wednesday preview and tips courtesy of AccaDoo.com
Doncaster hosts an afternoon of winter racing on Wednesday.
The seven race card starts with three hurdles races, two over the larger obstacles and two national hunt flat races to finish.
The heavy ground from the last fixture seems to have disappeared with good ground and some good to soft in places the official description from the course.
The first race on the card is a class four novice hurdle (1.40pm) with a number of interesting types.
Canelo for the in-form trainer Alan King and jockey Wayne Hutchinson looks set to run a big race. He was stepped up in trip last time out which didn’t seem to suit but prior to that he had run well over this trip.
Of the others to watch out for, Paul Nicholls is always a trainer to follow but Dynamite Dollar will need to be at his best to carry top weight to win this.
The champion trainer, Nicky Henderson, has French Crusader who will need to improve again to be involved here but has the scope to do so.
This is followed by another class four novices hurdle (2.15pm) and Air Navigator jumps off the card as the one to be on. Tom George and Paddy Brennan team up on him and he has the best form in the book which includes two wins from four runs.
Alongside the victories he also recorded a good second in a listed national hunt flat race at Cheltenham which is also strong form. He blotted his copy book in his last run when he unseated Brennan at the first fence but hopefully he will better for the experience and will run well today.
Mark Walford also has a couple that catch the eye.
Paris Protocol is an interesting recruit from the flat. His hurdling seemed to have improved last time out at Catterick but the upward curve will need to continue to be involved here.
Quest For Life produced four good performances but then flopped in his last appearance at Wetherby. He will need to bounce back from that disappointing run to win this.
Qaviy Cash is another interesting former flat runner. He runs for the Skelton brothers after joining from Hugo Palmers yard and he could run well at a bigger price.
The third race on the card is a highly competitive class three handicap hurdle (2.50pm) over three miles. A number of the runners look to be on competitive marks but we plump for Jonjo O’Neill’s Capote down the bottom of the weights.
Capote was good enough to record a fourth place finish at the Grand National meeting in 2014. He was then off for three years before being sent chasing which wasn’t for him. He was returned to hurdling by O’Neill last month and there were signs of encouragement. He drops a further 5lbs here so we think he may well exploit this and run a big race.
We also like Ruth Jefferson’s Ballyben, ridden by Brian Hughes, who is retuning from a break. Jefferson, fresh from a big winner on Saturday, has returned Ballyben to hurdling where he is on a competitive mark. He carries 10lb less than his chase mark and has won off this weight when running over fences, however, his race fitness could be the issue.
Richard Hobson runs Ceporine who looks the big improver in the field. He was touched off by the smallest of margins last time out and is only increased by 3lbs so should run well.
That completes the hurdles races with the next race being from the popular veterans handicap chase series (3.20pm) which sees a number of fans favourites line up. A case can be made for any number of these old stagers with many dropping to very competitive marks on their best form.
We like Fox Appeal the most for Emma Lavelle and Nick Schofield who will need a return to form after falling last time out. Prior to falling he had produced a number of consistent performances off this weight and we think he will be involved at the finish here.
Dr Richard Newland is as shrewd as they come and he turns out Band Of Blood quickly after winning at Exeter off this same mark.
Additionally, the top two in the field, Carole’s Destrier and No Duffer, also look to be on winnable marks.
Next up we have the Hunters Chase (3.55pm) and we go for Paul Nicholls’ Pacha Du Polder, who was good enough to win the Hunters Chase race at The Cheltenham Festival last year.
He carries the best form into the race but it wont all be plain sailing. Hard Station is a consistent performer, Warden Hill has been running well of late and Kilfinichen Bay can be good on his day.
The card ends with two national hunt flat races which can be difficult to predict with a number of debutants running.
In the first of the flat races (4.30pm), we like Kim Bailey’s Two For Gold. He won on debut at Southwell before taking a massive jump in class at Ascot where he didn’t disgrace himself. Of the rest, the other two at the top of the field, Before Midnight and Hidden Glen, could have cases made for them and the expensively purchased No Getaway will also be supported.
We are hoping it will be a lucky last race (5.00pm) and the market may guide selections. We like Skidoosh and Smith’s Bay at the top of the weights with Daydream Aulmes also worth mentioning. We are going to side with Skidoosh for Ben Pauling and Darryl Jacob. He also won on debut before being stepped up in class next time out and ran with credit. The form of his victory has been franked so we think he’ll run another big race here.
The AccaDoo selections: 1.40pm - Canelo, 2.15pm - Air Navigator, 2.50pm - Capote, 3.20pm - Fox Appeal, 3.55pm - Pacha Du Polder, 4.30pm - Two For Gold, 5.00pm - Skidoosh