The G2 Flying Childers Stakes kicks-off today’s excellent eight-race card at Doncaster with Ornate (1.55) fancied to cause something of an upset for William Haggas and Pat Cosgrave.
The well-bred son of Bahamian Bounty built on an excellent fourth on debut when bolting-up twelve days later at Ripon. The dogs were barking about the colt prior to him running in a Listed contest at York’s Ebor meeting, sent off an even money favourite, and despite disappointing that day is chanced again to reward each-way support at his price of 10/1 with BetVictor.
A field of ten go to post for the Mallard, traditionally one of the strongest mile and a half handicaps of the season, with Roger Varian’s Battersea (2.30) the most likely winner under Andrea Atzeni. The Galileo colt has long been held in high regard by his handler and after winning a Heritage Handicap last year from a mark of 90 has been slow to come to hand subsequently. The colt has been beaten in similar contests at both Haydock and Goodwood but after returning from an absence of over eight months should be stripped fitter for those outings and can make it third time lucky this season.
Sir Mark Prescott and Willie Mullins are both double-handed for the G2 Doncaster Cup over the marathon two and a quarter miles with the quartet of Pallasator, William of Orange, Simenon and Clondaw Warrior all respected at the head of the market. Ed Dunlop’s Times Up has won two of the last three renewals and was far from disgraced behind former Gold Cup winner Estimate in last year’s contest however is overlooked with Brian Ellison’s progressive Seamour (3.05) under Ben Curtis. The selection has long been the apple of his trainer’s eye and after scoring at Haydock earlier in the campaign followed-up by winning another valuable pot last time out at Ascot. The Malton-handler has long stated that his inmate will be a cup horse in time and, whilst something to find at the ratings, looks excellent value at 8/1 with BetVictor to finish in the frame.
Any further rain is sure to aid the chances of Hugo Palmer’s Hawksmoor bidding to follow-up last month’s Prestige Stakes success in the May Hill but with the ground likely to be nearer good-to-firm Jim Bolger’s Irish raider Turret Rocks (3.40) gets the nod under Kevin Manning. The handler seldom brings juveniles across to these shores, just two runners on Town Moor since 2010, but brings across a filly not beaten far in group company at Leopardstown and the Curragh. Her pedigree suggests she will be even better over a trip and now stepped up in trip tackling a mile for the first time can bounce back to winning ways and prove even better next term as a 3-y-o.
Toofi (4.15) failed to see out seven furlongs last time out at York but the form of his second behind Magical Memory in the Stewards Cup at Goodwood two starts ago continues to work out well and he can record a first success of the campaign. The selection has placed in just one start over the 7f trip, whereas his form over six reads 3212042 with his only blip coming on Newmarket’s July Course on his final start of last season. A 4lb rise for his second at Glorious Goodwood may seem steep however the winner was subsequently placed in the G1 Sprint Cup at the weekend and he can give weight and a beating to his eleven rivals under Andrea Atzeni.
It could be a red letter day for the yard with American Artist (5.25) fancied to land trebles for Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni in the penultimate 10f Handicap. The selection landed gambles at Windsor and Sandown and was narrowly denied the hat-trick when going down by a neck last time out over a mile at Leicester. The handicapper has put him up 8lb for those efforts but there seems to be plenty left in the tank and, providing he sees out the step up in trip, is a confident selection to score for a third time this term.
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