Preview and tips ahead of Friday's meeting at Doncaster

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Doncaster Racecourse hosts an eight-race card on Friday for the first of its Countdown To Christmas Racedays.

Friday’s card gets underway at 11.25 with a two-mile, 14-runner handicap hurdle before rounding off with a veterans’ handicap chases for horses aged 10 and older at 3.22.

Up first is the handicap hurdle in class four where powerhouse trainer Paul Nicholls sends Rare Middleton to the track, dropping down in class after a disappointing grade two run at Ascot last time out, and now has a tongue strap applied for the first time so is expected to go better here. The chief threat could come from Imperial Jade, who got better and better with each start last season before rounding off the campaign with a win at Chepstow.

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Race two on the card is a novices' hurdle at 11.55. Zain Nights caught the eye when third at Huntingdon last time around and could go a couple of spots better at Doncaster. Lucky Place only found one better on hurdling debut and is up in trip for the Nicky Henderson yard, while stablemate Bective Abbey is also of interest here on debut.

Photo by Tim Goode - Pool/Getty ImagesPhoto by Tim Goode - Pool/Getty Images
Photo by Tim Goode - Pool/Getty Images

The third race of the afternoon (12.30) sees seven runners tackle the 3m trip around Doncaster. Bumper winner Jem In Em scored at Kelso in this sphere for trainer Lucinda Russell in October and is backed to go well again with headgear applied for this run, having disappointed on seasonal return 16 days ago.

Race four on the card (1.05) is the midway point of the meeting and is a 2m4f handicap chase and Sageburg County is taken to make it three wins in four starts for trainer Warren Greatrex. Imac Wood, a dual winner in France is of interest off the back of a Hereford win last time out.

The fifth race of the afternoon is a 12-runner handicap hurdle in class four, where Kim Bailey’s Mikhailovich is backed to resume winning ways following a win at Huntingdon and a third at Market Rasen on his last appearance, while a competitive novices handicap at 2.15 should go with the way of Twinjets, who should go better over fences than hurdles.

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The penultimate race of the afternoon arrives at 2.50 and is a bumper - a Flat race ridden over Jumps rules - and Listentoyouyrheart is taken to win for a second straight outing having scored with plenty left in the tank at Sedgefield last time out.

The card is rounded off with the veterans handicap chase (3.22) and the well-handicapped Fidux is backed to win this one, looking very well handicapped after a break and was also a runner up at this track in January for trainer Alan King.

Doncaster selections - Friday (via Betway)

11.25 - Rare Middleton

11.55 - Bective Abbey

12.30 - Jem In Em

1.05 - Sageburg County

1.40 - Mikahilovich

2.15 - Twinjets

2.50 - Listentoyourheart

3.22 - Fidux

Preview compiled by Racing TV

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