Preview and tips as racing returns to Doncaster and features live on ITV

Doncaster Racecourse hosts racing for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic engulfed the globe with a two-day meeting this weekend.

By Racing Post
Thursday, 11th June 2020, 3:25 pm
Racing takes place behind closed doors at Doncaster this weekend. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Racing takes place behind closed doors at Doncaster this weekend. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

A major fillip to the local economy, racing’s return to Doncaster has attracted some stellar entries with four races on Sunday’s card also set to be broadcast on ITV Racing.

Strict social distancing protocols will, of course, be in place for the meeting and the Racing Post have previewed all of the action with stats and analysis.

The best of the action takes place on Sunday with the eight-race card getting underway at 12.15pm, with the final race at 4.15pm.

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The £15,000 Bawtry Handicap (2.00pm) looks ultra-competitive but Jabbarockie is of strong interest for Eric Alston. The son of Showcasing was a smooth winner at Newmarket earlier this term and looks set to shoulder a penalty under jockey Andrea Atzeni. Local trainer David Griffiths has a fine record with his sprinters and is doubly represented courtesy of Terentum Star and Ornate. The former was successful on his final start at the back-end of last term, whilst Ornate will strip fitter for his reappearance at Newmarket in Group Three company earlier this month.

Dakota Gold (7/2) was one of racing’s success stories last season and is set to make his reappearance in the feature race on Sunday, the £25,500 Listed Achilles Stakes. The six-year-old won five of his seven starts, which included victory at Ascot in Listed company in October. He will bid to shoulder top-weight in the five-furlong event in which Tis Marvellous (7/1) could prove his biggest threat. The six-year-old was ultra-consistent last season and finished fourth to Dakota Gold at Ascot in October, but more is expected from trainer Clive Cox this term.

Ryan Moore partners Derevo (7/1) in the £15,000 10-furlong handicap (3.10pm). A three-time winner last term, the four-year-old disappointed on his last start at Newmarket in October but looks a horse who could improve through the ranks this season for Sir Michael Stoute who has a phenomenal 20% strike-rate on Town Moor. Newmarket trainer Roger Varian has a 25% strike-rate at the track and saddles the progressive Fifth Position (11/2) who finished a good third on his reappearance at Newcastle earlier this month.

The £25,500 Listed Grand Cup Stakes (3.40pm) is a fascinating event in which veteran Red Verdon (4/1) has leading claims for Ed Dunlop. The globetrotter scored in Group Three company at York in July and he dusted off the cobwebs when fourth at Chelmsford in March. His chief market rival is the upwardly mobile Selino (11/2) who is unbeaten in his last two starts, which included a stylish 10-length victory at Wolverhampton in October and is the mount of recent 2000 Guineas winner Oisin Murphy.

Doncaster stages the final British Classic of the season, the Group One St Leger on Saturday, September 12, and potential Classic clues could be on show in the 1.25pm on Sunday. Al Aasy is highly thought of by trainer William Haggas and ran with credit when fifth in the Listed Newmarket Stakes earlier this month. A general 50/1 shot for the Derby at Epsom in June, his pedigree suggests the St Leger trip could be within his compass and he is a horse to keep an eye on this weekend.

Saturday’s nine-race card begins at 12.00pm and culminates at 4.30pm. The highlight is the £1,400 mile handicap (3.25pm) in which the unexposed Joyful Mission, a son of Group One winner Noble Mission could return to action. Similarly, Her Majesty The Queen has leading claims of capturing the £7,250 mile handicap at 3.55pm with Fruition who scored at Lingfield on his final start last season.

Best bets for Doncaster’s races on ITV on Sunday:

2.00pm Bawtry Handicap – Terentum Sta

2.35pm Listed Achilles Stakes – Dakota Gold 7/2

3.10pm Ultimate Royal Ascot Guide At attheraces.com/ascot Handicap – Fifth Position 11/2

3.40pm Listed Grand Cup Stakes – Selino 11/2

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