Racing tips: The Grimthorpe takes centre stage on competitive Doncaster card

It’s Grimthorpe Chase weekend at Doncaster Racecourse on Saturday and Sunday, with the main event on day one of the two-day fixture.
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Racing gets underway on Saturday at 1.30, before rounding off at 4.50 and the Grimthorpe off at 3.40.

The opener on the card (1.30) is a maiden hurdle in class three and looks a very competitive race to kick off the meeting. Micro Millions, a £40,000 buy for the Dan Skelton yard after winning an Irish point-to-point, leads the way in the market having hit the frame on three of his four starts and steps down in trip here, which should suit. The main threat is likely to come from Diamond Koda, a consistent type who has only found one horse better than him on his last three outings.

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Race two (2.05) is a nine-runner handicap hurdle in class two over the 3m84y trip around Doncaster. Arqoob is entering the unknown trip-wise but having performed impressively at Ascot recently, enters equations here. Equinus has found some form at the right too when third at Newbury and is taken ahead of the hat-trick seeing Curley Finger.

Racing at Doncaster. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty ImagesRacing at Doncaster. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Racing at Doncaster. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Seven runners tackle a high-class third race of the meeting where Tommy’s Oscar, who needed the run at Musselburgh last time out, is well in the frame to secure the honours in the 2m7f handicap chase. Nube Negra, a winner of the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham and who chased home the top class Editeur Du Gite in the Desert Orchid over Christmas, rates as a massive player.

Race four (3.10), should go the way of the improving Gaye Legacy for trainer Tom Symonds, while race five (3.40) could go to Some Scope, who is taken to defy a 10lb penalty in the feature race of the day - The Grimthorpe Handicap Chase.

Powerhouse trainer Paul Nicholls sends flash Collonges to Doncaster for the Grimthorpe and he has high hopes for his runner, telling Betfair: “I've been training him all season for the Scottish Grand National and this race could be a handy prep race for him provided they don't get too much more rain at Doncaster. I've been pulling my hair out all winter because Flash Collonges needs good ground and that has been impossible to find this winter.”

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The penultimate race of the afternoon 4.15 looks to be all about Sunday Soldier for the Gina McPherson yard, who is rapidly improving over hurdles and completed a hat trick at Sedgefield on January 12 and is the class of the field here.

Finally, the card comes to a close with a handicap hurdle, where Playtogetaway for trainer Jonjo O’Neill is the selection, having a landed a pair of 2m handicaps in the first half of last year and returned this season with a fine third over the same trip at Hereford in late January.

Preview compiled by Racing TV

Doncaster selections - Saturday (via Grosvenor Sport)

1.30 - Micro Millions

2.05 - Arqoob

2.35 - Tommy’s Oscar

3.10 - Gaye Legacy

3.40 - Some Scope

4.15 - Sunday Soldier

4.50 - Playtogetaway