Eight horses line up for what should be a good race in the first at Doncaster. Read on for our experts’ thoughts and betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: Kalane showed he has a touch of class about him when fourth in a Listed race on his first start for Amy Murphy last month and he will win races for his new yard. He may have to wait a while longer with the form of the Listed race at Wetherby in which SHADOWS LENGTHEN was third having worked out well. He can improve for that having unseated at the first on his last run and this imposing sort can outclass this field.
1 Always On The Run – Turned into a smart chaser last term landing three of four runs for Tom George since leaving Donald McCain. Looked in need of the run when a well beaten eighth of 14 in a valuable handicap chase won by Fox Norton from the Tizzard stable. Likely to come on for that and should get involved here if putting his best foot forward.
2 Katachenko – Won twice over fences last season, having jumped well to land the Grade 3 Red Rum Chase at Aintree in April by a comfortable half length. Doesn’t look the easiest to train and has flopped on two starts already this term. Unreliable and looks likely to struggle again.
3 Mercers Court – Back-to-back winner in last two starts at Plumpton and Kempton and up 4lb for those wins. Has been prolific this year winning five races, but handicapper looks to have him right now. Looked a fortuitous winner at Kempton and will find one or two too good today.
4 Tindaro – Won at Stratford in August but has been well held over this C&D last two starts. Front runner and has conditions to suit; he could serve it up if getting an easy start.
5 Wells De Lune – Two from four over Fences and earned a career high mark of 131 when a gutsy winner at Wetherby last month, a race in which the re-opposing Shadows Lengthen unseated at the first. Has gone up another 3lb, but that doesn’t look insurmountable in this field. Should continue to improve, but never won back-to-back races over this trip and looks held with a couple today.
6 Shadows Lengthen – Fine third in a Listed race at Wetherby on reappearance this autumn, two and a half lengths behind Theatre Guide in second with Indian Stream filling the number one spot for Neil Mulholland. The Tizzard horse won a valuable Grade 2 at Cheltenham yesterday and he can be forgiven his last effort over the same C&D next time out when unseating at the first. Earlier form looks good in the context of this race and can go close if getting a clear round.
7 Kalane – Previously trained by Charlie Longsdon with two hurdles and a chase win to his name. Made a good start for Amy Murphy by finishing fourth in a Listed Event at Market Rasen on seasonal comeback run and entitled to strip fitter for that. Well beaten that day and this drop in trip should suit (has won over 2m3f). Looks most likely to trouble the selection.
8 Notnowsam – Hasn’t won in over a year, but has been well below form in last couple of starts including the Wetherby race won by Wells De Lune. Looks held by that one and hard to fancy here.