Race Time: 2.35pm Meeting: Doncaster Day: Saturday 24th October
Distance: 5f Full Race Name: betdaq.com 2% Commission Handicap Class Two
As things stand (and it will change), there is a massive thirty-five pounds of difference in the abilities of the top weight to the bottom which makes for a wide open renewal and one that could yet see a shock winner, but can we find him or her we wonder?
The draw may well change our final suggestions but for now, we will have to start with top weight Steps (10/1) who is (obviously) the class act in the field. Trained by Roger Varian, who is finishing the season with a bang, he won a Class Two handicap here over half a furlong further, and then the Group Three World Trophy at Newbury, before an acceptable eight of eighteen to Goldream in the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp which is light years away from this race. A repeat of any of those runs will be enough to get involved here, but being a handicap life is never quite that simple and others have equal chances even if they don’t have equal abilities thanks to the differing weights.
If you are looking for an interesting contender then there is no doubt whatsoever that the in form Norwegian challenger Easy Road (16/1) who has won his last two races at Ovrevoll in a Group Three and then at Taby in a Listed race. When you consider that all races are allegedly standardised throughout the racing World he could yet be a pretty serious challenger dropped in lass though we freely admit, comparing the form is as close to impossible as it gets, and we are only talking about the fact that he is clearly in the form of his life, all be it over longer trips.
Anyone who follows the Michael Appleby yard has had a profitable season as the likeable and media friendly handler has been banging in the winners all year, and he may just add another one this afternoon here with Demora (7/1) with the equally on fire Frankie Dettori booked to ride. This five furlongs is his trip with all seven of his career wins gained over the minimum distance, and his rating of 99 here is only a solitary pound higher than when he scored at Haydock in September 2013, his highest winning mark. He arrives here in good form having scored at Leicester eleven days ago, and is drawn midfield so his jockey can make his own decision about where to head when needed, and at the price looks like a realistic each way chance.
To end this race with, how about Robot Boy (20/1) who is well weighted on his best form, well drawn in the 17 stall, and has the benefit of David Barron as his trainer. One win from two starts here is a good enough record, his last three wins were under jockey Graham Gibbons who rides again today, and he has scored off of ratings up to five pounds higher than he has to suffer today, and at a big price the temptation is certainly there!
Meanwhile, Sammy Jo Bell has had a great season and will only get better as the years go by and she will be hoping to add another winner to the list for 2015 with Arctic Feeling (11/1) who is another who won last time out and plans to end the season with a flourish. His Catterick win was by the minimum margin of a nose but was an improvement on recent runs and only saw a three pound rise in the weights which isn’t too punitive, and as he would have won by further granted a clear run he has to be thought of as a pretty serious contender.