3.15pm Doncaster Tips & Betting Preview 22/02/2017

This race looks like a cracker with a competitive field of twelve going to post for the third race of the day at Doncaster on Wednesday, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: A competitive race in which Skipthecuddles looks a likely danger if building upon his latest win at Wetherby in novice company, but this can go to MUTHABIR. He’s 5lb below his highest winning mark despite running well at present and his latest run at Doncaster when a staying on fourth suggests a step up to this trip should suit. He remains with potential for Richard Phillips and with his preferred good ground on offer, he looks to be the one to beat today with Ian Popham taking the ride. Of the remainder, First Fandango would be incredibly dangerous if back on song, now 27lb below his last winning mark but remains as a risky proposition.

1 ABRICOT DE L’OASIS – Very inconsistent performer for Dan Skelton but very capable at his best, finishing a good second at Leicester in December (2m 4f, Good) when narrowly denied on his penultimate start. Back over fences last time out he fell at Kempton (3m, Good to Soft), still travelling reasonably well at the time. Back onto his last winning mark, there is not yet any concrete evidence to suggest that he stays this far though he has put out some positive signs in recent runs that the trip is within reach. Mr Davies-Thomas takes off 7lb which will be helpful and he has to be considered a threat, but he does have question marks to answer today.

2 SOME KINDA LAMA – Lightly raced under rules for Charlie Mann and has been progressing nicely in recent runs, winning his second race in succession in October (3m 1f, Good) at Hereford, making all in good style. He was raised 8lb as a consequence but he brushed that off when a close second at Sandown in a tougher race in December (2m 7f, Good to Soft), narrowly beaten by Artic Gold on that occasion. Today’s conditions are to suit and Noel Fehily takes the ride which is an excellent jockey booking. He’s likely to improve further today as it’s still relatively early days for him at the age of six and he has to be respected as a main contender today off a 3lb higher mark.

3 SKIPTHECUDDLES – Bumper winner for Graeme McPherson who has only raced twice over timber, but has left a good impression nonetheless. Finishing second on hurdling debut behind Keeper Hill at Hereford (2m 3f, Soft), he improved on that performance to win at Wetherby two weeks ago, drawing clear in the final 75 yards (2m 5f, Soft). Makes his handicap debut today off a mark of 128 and looks a likely one to progress in this sphere, as going up in trip should draw out further progress from this six year old by Westerner. Kielan Woods take the ride and cannot be underestimated today in conditions that will suit.

4 VERY FIRST TIME – Has been very inconsistent over timber for Tim Easterby, finishing a good second three starts ago at Carlisle in a tougher race than this (3m 1f, Soft), but has failed to back that up the last twice when easily beaten at both Musselburgh and Haydock in January. That leaves him with questions to answer and he needs to bounce back in a very competitive looking race today, though the Easterby yard are flying at the moment which does give him some hope. Good ground is not a problem and Brian Hughes takes the ride again, so if back to his best off a mark of 127 he’d have to be considered for placings.

5 MOSS ON THE MILL – Completely exposed at this point compared to some of his rivals and he has been poor the last twice over fences, well beaten at Taunton on both occasions. He reverts back to hurdles in an attempt to revive but he remains on a mark of 123, which is still 3lb above his last winning mark and he needs much more if he’s to be winning this again some progressive rivals. Conditions are to suit and he stays this trip well, but others make far more appeal and he is dismissed today.

6 MOIDORE – Useful at his best with wins at Class 4 level, but the latest of those came back in April 2016 at Bangor (2m 7f, Heavy) and he has performed very, very poorly this season for Charles Pogson. His latest sixth at Doncaster (3m, Good to Soft) was another incredibly tame effort and he makes little appeal today. Hes still 3lb above his last winning mark and would much prefer the ground to be softer, so is impossible to recommend.

7 WINGS ATTRACT – Another inconsistent sort who returns to hurdling for the first time since November 2015, as he’s been over fences since then. He’s performed well over fences as a whole with two wins, but has also blown out on a number of occasions, though when last seen he was a good second at Doncaster in December (2m 7f, Good). Similar conditions for today’s run and his mark in this sphere is 8lb lower, on the same mark as for his last victory over hurdles. Likely to go close if taking to hurdles again and has to be respected for Olly Williams and Tom Cannon.

8 THE TAILGATER – Lightly raced six year old for Jonjo O’Neill who has won once over hurdles in seven attempts, with that win coming back in May at Hutingdon (2m 4f, Good) in a much weaker race than this. He has been quite hit and miss since then though, and his only attempt at this distance resulted in him finishing fourth and well beaten at Kempton in November (3m, Soft). He travelled well that day but went out like a light when asked for an effort, with the softer ground a reasonable excuse as to why. His latest second at Doncaster (2m 3f, Good) suggests he is still in good heart and is worth another go at this distance with Aidan Coleman on board. Likely place claims if staying, but that can’t be guaranteed.

9 ROCKY’S TREASURE – Point to Point winner in May 2016 and bought afterwards to be transferred to the Kim Bailey stable, where he made an encouraging debut to finish third at Hereford (2m 3f, Soft), running well until showing his inexperience up the straight. Upped in trip he improved to finish fourth at Southwell in December (2m 4f, Good to Soft), once again trying to set the pace before tiring late on. Makes his handicap debut today off a mark of 117 which could underestimate his potential, as going up in trip is likely to be a big positive for him today. David Bass takes the ride and he’s a likely place contender with all things considered, but will need more if he’s to be challenging for the win today.

10 MUTHABIR – Battled on well to land the spoils at Huntingdon three starts ago (2m 4f, Good to Soft) and certainly hasn’t been disgraced the last twice keeping on well when fourth at Doncaster in January when last seen (2m 3f, Good). On that evidence he is well worth the go at this sort of trip, with his mark of 115 still 5lb below his highest winning mark so he isn’t badly treated in that respect. Better ground is what suits him so today’s conditions are perfect and he’s likely to run another brilliant race for Ian Popham and Richard Phillips, as he remains with potential as a lightly raced seven year old. Has to be respected.

11 BODEGA – C&D winner for Ian Williams on his latest start when holding on all out in January, and has been raised 5lb as a result of that. Identical conditions today with Gavin Sheehan taking over the ride, and if coping with the rise at the rates he should be competitive, though he is raised in class from his last run. Above his highest winning mark also so this is definitely tougher, and at the age of nine he may just lack the improvement of some of his rivals. Possible place contender but looks vulnerable for win purposes today.

12 FIRST FANDANGO – Ten year old for the in form Tim Vaughan yard who hasn’t been at his best this season, with four poor runs at a variety of trips. His latest run at Market Rasen on Boxing Day resulted in him always being in rear (2m 2f, Good to Soft), and he is relying on a step up in trip to revive today. As a consequence of these runs though he has been plummeting down the weights, and is now 27lb below his last winning mark which makes him incredibly dangerous if back to form. Can’t be discounted with conditions to suit and has to be respected, though he remains a risk at present in terms of form.

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