We wave goodbye to another flat turf season this Saturday, with the final fixture on the grass coming at Doncaster.
A decent card to end the campaign though with the ultra-competitive Marathonbet November Handicap (3:15) the feature. Run over one and a half miles, the contest is always hotly-contested, and this year is no different with twenty-three runners declared.
There are plenty of November Handicap tips to apply to the contest. For example, it’s also been a dream race for the bookmakers in recent years with just one winning favourite since 1995, while with nine of the last fifteen winners returning a double-figure price then don’t be afraid to look further down the betting market.
Trainer, Ian Williams landed the prize twelve months ago and three entries this year clearly means business again, while John Gosden has been successful twice since 2009 and five times in total – he’s got the well-fancied Royal Line entered.
You can get more help finding the winner of the November Handicap on our ITV Tips page
Plus, to help pin-point the best winning profile of the 2018 November Handicap we are on-hand with some key trends and statistics.
We hope they help you find the winner, but if you fancy a horse we’ve not featured below then simply apply these stats to that runner.
- 12 of the last 15 winners had raced at least five times that season
- 12 of the last 15 winners had won between two and four times previously
- 12 of the last 15 winners came from stalls nine or higher
- 11 of the last 15 had raced at Doncaster before (six had won there)
- 10 of the last 15 carried 8st 13lbs or less in weight
- 10 of the last 15 winners were placed last time out
- 10 of the last 15 winners were aged either three or four years-old
Trends – Key Runners
Now Children ❌✅❌❌❌✅✅
Royal Line ❌✅✅✅❌✅✅
To Be Wild ❌✅❌✅❌❌❌
Birds Of Prey ❌✅✅❌✅✅✅
The Hughie Morrison-trained Buzz has been a real improver this season. This four-year-old heads into the race having won three of his last four and as a result has been popular in the betting for a while. A five-pound rise for his latest victory at Newbury means another step forward is needed but he acts on most ground type so even if there is more rain that won’t be an issue. The trends give him a mixed chance with recent form and age two big pluses. In contrast, those against him may look to his weight being too high and that he’s also never raced at Doncaster – eleven of the last fifteen winners had. There is also a chance he’ll be disputing the favourites berth and with this race being a graveyard for the market leaders in recent years then he could also have this stat to overcome.
Age: Four-years-old, Weight 9st 1lb, Draw 21
Our Children is another that could end up as favourite, so bear that in mind. This Clive Cox-trained four-year-old went into many a notebook for this race after winning well on soft ground at Goodwood last month. Despite a six-pound rise for that success there could also be more to come as he’s only had seven career starts. He acts well on any ground too and from his six turf outings has only been out of the first three once. However, looking at our main trends he’s also got a fair few negatives. Yes, age and recent form are pluses, but he’s another that’s yet to race at Doncaster, while with 9st to carry he falls down on the weight stat – albeit by only a pound. Being drawn in stall seven might also not be ideal.
Age: Four-years-old, Weight 9st, Draw 7
With wins in 2009 and 2011 then trainer John Gosden has the best stable record in recent years, while with five successes since 1991 it’s a prize they love to target. This year their hopes are pinned to Royal Line, who was sent off favourite in this race twelve months ago. He only managed seventh that day but with that only his fourth career run it can be forgiven. We last saw him dotting-up at Epsom back in April, so, yes, he’ll also need to overcome a long absence but the fact he’s taking his chance suggests connections have him fit and ready to rumble. He is, however, up a stonking ten pounds from that last victory and is nine pounds higher than when running in this race last year. He’s another that the trends give a mixed chance too with his big weight 9st 8lbs and his lack of racing this season the main negatives.
Age: Four-years-old, Weight 9st 8lbs, Draw 23
To Be Wild hails from the Hugo Palmer team that boasts a decent 25% strike-rate with their older horses at Doncaster. This five-year-old has clearly had some issues as he’s not been out since May 2017 but he could easily be better than a handicapper. He was last seen running fourth in the Group Three Ashton Park Stakes at Newbury so back into a handicap here will be a lot easier. He’s been well-supported all week so is sure to be tuned-up, but the trends suggest he’s got a lot to answer as he only ticks two of our seven. With draw, age and weight looking the three big factors against him.
Age: Five-years-old, Weight 9st 8lbs, Draw 4
Birds Of Prey is a rare runner on the flat for trainer Paul Nicholls, who is more famed for his jumpers. With just 8st 9lbs to carry this four-year-old gets in with a light burden, especially as daughter – Megan Nicholls – also takes a further five pounds off with her jockeys’ allowance. He returns from a recent wind operation so can be expected to improve for that and back in May was only two and a quarter-lengths behind Buzz at Kempton – a big weight turnaround (eight pounds) this time suggests he can reverse that form. The trends give him a big chance, as he gets positives for five of our seven stats with only not having five (or more) runs this season and the lack of track experience the negatives. He looks a worthy contender.
Age: Four-years-old, Weight 8st 9lbs, Draw 22
Reshoun is the final runner we are going to look at and it’s possible we’ve saved the best for last. From the Ian Williams yard that won this race last year, so that’s his first plus. Former champion jockey, Jim Crowley knows the horse well and continues in the saddle, while a four-pound rise for his easy recent Haydock win doesn’t look too harsh. That success also came with give in the ground and being it was over one mile, six furlongs then we know he won’t lack for stamina. He’s a proven course and distance winner so no issues on that score, while the trends also give him a big shout with a thumbs-up across ALL seven and rates the one to beat based on our stats.
Age: Four-years-old, Weight 8st 11lbs, Draw 18
Every Doncaster race covered live on ITV can be found on our Doncaster Racing Tips page, with runner by runner previews for each contest.