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Sunday, 20 January, 2019

Best of the rest: Gordon Lord Byron heads strong challenge from Ireland

Gordon Lord Byron: contests the Listed Wentworth Stakes at Doncaster on Saturday
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Along with the always competitive Betfred November Handicap (3.15), Doncaster hosts a pair of Listed races on the final day of the Flat season. Here's what you need to know . . .

2.05 Doncaster
Betfred Mobile Wentworth Stakes (Listed) | 6f | 3yo+ | ITV4/ATR

Strong Irish challenge

Fresh from a memorable Melbourne Cup 1-2-3, Irish-trained horses are targeting further glory.

Gordon Lord Byron, G Force and Maarek are among 14 runners and, despite their odds suggesting none of the trio boasts standout claims, it would be foolish to dismiss them.

Tom Hogan, trainer of the nine-year-old Gordon Lord Byron, said: “His last run at Newmarket, where he ran third in a Group 2, was a very good effort and showed there's plenty of life left in him.

"He's in very good form but soft ground won't be ideal.”

Evanna McCutcheon, trainer of Maarek, who at ten is the oldest horse in the line-up, said: “He'll have the soft ground he likes and if they get more rain all the better.

"He came out of his Navan win in good form and travelled over well.”

G Force may not be the force of old, having failed to hit the target so far in 2017, but he ran well at Navan on his penultimate start when a close fourth in Listed company to Texas Rock.

The form horses

Sir Dancealot, Danzeno and Teruntum Star all come into this six-furlong contest in cracking form and are sure to prove popular with punters.

A winner last time out over seven furlongs of this course, Sir Dancealot drops in trip but has a strong chance based on official ratings.

Mick Appleby believes Danzeno, who tackled Group 1 company last time at Ascot behind Librisa Breeze, will make a bold bid, particularly if the ground dries out a little overnight.

“I’m a bit worried about the ground but he’s in good form and should go very close,” he said. “I’m very happy with the horse.”

Teruntum Star is seeking a hat-trick after victories in big-field handicaps at Ripon and York on good ground.

“We’ve been patient with him and he's right at the top of his game,” said Adam Ryan, assistant trainer to his father Kevin.

“He's now showing his true colours and goes to Doncaster in great order. He won very well last time and fully deserves to have a crack at this sort of level.”

2.40 Doncaster
Betfred TV EBF Stallions Breeding Winners Gillies Fillies’ Stakes (Listed) | 1m2f | 3yo+ | ITV4/ATR

Vintage Folly a ‘worthy favourite’

A light campaign could prove beneficial to the chance of Musidora runner-up Vintage Folly, who is likely to start a warm favourite.

This will be just the third start of 2017 for the three-year-old, whose trainer Hugo Palmer said: “Softish ground is definitely what she needs. She had a long break during the summer and came back very well from it when runner-up at Yarmouth.

“She seems in great form and I would say she's a worthy favourite. It’s a funny time of year for fillies but I’m happy with her.”

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There's plenty of life left in him. He's in very good form but soft ground won't be ideal
E.W. Terms
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