Doncaster dazzlers: six horses who could make a flying start to the turf season
The British Flat turf season begins at Doncaster on Saturday with the traditional curtain-raiser, the 32Red Lincoln meeting.
Our experts pick out some of the horses who could make a flying start to the season.
Unibet Cammidge Trophy (1.50)
Dean Ivory's Lancelot Du Lac is in great form, winning a handicap at Wolverhampton last time out off a mark of 107. That takes some doing, even at this time of year on the all-weather, and with a match-sharpness edge over the majority of his rivals he immediately stands out.
Unibet Doncaster Mile (3.00)
Richard Hannon was worried Tabarrak would be moved to Dubai after last season so he clearly worked hard to convince Sheikh Hamdan to let him keep him and he is targeting at a race he won last year with Kool Kompany on his first start as a five-year-old.
He finished last season well, getting within a neck of subsequent Group 3 winner Ballet Concerto at Salisbury then giving weight and a beating to all his rivals in a Listed contest over 7f at Newbury. He can continue that progression here.
32Red Lincoln (Heritage Handicap) (3.35)
David O'Meara has such a good recent record in this – including sending out last year's winner – that it's difficult to look beyond Lord Glitters.
Progressive on soft ground in France, he took his form to another level after joining O'Meara last season, winning the 20-runner Balmoral Handicap at Ascot and finishing runner-up in a Listed race.
There's every chance he'll make up into a Group horse on ground with cut, so a mark of 107 is unlikely to be beyond him.
Leader Writer, another Ex-French horse, looked well ahead of his mark when travelling all over his rivals before winning on soft ground at Ascot last September. The Cambridgeshire may have come too soon after that, but he really caught the eye on his return on the all-weather at Lingfield last month in what appeared a sharpener.
That should have put him right, he's only 5lb higher than at Ascot and there should still be plenty of cut in the ground despite a dry forecast this week. He looks a decent each-way contender.
Unibet Brocklesby Conditions Stakes (4.10)
Although one of the 20 entries actually already has form in the book, with George Baker's Eviya Rose running in France last weekend, this is a punting puzzle where paying attention to where the money is going can prove crucial.
A field of newcomers means whispers can influence prices and a sustained run of support for any of the runners is worth noting.
Horses with some stamina in the pedigree rather than out and out speedsters could be better suited to this year's race if the ground stays on the slow side.
Mark Johnston has had two of the last four winners of the race and I Am A Dreamer, his possible runner this year, makes plenty of appeal. The colt's sire Dream Ahead handled cut in the ground and Johnston often makes a fast start with his juveniles.
If the ground does remain slow, then another to take the eye on pedigree is Tizwotitiz. We have not seen much of Finjaan as a sire yet but Tizwotitiz's dam, Girl Of The Rain, was twice a winner on heavy ground in Italy, which could be a plus.
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