The seconditis continues with both Masamah and Gatewood finishing second and Regal Dan then finishing fourth. Masamah was beaten well by Justineo which seems to be finally getting his act together. Gatewood was left an impossible task by William Buick who unsusually looked as if he was having a doze as Out of Bounds bounded clear another two strides and the result would have been reversed.
Again on Day 2 we are in action in three races but unusually for us the selections are quite short prices comparitive to what we normally back at.
The three races could be narrowed down pretty much to two horses and hopefully I have selected the correct ones and not the second placed ones!
2.10 Doncaster Japan Racing Association Sceptre Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies & Mares) (CLASS 1)
I think that this race actually boils down to one between Maureen and Annecdote.
The Gold Cheongsam has an inflated rating due to a big win as a two year old in a race at this meeting last year worth £200k. She is held by both Maureen and Annecdote on subsequent form.
Winning Express is the likely market leader but I am not sure that she will turn the tables on Annecdote even though the winning distance was only 3/4 length and she has a 3 pounds pull at the weights.
Annecdote has been improving all season and I think she is the biggest threat to our selection. Having already won at Group 3 level her class is not in question only her ability to get passed a higher class horse.
Maureen’s bare form figures this season are not that impressive until you look deeper and see that she has been competing in four Group 1 races. Prior to that she won a Group 3 on seasonal debut and her four length defeat by Elusive Kate is the top form in the race.
3.15 Doncaster DFS Park Hill Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies & Mares) (CLASS 1)
Alta Lilea has finished third in a Group 3 but has never won above Class 3 and I really do not expect that to change here.
The Lark would have been the selection if her price had been bigger as she has so much in hand at the weights due to her age allowance. She should be giving weight to Seal of Approval but actually gets 12 pounds. Having said that the form of the Oaks has not worked out well and The Lark has only managed to win once in five attempts.
Seal of Approval missed the Oaks due to a setback and that may actually stand her in good stead here. James Fanshawe spoke very highly about her at the weekend and his stable is on fire presently. Haley Turner always seems to get the best out of fillies and can produce Seal of Approval to pip The Lark.
5.00 Doncaster DFS Handicap (CLASS 2)
Hot Bed is likely to be a warm favourite having been sent over by David Wachman from Ireland for this, although this is his first attempt at more than a mile. His third at York is pretty good form so interesting to see Ryan Moore desert him for Conduct here. Two wins at Dundalk does not inspire confidence at the likely odds.
Ottoman Empire is a very decent horse but all his wins have been on all weather surfaces and it is difficult to see him winning here although placing is certainly possible.
Viewpoint is very consistent but is held by Sennockian Star and that one is held by Tha’ir. Viewpoint may try to make all but is likely to be passed in the latter stages by a few of these.
Black Spirit was under consideration here as he is two pounds below his winning mark of last year. He is likely to go close again but Tha’ir has a big weight advantage being rated 1 pound higher. He is likely to track the leaders here and make his move one furlong out as he did last year. I think he will find some of the younger legs beyond him in the final 100 yards.
Tha’ir lost when dropped in class last time but it was a muddling race with no real pace, but he will get pace here with one or two pace setters running. Tha’ir can hold up behind the leaders befoe making his move in the final furlong and his weight advantage over some of the more experienced horses will tell in the end. He should be a decent price after his last race disappointment.