We’ve teamed up with BetVictor and Charlie McCann to preview the day’s racing.
The gamble on Yukatan for tomorrow’s Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster looks to be on track with stablemate Capri, the ante-post odds-on favourite, missing the race and Ballydoyle triple-handed bidding to follow-up the recent successes of St Nicholas Abbey and Camelot. Moore partners Yukatan in the Group 1 feature and is the 10/11 favourite with BetVictor to give trainer Aidan O’Brien a 22nd top-grade success in 2016.
Racing Post Trophy prices from BetVictor: Yukatan 10/11, Rivet 5/1, Sir Dancelot 9/1, 10/1 Bar.
Day One of the meeting kicks-off with a competitive nursery over a mile, where I expect William Haggas’ Under Control (1.30) to complete the hat-trick under champion apprentice Josephine Gordon.
The selection shed the maiden tag over 7f at Musselburgh and relished the step up in trip to win a mile nursery last time out at Chelmsford. The selection continues to improve and looks to have been well-placed to defy a 6lb rise at the weights.
A field of nine go to post for the feature mile and a quarter handicap where Al Neksh (4.55) can hopefully complete a double for the Haggas yard under Frankie Dettori. The expensive yearling made it three wins from five last time out in a competitive Yarmouth handicapper and should likewise defy a lenient 4lb rise.
Frankel had another winning debutant at Newmarket on Wednesday, with Cracksman 33/1 first show with BetVictor for both next year’s 2000 Guineas and Derby, with his sire Frankel 5/1 to sire a British classic winner in 2017.
Jeremy Noseda’s Firefright (1.50) got no luck in-running last time out at Doncaster when a fast-finishing third in a valuable sales races and looks well-placed to shed the maiden tag at the belated fourth time of asking. The form of his placed efforts in maidens at Newmarket and Epsom have worked out well and he is a confident selection to defy a wide berth in stall 13 under Jamie Spencer.
There are few better bred for the job than Roger Varian’s UAE King (1.20) who is a Frankel half-brother to multiple Group One winning Dubawi and is a confident selection to make a winning debut at Newbury.
The opening day of Cheltenham’s two-day Showcase Meeting kicks-off with a terrific renewal of the 2m 5f Listed Hurdle and Paul Nicholls’ Persian War winner El Bandit turned out again quickly after scoring impressively 12 days ago at Chepstow.
The five-year-old son of Milan stayed on dourly to win well in South Wales but faces a much stiffer ask this afternoon and preference lies instead with Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Templeross (2.10) under Ryan Hatch. The selection made a winning debut over timber last month at Uttoxeter, and steps up in grade with the yard in terrific form.
Team Ditcheat are likely to have the market leader in the following 2m Novices’ Chase with Marracudja foot perfect en-route to turning over Ballybolley last month of Newton Abbot. Rated 140 over timber he sets a fair standard but the eye is drawn elsewhere to the three Irish raiders with both Jessica Harrington runners respected and Ridestan (2.45) likewise for the red-hot Henry de Bromhead yard. The selection has won both starts over the larger obstacles, jumping well in comfortable successes at Kilbeggan and Gowran Park, and gets the nod to land the hat-trick upped in grade.
A wonderful field has been assembled for the Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase over an extended three miles, with Robin Dickin’s Garrahalish fancied to attempt to make most of the running. He jumped for fun on last month’s seasonal debut at Warwick but ultimately doesn’t stay this trip and with stamina in abundance a chance is taken on Neil Mulholland’s Fingerontheswitch (5.05) making it third time lucky over fences.
The selection is a former point-to-point winner in his native Ireland and was rated as high as 137 last term over timber. He disappointed in a brace of novice chases earlier in the campaign but may be seen in a better light now handicapping and can hopefully reward each-way support from a revised mark of 123.
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