Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, picks out five to follow at Doncaster, Wincanton and Churchill on Saturday afternoon
PALOMAR (3.10) has looked an entirely different horse this autumn and is fancied to run a big race in the totesport.com November Handicap at Doncaster on Saturday.
Brian Ellison’s dual purpose eight-year-old sprung a 20-1 shock at Market Rasen in late September then, three weeks later, finished an unlucky-in-running fifth in the Cesarewitch. Ellison turned him out at Musselburgh after a three-week break and Palomar fairly trotted up, always travelling comfortably off a strong gallop. A subsequent 5lb rise means that Palomar has crept into the last big handicap of the turf season an a very nice weight and softish ground is perfect. Trading around 20-1, he should be bet each-way and punters should take note of firms offering five places.
Paul Hanagan and Richard Hughes continue to slug it out in an exhilarating end-of-season jockeys’ title cliffhanger, and Hughes renews his partnership with EXPOSE (1.25) after last month’s cosy Wolverhampton success. William Haggas’ two-year-old is bred to appreciate the cut in the ground which is forecast for Town Moor.
Over the sticks at Wincanton, THE PACKAGE (3.20) is sure to be tuned by David Pipe for a serious tilt at the feature Badger Ales Trophy. It was slow-motion agony for his supporters at the Cheltenham Festival when his finishing effort up the hill just failed to reel in Chief Dan George in the William Hill Trophy, but The Package can repay his backers who keep the faith here in a race in which he finished third last season when still inexperienced.
Earlier on the card, TARA ROYAL (2.45) can lift the Totetentofollow Rising Stars Novices’ Chase. He was sent off favourite at Bangor in the race won by Robinson Collonges, who reopposes here, only to make a premature and expensive exit at the third fence. Tara Royal jumped soundly at Carlisle last time when failing to repel the sustained challenge of Divers on the slog to the line and this sharper circuit should suit Donald McCain’s charge.
BEHKABAD (10.00) has the opportunity to turn the tables on Workforce in the Breeders’ Cup Turf after a very rough passage in the Arc. The French star should be more at home on this quicker surface and his tactical speed will be important in this much smaller field.