Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Doncaster on Saturday. View selections below.
CAPTAIN BERTIE (3.50) has been steadily backed all week and must go close in the William Hill Lincoln at Doncaster. The bookmakers have now marked him up at a fairly skinny price for the traditional cavalry-charge curtain-raiser to the turf season but Charlie Hills’ handicapper comes to hand early and is a proven mudlark. Captain Bertie reappeared here 12 months ago, finishing well into fourth in the William Hill Spring Mile. The ground was probably just on the fast side for him that day but he made no mistake on more testing terrain three weeks later, flooring the talented Fury in a terrific finish to the Newbury Spring Cup. Hills has booked Graham Lee for the ride and this could turn out to be a money-spinning combination this season. Captain Bertie is drawn against the stands rail (21 of 22 runners), so hopefully the action will unfold on his side. Of the lower drawn horses, John Gosden’s lightly-raced Lahaag (2112 from only four starts) should be on the premises.
The Hills/Lee axis could get the day off to a flyer with THE WELSH WIZARD (1.30) in the 1m 2f maiden. The Dylan Thomas colt, part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, ran favourite Majeed close on his debut at Wolverhampton and will know more about the game here. This was a meeting Barry Hills targeted with success and young Charlie is clearly a chip off the old block.
The consolation Spring Mile is another minefield but NAMEITWHATYOULIKE (2.40) is at his best when the mud is flying. Mick Easterby’s four-year-old scored over course and distance last April under Paul Mulrennan, who was also on top when my selection mopped up two end-of-season handicaps at Catterick and Nottingham on soft ground. Like Captain Bertie in the big one, Nameitwhatyoulike is berthed under the stands rail.
Jim Goldie regularly targeted the Cammidge Trophy with his old stable stalwart Orientor, and one of Orientor’s first offspring JACK DEXTER (3.15) goes to post under that man Lee. The Scottish trainer plotted a brilliant campaign for Jack Dexter last season, his rising star scoring at Ascot, Ayr and Doncaster. He was probably over the top here in November when in the ruck behind Eton Rifles, who must also be on the shortlist for this Listed 6f sprint.
Another north of the border trainer, Keith Dalgleish, made his mark last season and launched a successful raid on Doncaster with CHOOKIE ROYALE (4.25) in the final weeks of the turf campaign. That was over seven furlongs on soft ground and Chookie Royale is stepped up to 1m 2f for this unexceptional handicap. He has also risen sharply in the ratings but arrives here razor-sharp after a comfortable success over nine furlongs at Wolverhampton only nine days ago.
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