Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Doncaster and Kempton on Saturday. View selections below.
OUR JONATHAN (3.30) is weighted to avenge his recent defeat at the hands of Jack Dexter in the Bet365 Handicap at Doncaster. The former Ayr Gold Cup winner meets Jim Goldie’s popular sprinter on 9lb better terms (factoring Robert Tart’s 5lb claim into the equation) for a length-and-a-half beating in the Cammidge Trophy over course and distance two weeks ago, and that should be enough to turn the tables. Both horses would welcome cut in the ground.
After last Saturday’s high drama in the Grand National this weekend’s fare is relatively low-key but GABRIAL (2.40) meets several other classy opponents in the Bet365 Doncaster Mile. Ubiquitous owner Dr Marwar Koukash enjoyed a tremendous 2012 season, with Gabrial one of his stalwarts. The gelding finished third to Frankel in the Sussex Stakes and occupied the same position behind Godolphin’s very smart Hunter’s Light in the Group 3 Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock. Highland Knight and Sovereign Debt provide a formidable challenge but Kieren Fallon can coax the best out of slightly quirky Gabrial.
Few trainers are in better form than Alan Swinbank and NORTHSIDE PRINCE (2.55) can give us a good run for our money in a wide-open 1m 4f handicap. My selection was beaten a neck by Lexington Boy at Southwell 18 days ago and will strip fitter than several of his rivals. Beyond Conceit wasn’t a bad three-year-old for Tom Tate and has his first outing for new handler Andrew Balding.
Brian Ellison may have inherited a well-treated horse in BEAUMONT’S PARTY (4.05) judged on the six-year-old’s comfortable Newcastle victory for his new stable last Saturday. Back in fourth was Tres Coronas, who has a 7lb pull, while on a line through Docs Legacy there isn’t a lot separating Beaumont’s Party and Hillview Boy. In a tight affair, it would come as no surprise if there was money for Albaqaa, who returns to a more realistic trip after being sent sprinting. Fallon gets the leg up.
The Queen’s Prize at Kempton was traditionally one of the highlights of the Easter programme but the Betfred-sponsored two-miler occupies a later slot on the all-weather. BUCKLAND (5.00) has never raced beyond 12 furlongs but is in such rampant form that a chance is taken on his stamina holding out. Trainer Hans Adielsson and rider Nicole Nordblad deserve great credit for squeezing four straight victories out of this much-improved handicapper
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