Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Doncaster, Newbury and Aintree on Saturday. View selections below.
JACOBEAN (3.50) can overcome his racecourse inexperience to provide Aiden O’Brien with an eighth Racing Post Trophy triumph at Doncaster. Saratoga Springs started the Ballydoyle bandwagon rolling in 1997 and there was much to like about Jacobean’s debut at the Curragh 13 days ago. Drawn wide, he ran on stoutly from an unpromising position to close down stablemate Royal Navy Ship in what could prove to be a powerful maiden. O’Brien has elected to run Jacobean at Town Moor rather than the winner, and that could prove significant. Favourite Elm Park, the Royal Lodge victor, has done everything asked by trainer Andrew Balding and is a smart colt. The each-way alternative is Restorer. William Muir’s juvenile wouldn’t need to find much on his excellent effort in the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket to be competitive, but I expect Jacobean to improve a bundle from his initial outing.
OASIS FANTASY (2.40) let down favourite backers last month when fading out of contention in a hot Newmarket handicap won by Der Meister but Ed Dunlop’s three-year-old can bounce back in the Racing Post App Handicap. Knife Point was only pipped on the line that day but Oasis Fantasy enjoys a 9lb pull and arrives here fresh after a 30-day break. In contrast, Knife Point has been kept busy by Hugo Palmer and will be having his third run of the month. Forgotten Hero runs the track well and was only denied by improving three-year-old Mount Logan at the St Leger meeting. Up another 2lb, he could prove vulnerable once again to one of the younger division.
LOUIS THE PIOUS (5.00) is holding his form well this autumn after another fruitful campaign, scooping the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup and running third in the Group 3 Bengough Stakes at Ascot. That looked a hot contest won by Lightning Moon from the smart Danzeno, and this wouldn’t be the strongest renewal of the Conditions event won last year by Highland Colori (reappears but out of peak form). David O’Meara returns Louis The Pious to seven furlongs, the distance over which he landed the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, and he can see off Top Notch Tonto and the frustrating Fencing.
At Newbury, RAWAKI (2.20) looks the safest choice in the St Simon Stakes. After several near-misses, Rawaki finally came good at Salisbury, always travelling powerfully before being asked to put the race to bed. The four-year-old handles a testing track and gets the nod over Sky Hunter, impressive winner of the Doonside Cup on faster ground at Ayr, and the disappointing Battalion.
The Betfred Monet’s Garden Old Roan Chase at Aintree is one of the most prestigious early-season targets for quality jumpers and, in the absence of Dynaste, ROLLING ACES (3.00) could step up to the plate. Paul Nicholls sent him to Northern Ireland to make a winning debut last November, beating Toner D’Oudairies in fine style. Rolling Aces then split Vino Griego and Harry Topper at Sandown, and produced arguably his best performance in the Betfred Melling Chase in April when finding only Boston Bob too strong. Uxizandre, representing the rampant Alan King yard, should also be in the mix.
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