Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Doncaster, Kempton and Chelmsford on Saturday. View selections below.
GM HOPKINS (3.45) can launch John Gosden’s 2015 turf season in the best possible way by landing the Betway Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster. Gosden, who saddled 2009 winner Expresso Star, has a fairly progressive horse in GM Hopkins, winner on his first three starts in 2014, the highlight coming in the Silver Cambridgeshire at Newmarket. Mange All was back in fourth and re-opposes with obvious claims for three-time winner William Haggas. It would be no surprise to see this improving pair fight out the finish, with narrow preference for GM Hopkins. Stall 21 near the stands’ rail looks a good draw. Last year’s winner Ocean Tempest returns for another crack, along with Robert The Painter (3rd) Gabrial’s Kaka (6th) and Jack’s Revenge (7th). Richard Fahey can get one ready for Town Moor in March, as he proved with Brae Hill, who won the race in 2012 and was placed in both 2011 and 2013, and Gabrial’s Kaka is joined by well-handicapped stablemate Gabrial. They both deserve a place on the shortlist.
JACK DEXTER (2.35) returns for another crack at the Betway Cammidge Trophy, a race he won for Jim Goldie in 2013, with Fergal Lynch replacing Graham Lee on top. A 5lb penalty may have been his undoing 12 months ago when only third to Dinkum Diamond and he gets the nod to reverse placings in an open event. Any rain would be to his advantage but he should be okay as long as there is no jar in the ground.
On an excellent Kempton card, NEW YEAR’S NIGHT (2.50) is well worth following in his hat-trick bid for trainer Charlie Appleby and young pilot Kevin Stott. The Rosebery Handicap is a race steeped in history and sponsors 888Sport.com have been rewarded with a competitive line-up. Waiting tactics have worked a treat for New Year’s Night at Wolverhampton and Lingfield, and a 3lb rise for his latest success doesn’t look harsh.
A small but select field go to post for the 888Sport-sponsored Magnolia Stakes, a Listed contest over 1m 2f. Gosden’s Derby third and St Leger runner-up Romsdal will clearly find this trip on the sharp side and Epsom fifth RED GALILEO (2.15) may be slightly less inconvenienced, having been touched off by Clon Brulee in the Park Hill Stakes here last September. It will be interesting to see how the market shapes up on their respective racetrack debuts and punters may prefer to play safe with the proven fitness of Solar Deity.
At Chelmsford City, Appleby could have found REGARDS (2.20) an opportunity to shed his maiden tag. The three-year-old probably found Lingfield’s seven furlongs a little on the sharp side when only third in late February, despite being supported in to 11-10. This mile could eke out some improvement.
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