Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Doncaster and Wincanton on Saturday. View selections below.
TAWDEEA (3.35) can outrun his 14-1 odds in the Betfred November Handicap and provide David O’Meara with his second victory in three years.
O’Meara is finishing the season strongly and Tawdeea has kept his form well, scoring last time out at Leicester when heavily-backed wearing first-time cheek-pieces. Winner of the Old Newton Cup at Haydock in the summer, Tawdeea is looking to follow in the hoofprints of 2014 victor Open Eagle.
On a previous outing at Leicester, without the aid of cheek-pieces, Taweeda finished third to Fabricate and there is little to choose between my selection and the Queen’s gelding on that run.
Three-year-olds dominate the market. John Gosden is bidding for his sixth November Handicap and applies blinkers for the first time on the well-fancied Cape Cova. The gelding has shown a liking for Town Moor and stamina is not an issue as Cape Cova scored here over the St Leger distance last month. A 9lb rise ensured he comfortably made the cut.
Godolphin’s Prize Money has been competing at Group 3 level this summer and a hood is introduced.
Mark Johnston’s Soldier In Action has been hit with an 11lb rise following his six-length romp at Goodwood, but should go well along with William Haggas’ relatively unexposed and lightly raced Wrangler.
Last year’s fourth Mistiroc relished the fast ground when beating Duretto in the Shergar Cup at Ascot and in no forlorn 33-1 shot.
Elsewhere on the card GROWL (2.25) clearly has a favourite’s chance in the Betfred Mobile Wentworth Stakes, a Listed contest over six furlongs.
Richard Fahey has elevated his four-year-old through the training with commendable skill and Growl arrives here on the back of a second to The Tin Man in the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot.
Growl only found one too good in the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup when chasing home Brando and sixth horse Absolutely So (not so well drawn that day) would have a chance of reversing that form if putting his best foot forward. His subsequent third at Salisbury was disappointing, however, and Growl is clearly thriving. Ayr fifth Kimberella is 4lb better off and is a speedy sort.
LADY OF CAMELOT (3.00) could be another Gosden scalp in the Listed 1m 2f Fillies’ contest. She was slightly outclassed in the Group 3 St Simon Stakes at Newbury (eighth) but the ground was very tacky that day, with several horses struggling to get home.
She is better judged on a second to Irish raider Laganore at Newmarket, and Lady Of Camelot also occupied the same position behind classy stablemate Journey at HQ (good to firm).
Over the sticks at Wincanton, ZUBAYR (2.10) can take full advantage of the 9lb he receives from Alan King’s recent impressive Cheltenham scorer Sceau Royal.
They both finished in the ruck behind Ivanovich Gorbatov before Zubayr went on to record an easy course and distance victory at prohibitive odds. The son of Authorized ended the season with a fine third to Willie Mullins’ Footpath at Auteuil in May and Nicholls landed this race at his local track 12 months ago with Irving. Nicholls also recorded back-to-back victories with dual winner Celestial Halo and Zarkandar.
Headstrong Rayvin Black should ensure a proper gallop and Dan Skelton’s North Hill Harvey is another to throw into the mix. However, Sceau Royal fairly hacked up from Leoncavallo at Cheltenham and he is probably the one to beat.
Two years ago, The Young Master won a thrilling Badger Ales Trophy only to be tossed out on a technicality and the subsequent bet365 Chase winner at Sandown is back for more under Sam Waley-Cohen.
Neil Mulholland also saddles Fingeronthepulse, a recent Cheltenham faller, at the foot of the weights and it will be interesting to see how the betting market develops.
The one to be on could well be SOUTHFIELD THEATRE (3.20), fourth in the bet365 Chase but now 8lb better off with The Young Master.
Runner-up to Don Poli in the 2015 RSA Chase at Cheltenham, he hasn’t stood a lot of racing subsequently. Southfield Theatre scored around here as a novice chaser and Nicholls is sure to have him wound up to land this nice pot.
Nicholls is also represented by Present Man, stepping up in trip after skipping merrily around here over 2m 4f on quick ground to score with plenty in hand.
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