Alan Thomson takes a close look at At The Races of the Day betting on Friday, a handicapping handicap card at Doncaster.
Friday follows the Sky Sports Racing cameras to Doncaster and the most exciting race on their cards from a punting perspective is the two-and-a-half-mile distance. Leisure Combo Handicap Hurdle (3.30). Thirteen runners have gathered and this big section opens up different betting options.
The progress report is good, good to soften in places, and have 24 hours of drying time. Town Moor is one of the fastest courses in the country with a run of over four furlongs.
Kathy Woollacott’s six-year-old gelding has been away for 200 days since she chased home Marajman in Southwell and was placed at Newbury and Bangor on soft ground last winter. Market indicators can give an indication of its strength.
She is placed five times ahead of Rose Dobbin but is still chasing that hard-fought victory. The six-year-old also missed a leg when he ran third in the Melburnian and Cigar Cuba at Kelso in October but that was a strong race. The cheek pieces are tested and regular rider Craig Nichol is in the saddle.
He is undoubtedly a race horse but he is riding on a journey. Jamie Snowden’s four-year-old gelding hit Baliyad 81 at Wincanton eight days ago, making it his best run in the “hands and heels” challenge. Cornicello also scored at Plumpton in October and only got the very strong Maxcel at Hereford earlier this month.
The last picture
Alex Edwards rode to victory at Uttoxeter in early September and last Encashment finished third to Cornicello at Plumpton to receive the weights. Finalshot does not have much to gain by Cornicello on the line of collateral forms and is not reduced.
Jenni Candlish and Sean Quinlan will be hoping for a change of luck with the five-year-old, runner-up in his last three outings. His latest effort came off the back of Mick Easterby’s mare Pardon Me, a successful first-place finisher at 5lb, and Lough Carra also scored well behind Calliope in Perth at the end of September. Cheek pieces are placed.
He has been off the track for 307 days and with little incentive to get his last three starts at odds of 80/1, 22/1 and 22/1. It’s unwise to dismiss anything from Dan Skelton’s pitch, however, and David England is an interesting booking.
Won over three miles at Southwell in May and placed four times this year. He was disappointed on his last start at Sedgefield where he only beat one opponent but he was sound as if it was an off day.
Well-kept behind Lucky Lover Boy and the Strong Group over two miles at Newcastle 15 days ago but he was noted for his steady pace. I have to try it on this long distance but it is well handled by the Okavanka Delta on the Kelso form.
He mentioned the possibility several times but Ruth Jefferson’s mare has to take control from somewhere to make it count. He wears a hood for the first time.
Nick Gifford’s six-year-old gelded well under James Davies at Fakenham last month when he beat favorite Blended Stealth in the 2m 4f novices’ handicap. The winner was drawn chasing on debut at Lingfield last week but Cobbs Corner should be interested in the 4lb mount.
OKAVANGO DELTA he’s still knocking on the door and this wouldn’t be the strongest event he’s competed in so it looks like he’ll be out. Cornicello is on a roll and his chances are clear that he is going the distance.