An unlucky day yesterday for Alan, as Black Art hit a low of 1.121/8 in-running but finished second. Can he go one better than that today? Alan has a pair of punts to consider including one in the feature November Handicap....
"He ticks an awful lot of boxes, especially from a mark of 96 - which could be a gift. He is completely unexposed, and as a three-year-old, he will be racing from a low weight of 8-9."
13:00 Doncaster - Back Easy Victory @ 10.09/1
A 22-runner apprentice handicap wouldn't usually be my bag on such a quality day of action, but I cannot resist Godolphin's Easy Victory from a mark of 87 in this large field.
She looked a good prospect when winning a Newmarket maiden last term, and she was subsequently pitched into Group races soon after - including the Group 1 Fillies Mile.
Her campaign ended with a whimper, but she raced too free as a youngster and she seemed to possess a fair amount of speed. Maybe she didn't quite see out the mile at Newmarket in that top-level race? One thing is for sure: we haven't seen the best of her yet.
Going handicapping for the first time from a mark of 87 could be lenient considering the impact from her debut, as she displayed a nice turn of foot in that. This will be her first run for almost a year, but she won first-time-out in 2016.
She has only raced on good or quick ground, but she could be better on the softer going today, so I am prepared to take that chance.
The presence of top apprentice George Wood on board is a big plus.
15:15 Doncaster - Back Royal Line @ 7.06/1
Trainer John Gosden has won the season-finale November Handicap five times, and his father, the late Towser, was successful four times in this very race - and I will not be ditching Royal Line at around the 7.06/1 mark on the Exchange for Saturday's big race.
He ticks an awful lot of boxes, especially from a mark of 96 - which could be a gift. He is completely unexposed, and as a three-year-old, he will be racing from a low weight of 8-9. Like a pea on a drum in the soft ground.
And while the old romantic in me loves seeing the maroon and white colours, I'm actually more excited about his pedigree. By Dubawi from Melikah out of Lammtarra - this is top-drawer stuff. That's without mentioning his fancy relatives.
Of course pedigrees and silks are but a side-story. His form includes two easy victories at Windsor and Haydock, with the latter looking most impressive in heavy ground from a figure of 88.
His latest effort at Newbury was not an ideal race with just two rivals, and getting involved quite a long way from home didn't suit. That came over 1m6f, so he drops back to 1m4f with a bigger field to take him along - he might have learned a lot from Newbury.
This is the sort of race you need to stay well, this horse does just that.
Saturday's Recommended Bets
Back Easy Victory 0.5pt @ 11.010/1 in the 13:00 at Doncaster
Back Royal Line 0.5pt @ 7.06/1 in the 15:15 at Doncaster
Alan's Bets of the Day - P/L
This week so far: -1.00pts
Previous week: +3.75pts