Alan Thompson returns to the tipping chair for the next seven days and has two selections to get us off and running at Doncaster...
"Desperately unlucky not to win a Group 3 back at Goodwood last month, where she was badly hampered a furlong from home, she can make that right today"
Andrew Balding could be dancing after the first
Dancing Star won the Steward's Cup at Goodwood back in 2016 for Andrew Balding but the six-year-old mare hasn't won any of her nine starts since. She was desperately unlucky not to win a Group 3 back at Goodwood last month, where she was badly hampered a furlong from home and had to switch right before only going down by a neck. She isn't the best in at the weights but today's trip and conditions should be to her liking and a similar performance to that at Goodwood should see her difficult to beat.
The current favourite is John Gosden's progressive filly Laugh Aloud, she returned from a 455 day lay off to finish fourth in a Group 3 at Sandown earlier this month and she will certainly be fitter this time around for that run. However, I am not sure this drop in trip is ideal, all her four wins today have come at a mile or more and over this seven furlongs it could all happen a bit quick for her.
Willie Mullins has a strong hand in the Doncaster Cup
The Willie Mullins team have three runners in this year's renewal including the market favourite and last year's runner up Thomas Hobson. He followed that up with a sixth in the Melbourne Cup and is the obvious first string of the trio given that Ryan Moore is on board. However, he hasn't been quite the same on his two starts this year and at the prices I much prefer another of the Mullins runners in the shape of Max Dynamite at 12/1 (which can be reduced to 8/1 with four places using each way edge).
The eight-year-old can be very good on his day, finishing fourth in the Yorkshire Cup earlier in the campaign. He hasn't quite hit those levels since but there is plenty of pace in this race and it could be set up for a closer like Max Dynamite. He also has the services of Andrea Atzeni in the plate and that has to be a positive. Taking the each way edge, 8/1 and four places looks the play for me.
2018 Overall (prior to this week): +79.38 pts
This week so far...
Staked: 0 pts
Returned: 0 pts
2017 P&L +53.30pts
2016 P&L +15.23pts