Alan kicked off his week with a winner and a 7.06/1 second that traded at 1.341/3 in running. Today he has two more selections for us from Doncaster and Cheltenham...
"He ran a cracking race to finish fourth in the Ladbrokes Trophy and prior to that he was third in a Grade 3 at Ascot"
The first race from Doncaster on ITV is an intriguing four runner Grade 2 race, where I like the Paul Nicholls six-year-old Braqueur Dor. He ran a cracking race to finish fourth in the Ladbrokes Trophy and prior to that he was third in a Grade 3 at Ascot. He has the best form of the runners going into this and with Bryony Frost in the plate I am expecting another big run. Paul Nichols' comments are also encouraging in his Betfair column where he says that the horse has come out of the Newbury race well and had a good schooling session on Friday morning.
The biggest danger could come from the Tom George trained Rocklander who was left well clear when Midnight Target fell at the second last fence and he ended up winning by a distance on his chasing debut last time and I would expect him to improve on that performance. But he is going to have to improve a fair bit if he is to catch Braqueur Dor before he has a well deserved winter break.
There may only be five Novices lining up for this Grade 2 Hurdle race, but they are all talented and that should lead to an interesting event. There are two front runners in the field in Count Meribel and Equus Secretus, both like to try and make the running which means this should be a proper test rather than the tactical affair that you can often get with a small field.
A genuine run race could set this up for Colin Tizzard's Kilbricken Storm, who may have been fortunate to win last time out at Wincanton when the odds on favourite Mont Des Avaloirs fell at the last, leaving him clear. However, it was still an eye catching performance and he looks sure to improve. He won a pointer over three miles in April so this one mile step up in trip today won't be an issue.
2017 Overall (prior to this week): +37.45 pts
This week so far...
Staked: 2 pts
Returned: 3.25 pts