There's a competitive card at Doncaster this afternoon and that is where we head for Friday's attempt at the Placepot...
Hailing from a top yard renowned for drawing gradual improvement, Norway Cross shapes as if she'll relish this step up in trip, and she can take another step forward...
13:20- Karl Burke has had a fantastic time of things with his juveniles this season and his representative, Lostock Hall, looks to have strong claims in the opening one-mile nursery. Lostock Hall has shown run-to-run improvement during his career, getting off the mark at the third attempt, and, with the form of that Ayr success working out well, Lostock Hall could prove well treated on his bow in this sphere. This is a competitive contest, however, so we will also put Kelly's Finest in the permutation as she showed improvement on her nursery bow last time, shaping as if the step up to one mile will see her in an even better light.
13:50- Yarrow caught the eye in no uncertain terms on debut, motoring home in the style of a useful prospect, and there is definitely more to come from Sir Michael Stoute's well-bred juvenile. She won't go unmissed in the Placepot pool, however, and in a strong-looking maiden it could be worth taking her on with Dreamlike and Star of Seville, both of whom also showed plenty of promise on debut. Dreamlike is a half-sister to Silk Sari and she offered something to work with at Newmarket, keeping on nicely under tender handling, while Star of Seville looked the winner for much of the way at Leicester, and is capable of much better.
14:20- Figment shaped well on debut, staying on strongly to finish fourth at Newcastle, and she looks sure to improve on that effort. She already sets the standard, is in excellent hands and represents banker material to finish in the first three.
14:55- The Brian Meehan-trained Mutarakez makes the most appeal of those with racecourse experience having shown some ability on debut at Nottingham, keeping on well under tender handling, and the fact he hails from a yard whose runners tend to improve for their initial outing adds to his claims. He's up against some potentially-useful newcomers, though, so we will also add Godolphin's True Respect to the permutation as he was an expensive purchase and his trainer, Saeed Bin Suroor, can get horses running well first time out.
15:30- This has the makings of a fiercely-competitive race, and we will need to take a mob-handed approach. Mass Rally ran badly at York last time, taking little interest from an early stage, but he is well-handicapped on the best of his form, and his late-coming style can often be an advantage for Placepot punters in these furiously-run sprints. Khubala is another who was slightly below par last time, but a downhill five furlongs may have proven too sharp a test, and he is worth another chance under conditions that are seemingly his optimum. Finally, we will include Jamaican Bolt in the permutation as he is proving expensive to follow, but keeps on hitting the frame, and ran creditably to finish third at Haydock last time.
16:05- Intense Tango was undoubtedly disappointing at Newcastle last time but she had excuses (dropped out in a slowly-run race) and should benefit from having an end-to-end gallop to chase. It is worth treating Intense Tango as if she is still in form, and she remains of serious interest. It is unsurprising that Norway Cross trades as favourite, and her position at the head of the market is fully deserved based on the impression she created at Windsor allied with her overall profile. Hailing from a top yard renowned for drawing gradual improvement, Norway Cross shapes as if she'll relish this step up in trip, and she can take another step forward.
13:20- 1, 5
13:50- 5, 12
14:55- 7, 13
15:30- 1, 6, 21
16:05- 9, 18
= 48 lines