Doncaster Placepot: Saturday January 25

Saturday's Placepot attempt comes from Doncaster
Saturday's Placepot attempt comes from Doncaster

Much of the focus may be on Cheltenham and the return of the outstanding Big Buck's, but Doncaster's card makes the most appeal from a Placepot perspective...

Unlike many in this two-mile division, Bellenos remains open to progress and looks sure to launch a bold bid...

12:25- Mojolika looked better than ever when finishing runner-up here last time, finding only an unexposed, young rival too strong, and he ought to give a good account with the step up in trip unlikely to pose any problems. It is also worth including Centasia on her handicap debut as the assessor looks to have let her in lightly. David Pipe's mare was fairly useful in bumpers, signing off for the season with a good fourth in a listed event at Aintree, and she has taken well to hurdling, winning a maiden at Uttoxeter before running creditably under a penalty at Exeter. She remains open to plenty of progress in this sphere and should be included in the permutation.

12:55- A very competitive renewal, featuring some exciting prospects, and negotiating this leg could be tricky. Caid du Berlais wasn't as good as some of these over hurdles, but he ran a fine race to finish runner-up in the Fred Winter, and he jumped well on his chasing bow at Exeter, making the most of a simple opportunity in fine style. He remains open to significant improvement in this sphere and is worth keeping on side. Valdez registered an impressive wide-margin win last time, but the Alan King yard haven't had any runners since New Year's Day and the health of the string has to be taken on trust. Instead, it could pay to include Fox Appeal whose form last time isn't strong but he couldn't have been any more impressive and he could make a better chaser than hurdler. 

13:30- With eight set to go to post and three places on offer, we will bank on impressive last-time-out winner Bellenos. Dan Skelton's French recruit shaped well on his British bow, jumping accurately and travelling strongly before weakening close home. That effort came over 19 furlongs, though, and he showed much improved form dropped back in trip to 17 furlongs at Ascot, impressing with how he moved through the strongly-run contest. Unlike many in this two-mile division, he remains open to progress and looks sure to launch a bold bid.

14:05- It is impossible to oppose the unbeaten mare Annie Power who has 23 lb in hand of her rivals and should have little trouble extending her winning sequence. She remains completely unexposed and would have legitimate claims in whichever race she ends up in at Cheltenham, so is very hard to oppose here. 

14:40- An excellent renewal of the River Don and choosing the most progressive of this exciting bunch could be tricky. Timesremembered sets the standard based on his excellent effort in the Challow Hurdle, and he looks likely to appreciate the step up to three miles. It could be worth opposing him with a pair of rivals open to greater progress, however. Racing Pulse created a fantastic impression on his hurdling debut at Newcastle, absolutely routing his rivals. He was by no means disgraced at Cheltenham in barely-raceable conditions, where the slow pace would have played against his strengths, and this relentless galloper may be seen to better effect here. Urban Hymn built on the promise of his hurdling debut to effortlessly open his account at Haydock, doing so in the style of a potentially very smart horse, and he is worth keeping on side.

15:15- The form of The Druid's Nephew's effort behind De La Bech at Chepstow last time has worked out extremely well and there is little doubt that Andy Turnell's charge remains fairly treated, for all he has proven expensive to follow. The headgear seemed to have a positive effect and if he turns up in the same form here he looks sure to make an impact. It is also worth including Mart Lane who has improved since joining this yard from Shark Hanlon and produced a career-best effort to win over C&D last time. The style of that victory indicates that he should remain competitive from this higher mark, and a bold bid is expected.

Doncaster Placepot:
12:25- 6, 12
12:55- 1, 3
13:30- 6
14:05- 1
14:40- 5, 6
15:15- 7, 11
= 16 lines

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