The lure of a substantial rollover on the Jackpot at Kempton is enough to draw us away from the day's biggest meeting at Doncaster.
"Royal Warranty returns from a break with just about everything else suggesting she’s going to improve: a stout pedigree, progressive form in maidens, good efforts on polytrack and a yard that does well with horses of her type."
17:45 - Big-field claimers wouldn't normally appeal, though they come with the territory. Straight away, Noverre To Go demonstrates the differing nature of Placepot and Jackpot horses: he has outstanding ability in this field, plenty of course form looking back and the assistance of James Doyle, but he needs much to go his way.
Second choice boils down to the in-form Arctic Lynx, who is likely to be suited by the return to this trip, and the Richard Hughes-endorsed House Captain. It really has to be the first-named as her form is well in advance of the horse we'd see as the Hannon second-string.
18:15 - We're going to go against Richard Hughes' judgement again, not that he would have had much choice besides riding the limited-looking Gen I Am. Father Stone gets in as a 4-lb rise for his second-placed finish hardly looks punitive, while he should be able to cope with a drop in trip. More Drama is given second preference. Given her pedigree you fancy that she's been spared this trip up to now with handicaps in mind and it wouldn't be a seismic revelation were she to show the form to win from a BHA mark of 51.
18:45 - This maiden doesn't offer us the respite that many maidens do. We can, if pushed, make it into a three-way go among Bright Beacon, Dalmatia and Shining Glitter. With the first-named still green when we saw her last, the superbly-bred Dalmatia and improving Shining Glitter get the nominations.
19:15 - We could use a banker at some stage and, although this handicap for three-year-olds is as competitive as you'd expect, it presents us with a horse you could fancy as a win single. Royal Warranty returns from a break with just about everything else suggesting she's going to improve: a stout pedigree, progressive form in maidens, good efforts on polytrack and a yard that does well with horses of her type. A banker is risky, but she's well equipped to bear the responsibility.
19:45 - Eager to repent for our earlier disagreements, we're definitely going to side with Richard Hughes here. He's wangled the ride on Peace Accord, a fast-improving handicapper who went forward again last time in spite of a drop to six furlongs. Effectively 8 lb higher now but back at a trip where his progress should continue, Peace Accord is a strong option for a banker.
20:15 - After a bit of adventure in legs four and five we're hopefully coasting home in leg six. The race is apparently between Sharp Sailor and Local Time in the betting and on form. We can't split them, really, so take both and you're firmly odds-on to get through the last.
17:45 - 5, 10
18:15 - 6, 11
18:45 - 3, 6
19:15 - 6
19:45 - 6
20:15 - 3, 5
= 16 lines