Doncaster throws up a few charms in this week’s racing review.
Joining the list of previously-touted eyecatchers from this column to score last week include Stomachion (15/2), Commemorative (4/1) and Muthmir (3/1). We’ve got another six for you to follow as we head into an exciting autumn campaign of flat racing action.
Doncaster was the sole venue from which our expert cast his eye on a couple of fancies on September 10th and 11th; here’s some ones to watch over the coming weeks.
Azagal (Doncaster – 10 September)
Is now on the same mark that she scored on back in May and judged on this running she is capable of going close in a handicap, possibly in the north of England. The daughter of Azamour was inconvenienced by the pace given she was held-up.
She put up a likeable effort, though suggesting she is still in form and all the more encouraging given it came on ground that was probably too fast for her. Over seven furlongs with some cut in the turf she is interesting.
Expert (Doncaster – 10 September)
Slowly coming down the handicap and is a horse that may be of interest if Richard Hannon turns to one of his apprentices to ease Expert’s burden. Has been a model of consistency this season and this run at Doncaster showed he can win off this mark in the right kind of company.
In the slow run early part of the race he was held-up a little too far off the pace and keen in the hands of Ryan Moore. Challenging stand side the son of Mastercraftsman was possibly on the slowest part of the track before staying on nicely. A stronger run race will suit so big fields may suit best.
Al Thakhira (Doncaster – 11 September)
Marco Botti’s string weren’t in good order at the start of the season and Al Thakhira may have been one of the horses suffering. The daughter of Dubawi returned off the back of an extended absence in the Sceptre Stakes and ran a fine race to finish third.
Drawn wide and away from the main action she put in a highly encouraging effort. Having travelled strongly into the contest those on the far side got first run and she couldn’t get into a highly competitive position.
It must still go down as a good run, though especially as the ground was probably even a bit quick for her. Seven furlongs on ground with a little bit of cut looks ideal.
Arab Dawn (Doncaster – 11 September)
Impressed with how he travelled in this handicap before faltering late. It was his first start in a couple of months so he is entitled to take a step forward fitness wise. His form coming into this race was progressive and it looks as if he can rate higher.
Over ten furlongs on good or faster ground he may be able to go close in another nice handicap. A strong pace would suit so big fields may suit best. His trainer won the Cambridgeshire a number of years back so that may be the long term plan.
Mange All (Doncaster – 11 September)
Looks as if he is learning with racing which should allow him to fulfil his potential. Keenness and a forward-going nature have meant he can often be a sitting duck late in his races, but it was highly encouraging to see him settle off a sedate pace in this race.
With him becoming more professional he may have another handicap in him over ten furlongs or longer term he may be one for the Cambridgeshire Handicap.
Great Hall (Doncaster – 11 September)
Has threatened to be a promising horse, but for whatever reason hasn’t gone from his three-year-old campaign. There are signs of life, however and at Doncaster he put up an eyecatching run to finish fifth in a competitive handicap.
He was fighting a losing battle early, though given the early pace was sedate. Held-up Great Hall had to make up plenty of ground and swinging wide wouldn’t have helped either. Underfoot conditions were probably quicker than ideal, too as he looks best with a bit of cut.
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