NAP EIRENE 1.50 DONCASTER
NB KELLYS DINO 3.15 KEMPTON
Super, super Saturday with the Lincoln meeting at Doncaster and the Dubai World Cup in Meydan. Charlie Appleby is the trainer who has a strong hand at both meetings with Auxerre and Blue Point.
Auxerre (10-3 BetVictor) has been long time favourite for the Lincoln a wonderful handicap over the straight mile, it will be a relentless gallop which is sure to find any chinks in the lightly raced colt’s armory. This will be his fifth career run he has won three already but will need to be a Group horse in a handicap as this is so competitive and there are wily handicappers up against him. Six of the last 20 favourites have obliged with the last two finishing a frustrating second, remember Lord Glitters last year who found Addeybb just too good last year. Lord Glitters is trained by David O’Meara who has had eleven Lincoln runners. He won it in 2018 with Bravery and had a 3rd and 4th in 2014 and 2nd in 2015 and 2018. He has Waarif and Humbert running for him.
Richard Fahey has had 39 runners in the Lincoln with two wins (2012 Brae Hill & 2015 Gabrial), three thirds and five fourths he is represented by live outsider Third Time Lucky (28-1) who is in tremendous form has a Cambridgeshire success on his CV
Alan King has a couple of big challengers in Chatez, who would probably want it softer and Beringer who only finished ¾ length behind Wissahickon at York last June.
All of the last 13 winners had carried no more than 9-4 to victory, eight of the last 12 were making their seasonal debut. Since 1994 only one winner older than 6, 32 of the last 40 winners aged four or five.
Since 1965 horses coming from stall six have won seven times, been second six times and third five times, this year Safe Voyage (20-1) derives from the lucky stall.
David Elsworth won the race back in 1983 with Mighty Fly, 36 years on he is represented by Rip Orff who had a very busy 2018, running in 16 races all top level competitive handicaps and claiming four victories. Hayley Turner built up a strong association in five rides with one win, two seconds and a third, she is aboard again. He is a horse who will stay and he will run through late, hopefully to claim at least a place. He is my selection at the time of typing 14-1 with BetVictor.
Earlier in the day it’s the Cammidge Trophy, it gives and early indication of the best sprinters around although Blue Point will be strutting his stuff in Meydan, more on him later. Back to Doncaster’s 1.50 and at one time Equilateral (7-2) was touted as a real superstar, he was high up in the betting for the Commonwealth Cup. He can start the season fresh at the course he showed his best. However he is not my selection instead I am going for Eirene who is an attractive 10-1. She could have made a book of hard luck stories last year, either the going wasn’t right, drawn wrong or was stuck in a pocket at crucial times in various races.
She is very talented having first caught my eye in the 2018 Nell Gwyn Stakes behind Soliloquy. She ran much better than the cold hard print of the form book would suggest when tenth in the Jersey Stakes, drawn wrong and no pace to run off. Her best run was here at Doncaster in the Sceptre Stakes when chasing home Dancing Star and another good run in the Wentworth Stakes at the back end of the season showcased just how much she loves it at Doncaster.
Some stats for you regarding the Cammidge include, only three of the last ten favourites have won, two of the last ten winners had run in the race previously’ only three of the last ten winners had run previously at Group 1 level and intriguingly four of the last ten winners had run in the previous season’s Wokingham.
Kempton boasts great racing also and Matterhorn (13-8 with BetVictor) will be the horse to beat in the Magnolia Stakes. He’s won his last five races and continues to give the impression that his threshold of improvement has yet to be reached. I am loath to oppose a horse of his ability but as an each-way alternative how about Big Country (10-1) who will be relieved he hasn’t got to face Wissahickon for a fourth time on the bounce and could have the pace to kick on when the field fan out as they turn for home.
Kelly’s Dino (6-1) was runner-up in the Rosebery 12 months ago to Crowned Eagle, this race has been the target again and once again he is poised to put in a big challenge. On his first race since August he was second on 4 March at Wolverhampton to Mootasadir and will surely make his presence felt in Kempton’s 3.15.
I mentioned Blue Point earlier when talking about sprinters and he is a real speedster, sadly he had to miss the Al Quoz Sprint last year, but fortunes have turned and he is amongst the field this time around. He was devastating in the King’s Stand Stakes and then finished a solid third in the Nunthorpe. He has put in two faultless performances at Meydan and is all set to show just how good he is in Meydan’s 1.30 but at 8-13 favourite his superiority is reflected in the market.
2018 Dubai World Cup winner Thunder Snow is back to defend his crown, he has pretty stiff opposition from all around the globe which you would expect for a fabulous $12 million prize fund. North America resides at the top of the market at 3-1. What an opportunity for jockey Richard Mullen. Considering Godolphin’s record in the race I keep glancing back to last year’s race and expect another bold show this time around from Thunder Snow and for me he is the pick at 5-1.