Review for Doncaster (Saturday C4)
2.00 – Racing Post iPad App Handicap (CLASS 2) (3yo+ 0-100) Winner £12,938 CH4
A really tricky contest for the first of three live C4 races at Doncaster this Saturday, but with a 3 or 4 year-old winning 80% of the last 10 runners then it could pay to focus on this age group. Add in that 8 of the last 10 winners also carried 9-3 or less and that 70% came from a single-figure draw then if you like your trends then this at least narrows the big field down. It’s also not been a great race for the favourites with just 1 of the last 10 market leaders going in, but in contrast with 9 of the last 10 winners having had at least 3 previous runs that season then this is another key stat to have on your side.
With all that in mind then I think Godolphin’s MARSHGATE LANE (e/w) is worth a second glance. Yes, this 3 year-olds was a poor sixth of 14 last time out at Newmarket, but the return to a softer surface will be in his favour. His only career win to date came with give underfoot, while with just 4 starts to his name then there should also be plenty more improvement to come too. Mickael Barzalona takes the ride
BEST BET: MARSHGATE LANE (E/W)
2.30 – Genting Casinos Levy Board Handicap (CLASS 2) (3yo+) Winner £31,125 CH4
Just like the previous race it could be time to get the trusted ‘pin’ out again, so the advice is to keep stakes to a minimum again in what looks another ultra-competitive affair. Looking at the trends then with all of the last 9 winners being aged 5 or younger then this is a key stat to have on your side, while having won over this 5f trip before is another huge plus – 8 of the last 9 followed that trend.
I think that Jamaican Bolt is interesting, as is Kaldoun Kingdom, who will like the drop back to 5f, but this could go again to last year’s winner STEPS. Roger Varian’s 4 year-old does have a bit to find based on his latest 7th as both the previous named horses were in front of him that day, but there is often not a lot between these sprinters and things can change very quickly from one race to the next.
The selection will love the soft ground, and is only 3lbs higher than when popping up at 25/1 to land this contest 12 months ago. Jockey Andrea Atzeni (yes, he’s a man!) gets on well with him too, having won twice from just four rides, while it’s clear this has been a big target of his all season.
BEST BET: STEPS (E/W)
3.05 - Racing Post Trophy (Group 1) (Entire Colts & Fillies) (CLASS 1) (2yo) Winner £122,494 CH4
12 months ago we saw a certain Camelot land this race before going onto win the following season’s 2,000 Guineas and Epsom Derby, so whichever horse does take this year’s event is sure to contract in the ante-post betting for those Classics in 2013 - In fact, this race has produced five Derby winners in recent times.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has landed the prize a staggering six times, including last year, and this time he pins his hopes on KINGSBARNS. Interestingly this horse was not even in the race a week ago as connections had to pay a supplement to get him in, so that really does suggest that they think quite highly of this one. He’s only had one career start, and that was a 7 length win at Navan just a few weeks ago. That victory also came on soft ground over a mile so he should have no excuses on that front – Young Joseph O’Brien makes the trip over for the ride.
Of the rest, fellow Irish raider Trading Leather, from the Jim Bolger team, has won his last two starts in good fashion and looks to be a classy sort, while of the home grown horses Mark Johnston’s gutsy Steeler – this year’s Royal Lodge winner – and Richard Hannon’s Van Der Neer will be flying the flag.
Of the pair, it will be a shock if Steeler isn’t involved, but this will probably be the softest ground he’s tasted to date so that has to be taken on trust, while the Hannon horse was another that was supplemented earlier in the week, again, suggesting that connections think quite a bit of this one. He was last seen just a few weeks ago dotting up in the soft up at Leicester over 7f, and although respected this will be tougher and I’d rather be siding with one that’s already won over this trip, especially if the ground comes up on the soft side – step forward Kingsbarns.
BEST BET: KINGSBARNS
Key Racing Post Trophy Betting Trends
10/10 – Foaled in February or later
10/10 – Winning distance – 1 ¼ lengths or more
9/10 – Had won either 1 or 2 races before
8/10 – Finished in the top two last time out
8/10 – Foaled in either Feb or March
8/10 – Placed favourites
8/10 – Last race was within the last month
7/10 – Had raced at least twice previously
6/10 – Won their last race
6/10 – Ran at either the Curragh (3) or Newmarket (3) last time out
6/10 – Winning favourite
4/10 – Won by an Irish-based yard
4/10 – Won by a Montjeu colt
3/10 - Won the Beresford Stakes (Curragh) last time out
3/10 – Went onto win the Epsom Derby
3/10 – Trained by Aidan O’Brien
1/10 – Went onto win the 2,000 Guineas
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 6/1
Five winners have gone onto win the following season’s Epsom Derby
Aidan O’Brien has won the race 6 times – 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2009 & 2011
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