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Preview 11 April 2008


4.25 Doncaster Sprint Handicap Class 3 6F Good to soft

1. Fyodor – A open looking handicap in which Fyodor who is capable at this level heads the weight and may well struggle to concede weight to some promising sprinters. Exposed like most in this handicap he has good recent form over six furlongs based on his all weather runs and even though he looks in the grip of the handicapper on return to the turf he is a sprinter that is in good health with himself at present. The ground has to be regarded as a unknown quantity with it slightly on the easy side and his chances will improve if it continues to dry out.

My rating – 105

2. Damikia – landed a shock win last season in a similar race to this when winning at 50-1 at Head quarters and now looks to be well in the grip of the handicapper with improvement required to win of this sprint mark on seasonal return. Suited by these types of track he is exposed under today’s conditions and from the top of the weights could well struggle against improvers to hold hi own on ground that may not totally be to his benefit. The drop to six furlongs shouldn’t be a problem.

My rating – 105

3. Pusey Street Lady – Conditions turned in her favour last time here and she made light work of her opponents that day running out a clear-cut winner in the mud. A repeat performance may well have her going in again here even though the handicapper has had his say with a 10lbs hike in the weights and that may well just slow her up here with very little improvement likely to be left in her. The ground has maybe become to quick for her underfoot at this level but she has got the recent form in the book and may still have enough to go close.

My Rating – 106

4. Barney Mcgrew – Another returning for the season and this horse done nothing but progressed last season and the last run has to be regarded as slightly disappointing from a form point of view as he was easily beaten off over course and distance. Suited to ground with some juice in it he should have conditions ideal underfoot and six furlongs isn’t a problem as he travels so well. The big Field may help him as well and with improvement still to come from this horse in sprints he may well go close to defying the mark of seasonal reappearance.

My Rating – 104

5. Turnkey – Dandy Nichols has started the season well already winning a nice sprint up at Musselburgh and he has laid out quite a strong team for this sprint today with Turnkey looking very well handicapped in the make up of this race. Well exposed these days he deserves respect in a class 3 handicaps given some of the form he has shown in the past and even though not reaching those dizzy heights anymore he is more then capable of landing one of these. Track and ground suits and goes well in the spring he has to regarded as one of the leading players in this handicap even though I would like to see him unleashed in a five furlong dash again. Recent form is only moderate but would you discount him bouncing back to form.

My rating – 105

6. Special Day – Barry Hills is often a trainer to follow early season and his filly is an interesting run in this race today. She hasn’t been over burdened in sprint handicaps and remains very lightly raced for her type and with improvement very much likely she should be in the shake up in this handicap today, as she looks weighted to go close. The slight ease in the ground may be some concern to connections as she has gone so well on better ground then this, but she has got decent form in the book and goes well fresh and in the spring.

My Rating – 110

7. Ice Planet – Often seen to good effect in big handicaps such as this for Dandy Nichols and may well run a big race once again with the course being ideal for him, However he has often skinned a lot fitter for the run and could well be needing this today in a ultra competitive handicap. The slight ease isn’t ideal underfoot but shouldn’t be to much of a problem as the horse handles most ground and he is certainly one to note for the height of summer when he is campaigned to pick up his main source of income as he is well weighted at this level at present.

My rating – 105

8. Cape – Side stepped the race here the other week after conditions went against her and her new trainer is likely to continue the non risking of her like the top yard she left did. Very lightly raced she gets on very well with her pilot today and has to be of interest even though her new trainer isn’t as high profiled as the last. Best striked with early season she may want the ground to dry out further then it current state and with the sun out it is possible that a race in the near future could be ideal for her. The course is more then ideal and they do seem keen to get a race into her here.

My Rating – 114

9. Southandwest – Didn’t really sparkle last season and is on a bit of a losing run at present, but there is some light at the end of the tunnel with the run against Genki proving to look a solid piece of form and he could well break his long losing run sooner then later. Still quite lightly raced he could really benefit for the ease in the ground today and may find enough improvement to have a chance at this level with the straight flat six furlongs more then ideal. Fitness no problems and loves it at this time of year.

My Rating – 107

10. Baby Strange – Top class horse at 2yo and lost his way with injury missing the whole of last season. Didn’t show much on return to the track and the run at Donnie last time wasn’t inspiring enough to think he can turn the table with his victor even though a stone in weight should help. On the down grade from his early years and is best watched until showing some sort of form. Has a fair few things in favour for that to happen today and is one to make note off.

My rating – 108

11. Bo Mcginity – A grand old sprinter who has more miles on the clock then most and has been a great servant to connections. Sure to win races this season with the guidance of Richard Fahey he is certainly on the downgrade from top handicap sprints and may need a few more lbs shed before going in again. This looks another run to get him handicapped and he is sure to have better races in him soon enough.

My Rating – 103

12. Ellen’s Academy – A grand old horse who has nearly brought up the 100 not out mark which the 13yo should do at some point this season and clearly is in the down grade stage of his career. A testament to connections who has kept here in training she loves handicaps at these sort of tracks and the old head knows how to tackle big field handicaps. Hopefully she can run a big race but she will most probably need the run on ground that may be not as quick as he prefers.

My Rating – 104

13. Tajneed – was a good horse at first for Dermot Weld and kind of lost his way which has ended up with him being sold on the cheap to Dandy Nichols yard and it would be no surprise to see the sprint king find the key with this horse having started him of here today over his favoured trip. The ground should be ideal and he rates as interesting in this race even if needing to be turned around.

My rating – 104

14. Bel Cantor – Providing conditions don’t improve too much Bel Cantor could take some pegging back on this surface on a flat track and as it stands has plenty in his favour for a big run today. Very consistent at this level he seems to have peaked and started to regress from his best days back in the middle of summer last year. Should be fit to go at the first time of asking on return to turf after recent runs on the all weather he needs to bounce back to form to have claims of winning again in this company. Smaller fields often are more suited to his running type.

My Rating – 100

15. Charles Darwin – Suffered for t he bad form of the yard last term and its to be seen if they have turned the corner with him coming into this race much lower then the mark he started of 12 months ago. Well beaten by Ellen’s Academy here on the last run we saw him in he could well be handicapped to win this if the stable have overcome their problems. Often needs the run that should be taken into account as he gets better as the season progressed, but this should be one watched closely to see if the yard are on the mend as he has ideal conditions for today.

My Rating – 97

16. He’s a humbug – Beat south and west around this time last year by 1L and never really recovered from the tasks he was then set through out the season and did show some un-genuine traits so is certainly one to have some reservations about. Should be handicapped to go well in this given the low weight and is possible that there is further improvement to come from the horse who has good form this time of year. Failed on only start on ground with cut in.

My Rating – 106

17. Tudor Prince – won a low grade sprint on last run of the season and took a while to get on top in that race and may well be up against it here today from out of the handicap by a 1lb. The claimer on board will offset that though and he had achieved better races then that one at Yarmouth. Low weight is bound to help the horse and he did it a shade easier then maybe it looked with Philip Robinson producing the horse at the right time. Has no real improvement in him and quite exposed the main concern has to be the ground under foot for him today, as he hasn’t liked this in between conditions in the past. Often needs the run.

My Rating – 108

18. Mr Wolf – On the down grade since regally winning races such as this and this free going front runner may have just had enough of the racing game these days having shown precious little. However he is very well handicapped if you take his old form and given how far he has dropped and the fact he is out of the handicap today by 3lbs I have him in mind for a class 4 handicaps or a weaker race then this at this level. Has much in favour but looks plotted out for a race maybe at his favoured track of ponte.

My Rating – 91

Tissue prices – Cape 3/1, Special Day 6/1, Tudor Prince, Baby Strange 9/1, Southandwest 10/1, He’s a Humbug, Pussey Street Lady 12/1, Turnkey, Fyodor, Damikia, Ice Planet 14/1, Ellen’s Academy, Barney’s Mcgrew, Tajneed 16/1, Bo Mcginity 20/1, Bel Cantor 22/1, Charles Darwin 25/1, Mr Wolf 33/1.

Verdict – What looks to be a open handicap could well fall in to a two horse race between two of the fillies in the race and they look to be very well handicapped against quite a few that have one or two question marks or are just not well handicapped in the make up of this race. Tudor Prince at the foot of the weights may give them the most to do and is best priced 16-1 on this return to the track and Baby Strange a former grade 2 winner may well be worth giving one last chance to in the hope that he still retains the ability he showed as a 2yo, he is best priced at 28-1 which is more then big enough for his chance and could be the way forward if you don’t mind taking the risk. Special Day is likely to give the favourite Cape the most to worry about here and her price of 10-1 is more then fair. Cape is the favourite and deserves to be as she is very nicely handicapped on her form to take a race that wouldn’t have been considered for her if still at a top yard, she is best priced at 7-2.

Selection   Special Day 2pts win @ 10-1 (13’sBF) + Cape 1pt win @ 7-2 (BF4’s)

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