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Preview 12 April 2008

3.05 Doncaster Urban Handicap class 2 (4yo+ 0-100) 5F Good to soft (soft in places) 14 run

1. Matsunosuke - Constantly kept on the go and shaped with much promise on last start on the all weather when 2nd to a nice sprinting type over today's trip and is of a similar mark here. Handicapped to go well in what looks a weak class 2 handicaps by the course standard and has all the hall marks of a early season handicap. That run last time is most probably the most solid form to go on in this handicap and gave us a good idea of the ability the horse holds. Top weight shouldn't be a problem, but the main concern has to be the give under foot, as he needs quick ground ideally.

My rating - 107

2. Northern Fling - Form wasn't franked yesterday by the poor performance by Special day in a sprint handicap and the poor performance in the Silver cup suggests that the handicapper has caught up with him. However this isn't the best class 2 handicaps he is likely to have contested and therefore for a unexposed sprinter he could well find improvement to go well here. The top weight isn't likely to help him and the fact he was kept to better ground last season suggests he may want it quicker then this underfoot, with that in mind and the possibility he may need the run he is one to keep in mind for later on and better conditions.

My rating - 102

3. Canadian Danehill - Has improved again overt the winter and landed a sprint at Southwell narrowly last time and is a credit to his yard that he provides such a consistent profile. However on his return to turf he looks handicapped up to the hilt and may well struggle as he has no improvement likely left and these should have his measure at the weights today. Its not the strongest of handicaps but he looks up against it here and needs other to fail to perform which is more unlikely on the flat then the jumps where luck can go your way. Ideally suited to sprints he has handled ground with cut in well in the past, but ideally is another who is best on a quick surface.

My rating - 103

4. Bond City - Most probably the most classy horse in the race and isn't top weight suggesting that he may not be as good as he once was, but he does look handicapped to go well in this class of race and shouldn't be discounted to lightly as not being good enough anymore. The run at Beverly last season suggest he still holds the ability he once had when trained by Brian Smart and these conditions shouldn't prove a problem for him with five furlongs still looking ideal. Has graded form in the book he is now 6yo, but should be able to hold his own in a race like this and rates as a solid chance in this handicap with no problems on the fitness front having gone well fresh often in the past,

My rating - 118

5. River Falcon - Well beaten last time and the 8yo is certainly one that looks in the grip of the handicapper having finally won over five furlongs for the first time in a long time at York. Ideally suited to a flat five furlongs such as this tacky ground may not be ideal for him underfoot and the effort here last time he stayed on ground that may have been more suitable for him. Goes well early season he could well run a place for the time being his winning looks likely coming when dropped a few more lbs even though it isn't the best race.

My rating - 108

6. Fantasy Believer - on a losing run having looked a top class handicapper back in 2006 and needs to find his best form again to be a decent betting proposition. Starting to look handicapped to go well again he is one of the most exposed sprinters in training and should love the conditions underfoot today. May need the run today as he often skins better for the run he is one to keep in mind for the summer months in a race such as this and the way he finished of last season he needs very much to bounce back to form.

My rating - 100

7. Chief Editor - Likely to be highly fancied for this race today and is well handicapped with improvement still likely to come. Paired with Jamie Spencer who looks a typical jockey booking for this type of race he has got on well with this horse in the past and is a good speedball. Unlimited tries on a surface such as this, he enjoys cut in the ground and could be well ahead of the handicapper here. Should be fit to go at the first time of asking he is on the shortlist to win this handicap and go on to better quality class 2 handicaps then this.

My Rating - 120

8. Came Back - Has been solely campaigned on the all weather and comes on to the turf looking well in the grip of the handicapper for this event. Has a lot to prove having shaped with so much promise on the all weather and has racked up a winning sequence of 4. Needs to improve and the turf with some juice should suit having ran his best race on the deep surface of Southwell is ideally placed with five furlongs suiting him having shown so much pace in his races and rates as a interesting horse.

My rating - 106

9. Cape Royal - Another who is on a long losing run but comes into this race looking well handicapped in a class 2 sprint that has often had his measure. Its just another pointer that this is a weak class 2 sprint and a unexposed improver could take all the beating as it is more a class 3 handicap with class 2 status. Suited to this tacky kind of ground he has shown enough over 5F in the past to suggest a big run here today but he is vulnerable to more classy down grade rivals and unexposed types.

My rating - 104

10. Elharmi - has struggled since his 2yo days and is another that comes into this handicap on the back of a long losing run and the drop back in trip after failing to stay seven furlongs last time is interesting as his best form came over the minimum trip. The ground however is a lot slower then ideal for the horse and he may continue to struggle to land a race for Sly Kirk whose runners usually improve as the season goes on. Suited by the course and looks handicapped to go well, he may well run his best race in quite some time.

My Rating - 101

11. Green Park - Was heavily supported last time here over six furlongs and had to go down as one of the more disappointing runners in that race having had the ground turned ideal for him. The drop to five furlong is eye catching having shown his best form over this trip in the past and more rain will only improve his chances of landing this race today for Trainer Richard Fahey who is a handicapping maestro. Goes well early season he is one of the best handicapped horses in the field in my view and could well bounce back.

My rating - 112

12. Bigalos Bandit - No surprise to see Dandy Nichols double handed in a sprint handicap and his Bigalos Bandit comes here looking to get prepped for Chester May meeting in a months time. However he isn't without chance in this race today with conditions underfoot to suit over the five furlongs and with a good record on track such as this it would be no surprise to see him go close, as he is the first choice of stable jockey. Has gone well fresh before so the absence since Derby Day shouldn't be a problem and his form prior to that race gives him a chance in this race today.

My rating - 108

13. King of Swords - ran well in a listed stakes race as a 2yo in Ireland and held together some good form while trained in the Emerald Island but lost his way last season and has been transferred to the Tinkler's for the first run in this country since being outclassed at the Glorious Goodwood meeting. Needs to find some form and never handled ground with cut in it Ireland and the Heavy ground win can be discounted as those conditions can see a quick ground mover buck trends. One to watch today for a idea of how much ability he retains.

My rating - 99

14. Malapropisim - Mick Channon has made his usual slow start to the season and his Malapropisim is one of the most exposed sprinters in training and is having his 100th run over five furlongs today. Finished his flat campaign last season in good form and could well carry on landing races this season in class 3 and 4 handicaps. Looks like he will be dropped into easier races as he has regressed from the days when he could hold his own of these sort of marks and even though this is a poor looking class 2 handicap by the standards he still doesn't look to be able to mix it with the best of these and with his record fresh rather poor he is best past over today and kept on the shortlist for a class 3 handicap in a month or two time. A credit to the game though.

My rating - 106

Tissue Prices - Chief Editor 7/2, Bond City 4/1, Green Park 8/1, Bigalos Bandit, River Falcon 10/1, Matsunosuke 12/1, Malapropisim, Came Back 14/1, Cape Royal, Canadian Danehill 16/1, Northern Fling 20/1, Elharmi 22/1, Fantasy Believer 25/1, King of Swords 33/1.

Verdict  Not the best handicap for this standard at this track and a race that Chief Editor could easily take, on the way to better races. He is currently best priced 11/4, which is no surprise with four non-runners in the race. That now seems about the right price. The value, however, may lie with the 7-1 about Bond City, as that is more then generous, given the depleted field. Another that holds some value in this race, is Green park, who is best priced 7-1, which looks just about right for his chances. Bigalos Bandit looks massive at 33-1 with the non runners, and I wouldn't put anyone off with Baby Strange on taking the risk, but for my selection I will return to the head of my tissue prices.

Selection  Bond City 2 pts win @ 7-1 (BF8's) & Chief Editor 1 pt win @ 11-4 (BF11-4)

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