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Wednesday 20 March 2013

First day of the Flat !

Just 9 runners go to post for the first turf sprint of 2013 at Doncaster on Friday at 3.35pm, the Class 3 Park Hill Hospital Handicap. The race is over 6f and the going is soft.

At the head of the weights is the Middleham Park owned Annunciation however the race looks set to involve Richard Fahey's Heaven's Guest(gelded), although his horses may need a run as its been very cold up north of late, Intimidate, Kimberella(gelded), Shahdaroba and Smart Spender who all look capable of some improvement on previous form.

Looking at the form of the race I would have expected Annunciation (1st 6/1) to have done a bit better than he did at Chantilly over 6 1/2 f when he was staying on 7th, and being top weight I think he will find it difficult to give over a stone to Heaven's Guest and Smart Spender who both have to overcome similar breaks but who were both staying on well when winning LTO over 5f.. Watching Intimidates last run he seemed to be struggling well before the final furlong marker when 3rd at Doncaster last season on Soft. Shahdaroba has a similar chance to Annunciation and Kimberella needs to be on a going day with Spencer up.
Overall I like both Heaven's Guest (2nd 6/1)  and Smart Spender (3rd 12/1) who have both only run 5 races between them so far. Being lightly raced they could be up to a bit more improvement than the other runners and Smart Spender could be the better value being 9/1 Stan James.

The winners enthusiastic owners had this to say after the race on their website "Annunciation took his chance in the 6F 0-95 handicap today at Doncaster under the champ Richard Hughes. We thought that going into the race he would be fit but still, carrying top weight in testing ground would be a difficult task and take a good run to win. He duly obliged and put in a fantastic performance to make all and come home nearly 2 lengths winner. Congratulations to all connections".

Any followers of Roger Charlton should click on to his website as he has his interview for Mark Howard's Ahead on the Flat in the news section.