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Friday 12 April 2013

Bet 365 Handicap

Twenty runners line up at Doncaster for the 6f Bet 365 Class 2 Handicap for which the going remains good.

The draw can often play a part in these big field sprints and in previous 6f races at the track we need to dodge the outside draws as stall 1 is 0-34 in 6f Handicaps since 2009(although won this race in 2008) and stalls 20-22 have a combined record of 1-41.
The meeting here a couple of weeks ago was on very different going so there its not a lot we can draw from that and Thunderball would almost certainly need some rain to show his best.
Some big priced winners have won over the last 8 years and every winner has been aged either 4 or 5 in that time including last years winner Colonal Mak who lines up again.

2012Colonel Mak59-033/1David BarronL McNiff107
2011Horseradish49-35/1FMichael BellHayley Turner105
2010Kaldoun Kingdom59-36/1Richard FaheyPaul Hanagan107
2009Palace Moon48-85/1FHughie MorrisonSteve Drowne114
2008Pusey Street Lady48-540/1John GallagherJoe Fanning98
2005Merlin's Dancer58-1116/1David NichollsAdrian Nicholls96
2004Steel Blue49-616/1Richard WhitakerMichael Hills89
2003Law Breaker58-1366/1J A GilbertBrian Reilly96

Our Jonathan made an encouraging debut for Pitt when finishing third in the Listed Cammidge Trophy over course and distance last month behind Jack Dexter. The six-year-old, who joined Pitt during the winter from Kevin Ryan, has shown his best form with give in the ground with wins in the Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes, Group 2 Criterium de Maison-Laffitte and Ayr Gold Cup.
Writing on his blog, Pitt said: "Robert Tart takes a valuable 5lb off his back and as a result he meets the progressive Jack Dexter on 9lb better terms for his length and a half defeat in the Cammidge Trophy. He is drawn in stall 12 of the 20 runners so it will be interesting to go through the race in more detail now and see where the likely pace comes from. It would be nice to see a bit of rain on Town Moor before then just to freshen things up a bit and add a bit of moisture to the ground."

The Ron Harris-trained Prodigality made a stylish return to action at Warwick at the start of the month, but is now significantly higher in the weights. Harris said: "He's been put up 7lb for his Warwick win and we could have done with a couple less as then he'd still have been able to run in 0-100s, which would have been nice. He beat a 99-rated horse (Justineo) and whether he's run to 99 we'll never know. He did it well enough and I'm sure he'll have come on for the run. It's a big pot on Saturday so we'd be mad to miss it. I suppose after this we'd have to be looking at Group races for him, there's nothing between the best handicapper and those that run in the Group races. I'd imagine we'll take him to Ireland at some point, too, for something like the Sapphire Stakes".

Move In Time showed smart form in the past when trained by Bryan Smart and there was a lot to like about his winning debut for fellow Yorkshire handler David O'Meara at Musselburgh late last month, O'Meara said: "He seems really well and we were delighted with his run at Musselburgh. If he gets six furlongs or is better at five, I don't know yet. We'll find that out. He did win over this trip at two. We just want some luck in running."

The best may yet be to come from Duke Of Firenze, who has just had seven races and has shaped with promise on several occasions. "He's done well physically and he's wintered well. Sir Michael is very happy with him so we'll get him going and hopefully he'll put up a good show. We think there's more to come from him and he's got some talent. The ground will suit and everything is in place. He will build on whatever he does tomorrow but he's in good form."  said Chris Richardson, managing director of owners Cheveley Park Stud.

King Of Jazz was third over this course and distance two weeks ago and his trainer Michael Bell is optimistic of another bold show "He ran a good race when drawn on the wrong side at the last meeting and he seems in similar form, so he should be knocking at the door," said the Newmarket-based handler.

Richard Fahey comments on his two runners "Johannes isn't getting any younger but doesn't come up our gallop like an old horse. He'd need to be at his very best to win this, it's a very competitive race and a lot of winners will come out of it. I was disappointed with Farlow on his first run for us. Perhaps it was the sticky ground but I'm inclined to bounce him out and be more positive with him this time. Looking at him you'd think perhaps he wants seven furlongs but we'll try him again at six under a more positive ride. It would be a good day for him to pull it all together.

Looking through the runners it's a real good competitive handicap to get stuck into. Jack Dexter, Prodigality and Duke of Firenze look potential Group race performers in time and all three should be to the fore.
I was hoping that Lexi's Hero, now with Ed Dunlop, would get into the race but unfortunately he didnt make the cut. Shropshire (2ND), Colonel Mak (18TH) (25/1 Ladbrokes) and Move In Time (1ST) are others to consider along with Yeeoow (5TH). Kevin Ryan's horses dont look at their best yet and I think on this occasion we can see how Hamza (4TH) gets on whilst York Glory (6TH) needs to improve a bit on the form shown on the All Weather.
Im going for two each way in Shropshire and Colonel Mak and hoping the latter can bounce back to form being on a 4lb lower mark than when winning last season, he's had a run albeit he didnt show much and although Gibbons has gone for Hitchens (3RD), being fit from Dubai, he is a negative along with Duke Of Firenze (10TH) according to Tanya Stevenson on the Morning Line.
Move In Time is the unkown quantity and several pundits are prepared to chance their hand on him staying 6f now he is with David O'Meara who can get his horses very fit and further improvement can be expected despite 10lb rise from Musselburgh.