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Saturday 14 September 2013

Ladbrokes Portland Handicap

At the ripe old age of 71 Ted Powell  saddles Ajjaadd, a 2,600 gns Godolphin reject, from his 1 horse yard for one of the biggest challenges of his career in the Portland Handicap at  Doncaster today after missing the cut by one last year he has a real chance of winning this time running off the same mark as when 2nd in the Stewards Cup behind Rex Imperator. He has the assistance of Kevin Stott who claims 7lb and that extra 4lb claim could make all the difference today and he's decent ew value at 14/1.
In fact the Stewards Cup form could be the key to the race as with plenty of pace and give in the ground its going to be a test for any 5f horse and I expect it will go to one who has run well over 6f before.
With that in mind the likes of Doc Hay, Burwaaz, El Viento, Our Jonathan, Racy and Prodigality all come to mind and any of those and the selection above could make up the first 3 home.

High draw crucial ?Runners drawn high usually hold sway in today's race with the winners in the last six years coming from numbers 21, 15, 7, 16, 18 and 21. That could be an advantage for last year's winner Doc Hay (16) this afternoon.

Trainer Comments :
Roger Charlton, trainer of Definightly
"He was disappointing on his comeback run and this will tell us whether we carry on or retire him. He should like the ground but has top weight."

Kevin Ryan, trainer of Bogart
"He won his maiden on good to soft and he won a sales race on good to soft, so I think he will handle the ground. I wouldn't want to see tacky ground. He's in great form, I was delighted with him last time and it's the same trip. I'm looking forward to running him."

Roger Varian, trainer of Steps
"Steps is racing off his highest mark to date but he's an improved performer this year and looks in great order. He would have a decent each-way chance in what is always a fiercely competitive event."

David O'Meara, trainer of Elusivity and Doc Hay
"This has always been the plan for Doc Hay after he won it last year and he will like the ground. Elusivity is in good order at home and the more rain the better for him."

Hugo Palmer, trainer of Zero Money
"He has come out of his win at Lingfield in really good form. But he may struggle with half a stone more to carry."

Ted Powell, trainer of Ajjaadd
"The plan was to win both the Stewards' Cup and the Portland with him, but we ran into one at Goodwood and it has just been a case of keeping him ticking over at home. He has won on good to soft so the ground should be fine. We just need some luck in running."

Ed Dunlop, trainer of Burwaaz
"He's in good order and it's the right race for him, although I don't know how his draw (2) will pan out."

Charlie Hills, trainer of Angels Will Fall
"She ran a good race and travelled well at York, but she found the ground too firm so I'm looking forward to running her on softer ground."