The Flat season is finally back and so is John Gosden
The Flat season roars back into action in an official and glorious way at Doncaster with the C4 cameras poised to capture the best action from the new campaign’s curtain raiser. While we have previewed The Lincoln and Dubai World Cup separately here are run-downs of the remainder of the televised contests from Town Moor and down south at Kempton.
Ladbrokes are also running their C4 offer this Saturday where if you back a winner in any televised race you’ll get a free bet matching the stake up to £25. Mobile only.
2:05 Doncaster – Fencing
Fencing won on his seasonal reappearance last year and probably deserves to be leading the early markets to do the same here.
The obvious negative associated with the son of Street Cry is his winning record with only two victories posted from ten starts.
However, the winner is likely to be the one best prepared and few are better at getting their charges spot on first time than John Gosden.
The sagacious saddler is best to follow on Town Moor too with a level stakes profit of +25.31 and a strike rate of 30% achieved at the course over the last five years, better than anywhere elsewhere.
William Haggas’ Graphic looks to be best of the rest, however, he has taken time to come to his best in the last two seasons and this could come too soon for him.
2:40 Doncaster – Jack Dexter
Those who have watched this race over the last few years may be forgiven for thinking that the papers were using the old card with three of the last four winners of the contest lining-up again.
While Inxile and Jimmy Styles, victors in 2010 and 2011 respectively, have their best days behind them, Jack Dexter has to be respected in his bid to win the race for a second year running.
A Group 3 penalty for winning the Chipchase Stakes last June dampens some of the enthusiasm but he won first time out last season and is more familiar with the winning line than any of his rivals.
Richard Hannon drops Maureen back in trip after being campaigned over a mile last season including when only 2 ½ lengths adrift of stablemate Sky Lantern in the 1000 Guineas.
Her inclusion here warrants some investigation, especially in terms of the market, however, a certain amount of faith would have to be afforded that the change in approach will yield results straight away.
3:15 Doncaster – Dance and Dance
Many of these would have taken their chance in the Lincoln if there had been space but this is no mean consolation and one that could be captured by Ed Vaughn’s Dance And Dance.
One of only three course and distance winners in the field, the eight-year-old hasn’t got his head in front getting on for two years, however, that was at this venue in the same year he only found Eton Forever too good in the same race.
Another bonus is the booking of the hottest claimer of last year, Oisin Murphy who looks destined to go onto great things regardless of today but is a definite advantage in a race certain to be determined by small margins.
Ed Dunlop’s Gworn has every chance of starting favourite on the day and that is understandable with one of the most unexposed profiles in the race and one that has already reaped three victories.
2:20 Kempton – Trumpet Major
The last four of Trumpet Major’s victories have all come in pattern company and Richard Hannon’s charge has been priced up accordingly to make the class count here.
The five-year-old hasn’t been placed in his last four starts but that is more than understandable given that two of those contests were at the very highest level, including the Queen Anne Stakes, and the other two were Group 2s.
Further encouragement can be found from Sean Levey’s partner’s ability to win on his seasonal reappearance which he has managed in the last two years.
For those not wanting to take on a short price the E/W claims of Modernstone look solid.
William Knight’s hope has been in excellent form on the all-weather over the break and nothing suggests she shouldn’t make the money as she has done in her last four starts.
2:55 Kempton – Streets Of NewYork
Sir Michael Stoute’s runner Vital Evidence stands-out, however that will almost certainly lead to Khalid Abdullah’s four-year-old starting favourite.
James Doyle’s partner won in eye-catching fashion when last seen at Windsor in October and there shouldn’t be too many concerns about the return from a break as the Juddmonte horse broke his maiden on his first start of last year’s campaign.
Bottom-weight Streets Of NewYork could be an interesting contender for Brian Ellison as the horse has been giving the impression that a first win on the flat is not far away.
3:30 Kempton – Trinityelitedotcom
Trinityelitedotcom may have the most aggravating name in the race but his chances are far more appealing.
For almost a year, Tom Dascombe’s gelding has been either first or second in eight starts and in his one visit to the track he came away with maximum prize money over the same distance.
Richard Kingscote’s partner looks like he will take a lot of stopping with further improvement in store, however, if there is to be a fly in the ointment it could come in the form of the Alan Bailey-trained Baddilini.
The more than capable Natasha Eaton takes a valuable five pounds off and in a contest where the majority have questions to answer it could pay to side with the recent course runner-up.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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