After the excitement of the Breeders’ Cup and Melbourne Cup this afternoon sees the last big race of the domestic flat season, the November Handicap, and with the ground at Doncaster being extremely testing, the contest looks set to turn into a real slog.
Incredibly, until the winner that day, Argus, was a late withdrawal last night, all 11 horses who ran in a handicap here 2 weeks ago were due to re-join battle today.
Only 7 lengths separated the runners that day and the two to take from the race are Green Light and Esteeming, both of whom were doing their best work at the death following troubled passages. Of the pair we narrowly prefer Green Light, but both will have to go some to beat SEAMOUR, who looks to have everything in his favour.
He has been trained for the race, loves the ground and has form over further, and so should be finishing the race stronger than most. He has a decent draw too as he can avoid the worst of the ground along the rail, which is also true of two interesting outsiders at the foot of the weights – Giantstepsahead and SHREWD. Either could spring a surprise, but Shrewd has the more proven credentials and his yard is in fine form. Get 25/1 with Bet365 who are offering 5 places for each-way bets on this race.
The other one to be on is ZAND. He nearly crept into the frame for us at a big price a few starts back and is bound to be winning for his new yard soon. He has plenty of form in France on bad ground and we daren’t leave him out of our portfolio here.
|Seamour (ew)||3.30 Doncaster||11/2||Bet365|
|Shrewd (ew)||3.30 Doncaster||25/1||Bet365|
|Zand (ew)||3.30 Doncaster||14/1||Bet365|
The Listed Race over 6f earlier on the card looks to be beaten Shared Equity, Jack Dexter and IVEAGH GARDENS. We like the fact that the Irish raider, Iveagh Gardens, has good form over further so she gets the nod. She was good enough to beat Found in a 7f contest in May.
|Iveagh Gardens (ew)||2.20 Doncaster||11/2||Bet365|
Good Luck Hayley Turner Handicap
That race is followed by a race named in honour of the finest female flat jockey we have produced, who retires today.
She has a good chance in the race too courtesy of Hillbilly Boy, but we prefer BIG TIME, who was nailed on the line last time out over a mile on heavy ground. He should, therefore, be ideally suited by conditions here.
The unexposed Predominance and Withernsea are obvious dangers.
|Big Time (ew)||1.50 Doncaster||12/1||Bet365|
Today’s weather is certainly more conducive to the jumpers and there is top class national hunt action at Wincanton and Aintree.
Badger Ales Trophy
The better value can be found on the West Country course’s card, where the Badger Ales Trophy is the highlight.
The ground could easily be heavy by post time and that will suit THEATRICAL STAR, who ran really well on his comeback at Cheltenham recently. He stays further than this and will be a real threat if Brendan Powell can keep him interested and in contention.
The two outsiders can outrun their odds too.
Most Venetia Williams horses love these conditions and with the yard returning to form with a bang last week it is hard to ignore ROYAL PALLADIUM, whilst BENVOLIO is another who stays all day and will look massively overpriced if conditions do deteriorate as predicted.
|Theatrical Star (ew)||2.05 Wincanton||10/1||Bet365, BetVictor|
|Royal Palladium (ew)||2.05 Wincanton||25/1||Bet365|
|Benvolio (ew)||2.05 Wincanton||25/1||Bet365|
Wincanton Rising Stars Novices’ Chase
The other highlight on the card in the Rising Star Novices’ Chase, which Paul Nicholls has farmed in recent seasons.
He could easily win it again here with Arpege D’Alene, who could prove to be a very high class novice as the campaign unwinds, but backing in novice chases is fraught with danger so we think it is worth taking him on with WARRANTOR for the rising star of the training ranks, Warren Greatrex.
|Warrantor (ew)||1.30 Wincanton||5/1||Bet365|