There’s an incredible array of action for punters to get stuck into today, with 12 hours of superb racing kicking off just after midday and finishing just after midnight.
During that time you can take in top class jumps from Wincanton, Aintree and Down Royal (whose card includes the best race seen over obstacles so far this winter), the end of the flat season at Doncaster, and a night of fireworks at Santa Anita as some of the best horses on the planet do battle in the Breeders’ Cup.
Our tips for the American action will be posted later, but here we focus on the domestic action and we start with the culmination of the flat campaign at Donny.
Betfred November Handicap
The big race there is the November handicap and, unusually for this time of year, the field will face pretty quick ground. That certainly won’t suit many of these and it is no surprise to see plenty of non-runners already. Two who we like (and who both should go on the ground) are DASHING STAR and ERIK THE RED.
The former was third in this race two years ago and ran well on a belated comeback at Leicester recently. That should have put him spot on for this.
Erik The Red has looked to be crying out for this trip based on recent starts and conditions underfoot certainly shouldn’t bother him.
The big danger could be Prize Money who is arguably the class act in the race. He should relish the drop back into handicap company having been contesting some decent Group races all season.
|Dashing Star (ew)||3.35 Doncaster||20/1||Bet365|
|Erik The Red (ew)||3.35 Doncaster||10/1||Bet365|
Betfred ‘Supports Jack Berry House’ Handicap
The other big betting heat at the Yorkshire track is the Jack Berry Handicap over 7f where another Godolphin runner, ALBERNATHY, looks the one to beat. He is a strong traveller, which is always a plus in these large fields, and he has cheek-pieces on for the first time after wandering around in the closing stages last time out.
Of the rest, Ian Williams has two decent chances and of his pair we narrowly prefer BOY IN THE BAR, who has blinkers back on today. He is another who has looked ready for a step up in distance and he loves this quick ground.
|Albernathy (ew)||1.50 Doncaster||8/1||Bet365, Betfred|
|Boy In The Bar (ew)||1.50 Doncaster||12/1||Bet365|
Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase
Small fields are the norm at Wincanton and Aintree today on account of the unusually firm underfoot conditions.
Wincanton stages the Badger Ales Trophy, which is always one of the early season highlights. Here we like ROC D’APSIS, who is tackling 3 miles again for the first time in a while. His yard is in flying form and he is well-treated based on his third in a big handicap at Kempton in February.
Fingerontheswitch is the dark horse, but the most solid form option is certainly SOUTHFIELD THEATRE, as he looked to be recapturing his old sparkle when fourth to The Young Master at Sandown on the last day of last season. Paul Nicholls will be very disappointed if he can’t get this horse to win a big prize off of this mark.
|Roc D’Apsis (ew)||3.20 Wincanton||12/1||Bet365|
|Southfield Theatre (win)||3.20 Wincanton||7/2||Bet365|
Betfred Lotto ‘100k Cash Giveaway’ Handicap Chase
Another lightly raced Tom George horse, SOME BUCKLE, can land the feature handicap on Aintree’s card. He is relatively unexposed over the larger obstacles and another summer on his back should have done him the world of good.
At a bigger price, also have an interest in WITNESS IN COURT. He has been run off his feet over two miles on his last two starts, but looks decent value based on his win over this sort of trip prior to that.
|Some Buckle (ew)||3.10 Aintree||5/1||Bet365|
|Witness In Court (ew)||3.10 Aintree||33/1||Bet365|
JNwine.com Champion Chase
Down Royal’s Champion Chase is a real cracker. The ground here may not suit Don Poli given his lazy style of running, whilst it is slightly surprising to see Silviniaco Conti as favourite given his advancing years and mixed form last season.
The best bet in the race, therefore, has to be VALSEUR LIDO on his first start for Henry de Bromhead. His second behind the great Vautour in the Ryanair must make him the one to beat, while outsider Monksland is interesting given his fitness edge.
|Valseur Lido (win)||2.35 Down Royal||9/4||Bet365, Betfred|
Titanic Belfast Chase
The other valuable race on the Down Royal card, the Titanic Belfast Chase, can also go to de Bromhead courtesy of SUB LIEUTENANT.
|Sub Lieutenant (win)||3.05 Down Royal||5/2||Betfred|