We’re at the stage of the season where there is classy racing over jumps and on the flat. This weekend sees the traditional curtain-raiser of the British flat season with the Lincoln Meeting at Doncaster while there is quality jumps racing at Newbury.
The ITV Racing cameras are at both courses as well as Kempton for some decent all-weather racing. With such a variety of racing ahead, there are some great chances to get the better of the bookies and we’ve highlighted the best ways of doing just that in this week’s Saturday Racing Tips.
1:45 Ladbrokes Magnolia Stakes
Global Giant should be able to get the ITV Racing coverage off to a good start for punters. It will take a lot of money to get rich off backing the 10/11 shot for the Magnolia Stakes but the six year old should be able to earn one of the first wins of John and Thady Gosden’s career as co-trainers.
This son of Shamardal was a revelation last season after joining John Gosden’s yard, taking his form to a whole new level when winning a Listed 1m2f contest at Newbury. Gosden was so impressed with Global Giant’s form that he entered him in the Saudi Cup. He failed to handle the dirt in that huge race but has solid all-weather form and should prove too good for his rivals in the opener.
2:00 Unibet Doncaster Mile Stakes
The Doncaster Mile isn’t the feature race of the day on Town Moor but it did produce a time that was faster than the Lincoln in 2019 over the same trip and Montatham is primed to set fast fractions once again this time around. The William Haggas-trained five year old was very progressive in big-field handicaps last season before just falling short of his billing as the favourite against Listed opposition and then not getting involved in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket.
Montatham has twice won after a lengthy break and is sure to be very well prepared for his first start of the 2021 flat season. The market rates Bounce The Blues and Space Traveller as the most likely rivals but Montatham still has time before the handicapper gets the better of him and can start his season with a first Listed win at odds of 7/2.
2:15 Ladbrokes Rosebury Handicap
Class 2, 1m3f
Just like the first ITV race from Kempton, we have a fairly strong favourite in the Rosebury Handicap. Al Zaraqaan comes into the race right at the top of the weights and the top of the betting at a price of 13/8. The lightly raced four year old won all three of his races last year, the first of which came at Doncaster. However, that win was on good to firm ground and his subsequent successes were on the all-weather so he could be just a little bit vulnerable.
Anybody who is put off the favourite should instead consider Dark Pine. He was right at the back of the field in his most recent outing on the all-weather at Wolverhampton until the final bend when he was sent for his effort by Rossa Ryan. The way he picked off his rivals was very impressive and with a good pace to aim at again on Saturday he can defy his rise in the weights to score again at odds of 4/1.
2:35 Unibet Spring Mile Handicap
Class 2, 1m
Each of the four live ITV races from Doncaster on Saturday is of real class and competitiveness. Trainers and owners have had to be very patient before getting a day of this magnitude and they are ready to take advantage. Les Eyre has particular reason to look forward to Saturday as his seven year old, Dawaaleeb, surely has a better chance in the Spring Mile than his odds of 16/1 suggest.
Dawaaleeb is one of those who has been kept busy over the winter. His two runs in 2021 came on the all-weather at Newcastle where he showed his usual battling spirit to run into fourth place both times. He ran to form on both occasions but the return to the turf should bring even more from Dawaaleeb who will likely break well and set the pace. It’s then a case of how well he can hang on from the front.
2:50 BetVictor Novices’ Handicap Hurdle
Class 2, 2m3f
One True King has had a decent season so far and there is time remaining for him to win more races. This handicap hurdle for novices could be right up his alley. He started the campaign with a couple of good runs and then won very comfortably at Leicester. Those runs suggested he would be even better over 2m4f and while that didn’t go to plan in the Lanzarote Handicap he just never looked comfortable against so many opponents and with so much going on. A smaller field saw him run better last time out and he can kick on from that to win this at odds of 11/2.
The bookies have three horses ahead of One True King in the betting and of them, it is Good Ball who looks the biggest danger. Paul Nicholls could have a good couple of months of spring racing ahead of him and this lightly raced, promising four year old benefits from an allowance. At his best though, One True King is able to relentlessly gallop away at the front of the field and take the race away from his opponents so it will be difficult for a younger horse to stand up to that.
3:10 Unibet Lincoln
Class 2, 1m
The proximity between the Lincoln and the Cheltenham Festival has taken some racing fans by surprise. Charlie Appleby, by contrast, has been planning for this historic one mile handicap for the best part of a year. He successfully targeted an unexposed four year old for the last running and is looking to repeat the trick with Eastern World.
Despite winning incredibly comfortably in a handicap in Meydan last month when sent off at chunky odds of 20/1, Eastern World still looks as though he is well treated off a mark of 98 and he is the right favourite from another four year old, Haqeeqy.
Brentford Hope (9/1) would be a major threat to the market principles if the weather were to really turn. The forecast doesn’t suggest that enough rain will fall to turn the going from good though so Ascension could be the best each way option at 16/1. Andrea Atzeni loves riding at Doncaster and Roger Varian looks to have a smart four year old on his hands in this son of Dark Angel.
3:25 EBF BetVictor ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Mares’ Hurdle
Grade 2, 2m4f½f
The jumps season can be a real slog for horses who are best suited to good ground, especially during the sort of wet winter that we have had. The patience shown by trainers and owners can often be all worth it when those horses who have struggled get better spring ground to run on and punters believe that there is even more to come from Rose Of Arcadia who has been backed in to odds of 7/2 to become the favourite for this Grade 2 novices’ hurdle for mares.
She has already been a rare shining light for Colin Tizzard and team in what has been a poor season by their own high standards and is the one the others have to beat. For an each way option, consider Hunny Moon at 14/1. Fergal O’Brien’s seven year old has already taken advantage of some better ground when winning as the 4/7 favourite last time out. This is a considerable step up in grade but it’s a similar race to that which she won so well just a few weeks ago and her mark of 115 looks generous as does her price.
3:45 Unibet Cammidge Trophy Stakes
Favourites have a mixed record in the Cammidge Trophy. Only two market leaders have won the race in the last 10 years but only two of the last eight favourites have finished outside of the top three. We may well see a typical performance from this year’s favourite, Brando, in that the veteran is sure to run a big race but may just find one or two too good on the day.
Kevin Ryan was very happy with Brando’s performances last year and is confident that he still has a lot to give as a nine year old. He’ll surely be right in the picture come the closing stages but from a betting perspective, there isn’t a huge amount to like about his price of 11/4. The 7/1 that you can get about the chances of Tis Marvellous is much more tempting. Clive Cox’s charge was fourth in this race 12 months ago when he was just done for speed. It was surprising then that he was subsequently dropped in trip, having some success over five furlongs. He’s shown the right blend of speed and stamina required to win this tough race and will get the good ground that he wants on Saturday so an each way bet is in order.