Saturday Racing Tips for 23rd March 2024 (Doncaster & Newbury)

Results for Saturday Racing Tips for 23rd March 2024 (Doncaster & Newbury)

The flat is back this weekend, with the Lincoln Meeting at Doncaster signalling the start of the current campaign. The titular handicap takes centre stage on this week’s Scoop6 bet, backed up by the equally competitive Spring Mile, the Listed Class Cammidge Trophy, and the informative juvenile contest of the Brocklesby Stakes. Of course, the jumps season isn’t over just yet, and Newbury rounds out the action with a pair of intriguing hurdle events.

Scoop6 players drew a blank over the four days of the Cheltenham, and that drought continued last Saturday afternoon. All of which means the snowballing jackpot continues to grow. That’s all the incentive we need to take a stab at the prize, and here, we pick out our best bets in each of the six legs in this week’s Scoop6 Racing Tips.

1:50 William Hill EBF Brocklesby Stakes

Class 2, 5f

Doncaster
Mystical Elegance
5/2

We’re faced with a tricky contest to kick off the action, as 15 juveniles lock horns over the flying five furlongs. With all 15 contenders making their racecourse debut, this comes down to which combination of pedigree and connections you like best. Indication Ember (11/2) and Ettorino (11/1) have plenty to recommend them, whilst Bill Turner’s Bob The Bandit (33/1) and Funalltheway (66/1) are interesting each-way options.

With so many imponderables, the best bet may be to side with an operation which likes to target this race. AMO Racing has sent out two runners over the past two seasons – winning the race with Persian Force in 2022 and going close to following up when Valadero finished second last year. From a wealth of options, the horse to get the vote this year is the Zoustar colt Mystical Elegance (5/2), suggesting he likely features relatively high up on a talented roster. Starting the season with a bang when Arizona Blaze won in good style at the Curragh on Monday, AMO can hit the target again in the opener.

2:10 Bet In-Play On Racing With BetVictor Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

Class 3, 2m3f

Newbury
Kartoon And Co
11/2

We have a change in pace for leg 2, as we switch to the hurdles track at Newbury. A couple of hattrick seekers head the betting in the shape of Into The Park (11/4) and Spirits Bay (5/1). Both won impressively last time out but have questions to answer. Both will be stepping up to this trip for the first time, whilst Spirits Bay moves up in class on ground likely to be quicker than he has experienced. Throw in the fact that both carry the maximum 12 stone, and it may be worth looking a little further down the list.

The one we like here is Kartoon And Co from the bang-in-form Dan Skelton operation. Picked out by his handler as a horse to follow this season, the son of Balko still looks like a work in progress but has managed to hit the frame in all four starts – looking very much in need of this step up in trip in his two most recent outings. Receiving a whopping 26 pounds from the top two in the market, his late effort may prove tough to repel.

2:25 William Hill Epic Boost Spring Mile Handicap

Class 2, 1m

Doncaster
Look Back Smiling
10/1

Two pounds lower than when beaten just a neck in the 2023 edition, the Julia Camacho-trained Titian (11/2) heads the betting in his bid to go one better. He’s weighted to go well, but so too is 2023 winner Harswell Duke (7/1), who is fully eight pounds lower this time. The 2022 champ, Arthur’s Realm, is another to tick the course form box and can’t be dismissed off a one-pound higher mark.

It’s hard to pick too many holes in the above trio, but all are six years old now, and this has fallen to a runner aged five or younger in each of the past nine years. Of the younger brigade, Thunder Roar (8/1) has the assistance of Jamie Spencer, who is excellent in these straight course handicaps, and Helter Skelter (9/1) looks dangerous on handicap debut for Rebecca Menzies. However, the one we like best is the Gemma Tutty-trained four-year-old Look Back Smiling (10/1). A smooth winner over seven furlongs at this track on his final start of last season, he had previously run well over course and distance when beaten just over three lengths despite completely blowing the start. He’s a pound lower than for that effort, and the capable Brandon Wilkie claims a handy five pounds. Tutty has registered two wins and three placed finishes from her first seven runners this season and can improve those stats in this big Saturday affair.

3:00 William Hill Cammidge Trophy Stakes

Listed, 6f

Doncaster
Montassib
9/2

AMO Racing’s Baradar tops the market in this Listed Class affair, and with course figures of 3131, it’s easy to see why punters have latched onto his claims. Clearly, the track holds no issues, but three of those efforts have come on near bottomless ground, and he has yet to race over a trip so short as this. Currently described as soft with a relatively dry forecast, the ground may just negate his staying power at the trip. In contrast, second favourite Marshman (7/2) may find his stamina stretched at this distance. He did win on soft ground at Chantilly last season but was coming back to the pack at the end of that five-and-a-half furlong trip, and his two six-furlong wins have come on good or quicker.

Orazio (7/2) sees out this trip well on soft ground and can go well for Jim Crowley, but is rated eight pounds below our selection Montassib (9/2) in this level weights affair. Hailing from the William Haggas operation, this six-year-old ended last season with a bang to finish an unlucky in running fifth in the Ayr Gold Cup before seeing off 21 rivals in a soft ground edition of the Coral Sprint Trophy. He’s won first time up twice in the past and is expected to go close with conditions in his favour.

3:15 British EBF BetVictor “National Hunt” Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

Grade 2, 2m4½f

Newbury
El Elefante
5/1

Party Vibes (9/2) leads the way in the classiest event of the day following wins at Wincanton and Market Rasen. She’s clearly headed in the right direction but will need to pull out more as she moves up in class and four furlongs in trip. Larchmount Lass (7/1) relished the additional distance when bouncing back to form at Wincanton. As a Listed bumper winner from the Paul Nicholls yard, she deserves respect but has yet to prove she can hit those heights over obstacles.

Following a slow start to the season, the Linda Russell yard is now well into its stride and may hold the key to this race with El Elefante. This one’s fifth-placed effort in a hot Cheltenham handicap back in October reads well in the context of this when only outpaced late by a few smart rivals on the quick ground. She went off the boil after that, but a recent smooth success at Ayr suggests the yard’s good form has rubbed off on her. This demands more, but having been tried at Grade 2 level in the past, this lightly raced sort can improve beyond her current rating of 122.

3:35 William Hill Lincoln

Class 2, 1m

Doncaster
Awaal
6/1

Last but not least, we have one of the biggest betting heats of the early flat season, as 22 runners line up across the track in the historic Lincoln Handicap. The 2023 champ Migration (16/1) returns to defend his crown from a four-pound higher mark but could have done with the rain continuing and, as an eight-year-old, is a poor fit on the trends.

This has been claimed by a runner in the four-to-six-year-old bracket in 22 of the past 23 editions. That’s a strong stat, which assists in whittling down this year’s list of runners a little. It is easy to be drawn to those lowly rated runners on a light weight in any big field handicap, but this most often falls to a horse who has already displayed a high level of form – each of the last eight winners having headed into the race with an official rating of 99 or higher.

The Gatekeeper (11/1) and Thunder Ball (14/1) are the most attractive options at double-figure prices, but the two standout contenders are Liberty Lane (9/2) and Awaal (6/1), with narrow preference for the latter. Well fancied for the 2023 edition, this Simon and Ed Crisford runner found only Migration too good inside the final furlong. He gets in off the same mark here, has the assistance of a first-time tongue tie and can go one better on a less demanding surface than the bog-like conditions of 12 months ago.