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15:20 Doncaster preview

Weather has wreaked havoc with racing in England this week, blog regular Jon da Silva, @creamontop, has played safe by sticking with today's northernmost venue, away from the rainclouds.



If you want to know how much Cheltenham dominates Jump racing the above title is of a race at Doncaster. As to BetVictor it's almost become a sign of poor punting to still have an account there.

This is a three mile race at a lovely wide galloping track that is almost flat. I give track/course performances here a tick up as a result. The ground could be key as most entered at Doncaster for the expected faster ground but have got at best Good to Soft.

Mr Moonshine one of those who go well rated as a novice and ran in the RSA. I honestly can't decide if he's a dour plodder who needs further, will benefit from better ground or is a novice who never developed. 3rd in Peterborough on his 3rd chase start and not been as good since. 3 miles seems logical on his hurdles runs. Suspect he'll be beaten but at odds one to consider.

Helpston a letter horse with 112U1-P next to his name so has ability. Another highly tried highly rated Novice chaser. Like the top one the new aggressive handicapping of mid ranking novices may mean he needs to drop a few pounds. One of few who would not mind if it got much softer.

Mr Cracker another highly tried Novice facing the reality of handicaps. Last four wins at Limerick. Stays 3 miles but hints at smaller field preference and smaller track than this big wide open one. Would not be surprised if this was the plan but not for me. Church Island was a similar type Hourigan brought to Doncaster to win with eventually taking a Whitbread (Sandown Betfred Gold Cup now).

Ikorodu Road won over the course and 2 furlongs further beating Junior and Pentiffic who fell. Indeed I considered him for an EW in the Hennessy where he was unplaced. Also won at Newbury so likes large tracks and arguably shorter trip not against him. Nataani not disgraced upped in trip and class last time esp if you ignore easy winner. Notwithstanding I'd bet he's fully exposed now.

Door Boy another dropping from his peak Novice campaign. Only managed two completed runs since April 11 and Pulled up last time. Almost back up to novice ratings but health would be a concern. Not forlorn.

de Boitron throw out for me in that he's exposed over shorter and longer appears more a suck and see than a plan.

Quentin Collonges Pulled up after the 21st in Scot's National so probably a non stayer there. Won last 2 at Doncaster beat Cockney Mackem and Galaxy Rock (latter hurdles). 2nd to progressive on good ground Problema Tic. This one piques my interest. First run of the season a negative but won and gone well fresh before and this seems an obvious target for him.

Corkage back chasing this year and liked Donny over hurdles but no encouragement from his 1st start. Maybe one to keep an eye on in running.

Time for Spring won last time but up to highest mark not sure he's progressive more beat an ordinary lot.

Court by Surprise. Front runner pulled up the one time he ran here. I pass over.

Eleazar my quiet punt for the Foxhunters last year and not good enough there and likely not good enough here.

Mistree Dancer won last two a type I habitually under-rate coming up in class off wins. Tempted to write off but has won a Novice Handicap at big ole Newbury and won comfortably admittedly from a 5 runner field last time. Price dependent for me to consider but I'd probably pass over given balance of form.

Night in Milan a regular at Kelso and other Northern tracks. Another who has jumped up the rating last few starts. Won one of seven chases and faces 15 runners in a likely end to end race here. Not for me.

King Fontaine PP7FF63-P Of course the 3 was the Scottish National in which many good horses and a few of these were pulled up. Down to a mark that is less than after he won 4 straight races a couple of years ago. 25s would look good on better ground.

Leaves bottom one Pentiffic who fell when in front of Ikorodu Road and Junior with this comment

"went clear after 13th, soon 12 lengths ahead, tired and 7 lengths ahead 2 out, 2 1/2 lengths ahead but tired when fell last"

He left them for dead in a race over two furlongs further with a move than looked like a dirt horse making a mid race move. Extremely impressive albeit he finished knackered. Yet he's the lowest mark in this off 122. Unfortunately Venetia Williams has put up Harry Challoner so message is mixed. He's back to a flat three miles. He was a winning jumper in Australia and one to consider at some point maybe over shorter. Certainly if the ground were good even at 10s or more I'll be mighty tempted to back Pentiffic and will likely follow when I think conditions are suitable regardless.

Ground conditions and effects can be exaggerated but here most horses entered at Donny in hope of better ground. On faster King Fontaine, Pentiffic and Quentin Collonges interested me. Softer not betting but Helpston, Mr Cracker will not mind it.


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