It was hard not to be impressed by BOOKMARK last time at Pontefract as he won by 17 lengths. You would have been forgiven for thinking it was a 3m 4f chase at Haydock in the middle of February had you just turned on in the final furlong but it was in fact a 1m 2f race at Pontefract in the middle of summer. Ok, she probably hasn’t beat much but the mid race move from Rowan Scott exuded confidence and she certainly looked to have plenty in hand. She is due to go up 9lbs so she certainly looks well in under a penalty today. 5/2 isn’t a bad price either.
Later on the card I expect BURIRAM to take a lot of beating at a course that he loves so much. He is dropping in trip which is a slight concern but from a plum drawer I expect Sean Levey to make plenty of use of him and take command of the race. 10/3 looks a little generous to me.
The Mallard handicap looks as competitive as you would expect it to so I’m going to have two punts in the race. I tipped RHYTHMIC INTENT last week and was disappointed he got pulled out due to the ground. He definitely prefers softer ground but I don’t believe he needs it, however yesterday’s powerful showers might just have brought enough juice into the ground for connections to allow him to run. He is a solid horse in these staying handicaps and I expect another bold showing.
UBER COOL looks weighed to go close also. He has been making up for lost time this season and has proven himself to be a more than useful stayer. He finished well at Chester last time out in a Listed race having been badly placed on the home turn. Robert Tart will have plenty of time to get his mount into contention here and if he goes any bigger than 7/1 today he is a must back.
Chester 2.50 – Bookmark
Chester 4.30 – Buriram
Doncaster 3.15 – Rhythmic Intent / Uber Cool
I’ve been waiting for SPIRIT DANCER to reappear as he caught my eye earlier in the season. Notably here at Chester when second to Baryshnikov but after that he went on to win at Newcastle and the form of that has worked out well. Whether that was a deliberate ploy from the trainer or maybe an injury played a part but he certainly handles cut so I expect him to have a profitable autumn. He looks incredibly well weighted here and although he is drawn 7 I hope Paul Hanagan can at least get him into a position to challenge up the straight.
The Portland handicap looks a real cracker and like the Mallard today I am going to have two darts at it. I’m a big fan of HURRICANE IVOR so I would hate for him to win this unbacked by myself. I think he really wants a stiff 5f which is what this is at Doncaster and although you would prefer he carried a little less weight, he has proven this is a mark he can certainly win off.
At the opposite end of the race card I think the inform INTRINSIC BOND can ruffle a few feathers at a big price. Tracy Waggott’s charge has been in great form all summer and has previously run well here at Doncaster. Thirsk wouldn’t necessarily have suited him the last day and he is better judged on his Great St Wilfrid run. A repeat of that run will see him go close here and I think he could be really interesting dropped back to this stiff 5f.
I know what you’re going to say but I honestly believe SCOTTISH SUMMIT will run a big race tomorrow at Doncaster. He is certainly teetering on the edge of the cliff with me but he keeps finishing placed so rarely loses me money. He has it all to do today and has to reverse the form with the sexier Irish Admiral but I think the big field will really suit him and it would just be typical if he lands a big handicap like this to reward his consistency. If you can get some extra places, back this lad.
Chester 4.25 – Spirit Dancer
Doncaster 1.45 – Hurricane Ivor / Intrinsic Bond
Doncaster 5.10 – Scottish Summit