14:05 Doncaster – Scott Dobson 30th Birthday Memorial Doncaster Stakes
With the Richard Hannon team now in better order than they were a number of weeks back, KHAFOO SHEMEMI may be able to build on his classy debut win.
The form of that race is sound – the first three pulled clear – and the runner-up and third have since given the contest a solid look.
A son of Dark Angel, the selection is going to be a real three-year-old, but there must be a chance, given his physique, he can step forward on his debut win in the immediate future.
We have to forgive him his latest third when beaten-favourite at odds of 15/8, but that run is easily excused – it wasn’t a bad effort anyway – given how keen he was over a trip too far.
He drops back to 6f today and given how well he travels, the return to this distance on a straight course should show him in a better light.
Top jockey Ryan Moore takes the ride for the Hannon team who won this with Night Of Thunder three years ago.
1pt win Khafoo Shememi @10/1 (general)
15:50 Doncaster – Racing Post Trophy
This year’s renewal of the Racing Post Trophy doesn’t look a top race and it may play out to be less competitive than you’d hope for a Group 1 contest.
Half of the 10-running field are rated below 100 and while plenty are sure to be ahead of their marks, they will have to take huge steps forward to get competitive.
At the prices, RIVET is the bet for me and I’m surprised to not see him much closer in the betting with the race-favourite Yucatan.The form of Rivet’s Champagne Stakes victory is the strongest on offer and came over this course.
The son of Fastnet Rock must step up a furlong today, but based on the visual impression he left when winning here two starts back, along with his pedigree, I feel he may improve for the extra distance.
He must bounce back from a poor run in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, but plenty went wrong for him this day and I can forgive him that effort on a course he didn’t appear to enjoy.
Hopefully it’s not a case of his form tapering off because a reproduction of his Champagne Stakes victory may be enough to win this. If he improves again, he’ll take a fair bit of stopping.
You have to respect the Aidan O’Brien favourite, but with him now running on ground far faster than his last time out career best, at the prices, he is worth taking on. Third-favourite Sir Dancealot has to prove his stamina and The Anvil and Salouen may be bigger dangers.
3pts each-way Rivet @5/1 (Paddy Power), 9/2 (Betfair, bet365, Ladbrokes)
17:00 Doncaster – Saint Gobain Nursery
A first go at handicap company may see PORTLEDGE outrun his current odds of 25/1. His first two efforts came in above average maidens before he flopped last time out on really soft ground.
While the winner hasn’t run since his opening racecourse start, the second has and is now rated in the 90s. The third was also beaten at odds-on next time, hardly a great endorsement, but it’s eyecatching he was sent off that price.
Second time out, the selection finished sixth in a strong maiden at York before flopping 49 days ago on bad terrain.
The return to a sounder surface today could see him run better than his odds suggest. He’s a worth a small each-way bet at that price.
0.5pt each-way Portledge @25/1 (general)