#startracking Thursday September 8th 12.30pm

Happy Days! 5/1 winner with Stamp Hill reading the script to the letter and probably more to come. Dark Devil was beaten just a nose depriving us of a 12/1 place! Ho hum. Excellent Doncaster card today with plenty to watch and a few recommendations on price mainly because they are IMHO too big!

Doncaster 1.55 Trappy fillies nursery to kick off. Normally I would go for the improvers but I like the look of the most experienced in the field, Mark Johnston’s LA CASA TARIFA. She is a long, leggy filly who has been up against some tough types, her second at York to The Wagon Wheel catches the eye. Simply too big at 20/1 and I will put her up for a star* each way @ 16/1 with Skybet, money back if 2nd or 3rd.

Doncaster 2.30 Five of the nine runners ran against each other at Goodwood last time suggesting it may not be the strongest form. Favourite Blending goes up from C4 to G2? The May Hill is a G2 for staying fillies and this time I will go for a possible improver! HIDDEN STEPS was very green on debut but when the penny dropped, stamina kicked in and she flew home. One star* each way @ 12/1 with Coral ¼ 1.2,3. I am also going to throw a couple of quid each way at 50/1 on BONGRACE who will definitely get a mile and a flat, galloping track is ideal! Whether she is good enough is another matter but trainer Kevin Ryan knows the time of day.

Doncaster 3.05 I have been with ABINGDON all season and I am not going to desert her now! Ground, grade and the trip are fine, indeed stamina is her forte. Only downside is the price. Three star*** win @ 9/4 general.

Doncaster 3.40 Has to be filed under “impossible”! However that won’t stop me backing MARIE OF LYON one star* each way @ 12/1 with PP 1/5  1,2,3,4. #FantasticMrFahey has a good record in this race and has a strong squad of 2yo fillies this year. Only Queen Kindly may be better than this one and I feel Marie of Lyon may have been saved for this with ground and trip in her favour. Spiritual Lady is a probable winner but too short and I will have a close eye on Jumira Bridge but I just can’t trust the Varian yard, yet!

Doncaster 4.15 Poets Word is quite possibly the proverbial “Group horse in a handicap”, a steady Stoute improver whose maiden win was really strong and picked up well to win at Goodwood but 13/8 is just too short. Not sure I want to take him on but I’m going to! Originally I was interested in Central Square but the more I look at the videos the more I think he has too much weight but would surely interest the NH brigade! So it’s a one star* win on BERMONDSEY @ 9/2 general who was unlucky on his last run in a strong Sandown contest and I’ll trust “Frank” Spencer to weave his magic!

Doncaster 4.50 I have both Glencadam Glory and Hydroxide on my list of 2yo’s Next Time list, O’Briens The Anvil and two pricey Maktoum newcomers make this a definite Watching Brief.

Doncaster 6.00 Like the 3.40 this has “impossible” written all over it. At first glance I thought Fendale could be an each way shot but not at 5/1! However Khelman at 40/1 is going to be hard to resist.


Couple of jockeys having an away day. Both Adam Kirby and Daniel Tudhope go to Chantilly for one ride. The latter rides Lord of the Land in a G3 and I think he could go close.


#startracking Wednesday September 7th 12noon

It is time to put on your lucky pants, polish up your best pair of punting boots as it’s time to go in again! Four days at Doncaster for the St.Leger meeting, an excellent two days of Champion action in Ireland at the weekend and the Ayr Western Meeting is only a week away!

This summer hasn’t been easy with so many yards having health issues but it does go some way to explain the inconsistencies of the form book! It was noticeable at both Goodwood and York how often the market got it right whereas the form students were a mile away.

Looks like the Going generally will be no quicker than Good for the foreseeable future with Soft perhaps creeping in from Saturday onwards.

We will need to be on our toes as some of the handicappers we have been waiting for are entered up in Ireland in their big pot handicaps. Withernsea (2nd in same race in 2015 off 7lbs lower) and George Bowen (Won this race last year off 2lb lower), both have form in Ireland and both have entries over Champions weekend.

So today I fancy two saddled by #FantasticMrFahey.

Carlisle 4.00                DARK DEVIL At the beginning of the season my thoughts were “Two promising seconds in C4 maidens before narrowly getting home in a C5 maiden over 7F at Redcar. Travels well and looks a trier. He has already been gelded and 3yo mile handicaps look to be his bag.” However connections seemed to think he stayed 10F but after two poor runs he is back at a mile with his preferred easier ground off 3lbs lower. Taking on older horses for the first time he also gets a 6lb weight for age allowance and represents some excellent each way value. One star* each way @ 12/1 general.

Doncaster 4.10           STAMP HILL I am a big fan of this horse who was impressive winning first time up at Pontefract in C3. He hasn’t had the best of luck since racing in C2 events, no room at Goodwood (twice!) and left in front too soon at Epsom. My notes say “This gelded son of Zoffany should pay his way in 6/7F handicaps. C2 7F 3yo should be fine. Won’t mind Soft in the going.” Has the trip and the ground today and hopefully Roll on Rory can give him the pace Stamp Hill needs to aim at. Two star** win at 7/2 general.