Weekend Racing: Buster Thomas Open to Improvement6 min read
Doncaster were expecting between 6 and 8mls of rain on Friday evening ahead of today’s November Handicap – the last big flat turf race of 2018.
Market leader Royal Line (15/2) finished unplaced in the corresponding race 12 months ago and must race from a 9lbs higher mark this afternoon. The colt has only had the two starts since that run and has been off the track since winning at Epsom back in the spring.
My two against the field are To Be Wild (11/1) and Baydar (3.15) with marginal preference for the latter who is 14/1 with BetVictor who are paying each way five places on the race. The each way selection will need the forecast overnight rain and an end-to-end gallop dropping back to 12f but wears blinkers for the first time, and has the valuable assistance of Andrea Atzeni for Ian Williams. The trainer saddled the winner of the corresponding race last year with Saunter.
Rain is also forecast at Aintree and there is a cracking two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase and the each way selection is War Sound (2.40) who ran well in defeat last season at a time when the Philip Hobbs’ yard were, largely, under a cloud. The 9-year-old is still 8lbs lower over fences than over timber and he deserves to win a big prize. The selection is 10/1.
The mare Martiloo (also 10s) travelled well but failed to get home over three miles on her last start at Perth back in the spring. The yard of Pauline Robson has had a quiet time so far this term, but she gets in off just 10st and could still be ahead of the handicapper.
Daryl Jacobs takes over in the saddle this afternoon with Cobden booked for El Bandit who returns from a 543-day absence and was given a very positive mention by trainer Paul Nicholls on Friday.
There is significant rain forecast for Somerset and in Wincanton’s Badger Beer Chase I am going to give Captain Buck’s (3.35) another chance near the foot of the weights. It was not Harry Cobden’s finest hour when the each way selection (11/1) finished third over C&D from a 1lb lower mark last month and any easing of the ground would help.
Bags Groove will appreciate the return to a right-handed track having jumped out to the right when scoring at Ffos Las last month. He escapes a penalty for this Grade 2 Novices’ Chase, but I am looking forward to the chase debut of Secret Investor (2.25) who had a wind operation prior to winning over timber in a Grade 2 contest last time. He has the scope to jump a fence and is 6/4 to make a winning start over the larger obstacles.
We could well have a Royal winner at Wincanton with Her Majesty’s Forth Bridge dropping back to his optimum trip of 2m 4f having been tried over further in recent starts. He looks sure to make a bold bid from the front but Buster Thomas (1.15) is a C&D winner who remains open to further improvement for Emma Lavelle.
Captain Buck’s odds “17/2” “https://www.betvictor.com/en-gb/sports/horse-racing/”]
Footpad makes his seasonal reappearance at Naas this afternoon and cannot be opposed as he begins a season that will hopefully peak at Cheltenham in the spring and a mouth-watering clash with Altior in the Champion Chase.
Sandown | Sunday
There is a cracking card at Sandown tomorrow and I am looking forward to the chase debut of Molineux (1.15) who is reported to have schooled well by trainer Colin Tizzard. Plenty of winners will come out of the race, but I always felt the selection would make a better chaser than hurdler and he must go close in what promises to be a most informative contest.
Albert Bartlett winner Kilbricken Storm makes his chase debut at Ffos Las and Festival Bumper fourth Acey Milan has his first start over timber. Of more interest from a betting perspective is Allchilledout (3.35) who has had a wind operation since last term and is fitted with blinkers and a tongue-tie. He is 2lbs lower than his last winning mark and first time out might be the time to catch him. I hope it is a good day for the Tizzard yard.