The big betting race of the weekend is the November Handicap from Doncaster, which brings the curtain down on the 2017 flat turf season. William Buick did us a favour when landing the Fillies’ & Mares Turf race at Del Mar in the Breeders’ Cup last weekend. He is taken to land this prestigious handicap for John Gosden courtesy of Royal Line (3.15).

The selection has won two of his three career starts and remains open to significant improvement. The last two winners of the race came out of stall 12 and the selection has been given a similar draw at Doncaster today.

The classic generation have only won two of the last ten renewals but Gosden’s string remain in top form. After the exploits of Enable and, to a lesser extent, Cracksman, it would be fitting if the Newmarket handler took the last big prize of the turf season in Doncaster. I would be disappointed if he didn’t finish in the money and note that we are paying each way five places on the race.


Royal Line

Doncaster - John Gosden


At Aintree Captain Choas, blinkered for the first time, is better than he showed at Chepstow first time out – winner Mia’s Storm looks top class – but Geordie Des Champs (1.05) won at this corresponding meeting 12 months ago and has the scope to make into a decent chaser.

The Rebecca Curtis yard haven’t made the best of starts to the new season. However, they had a well-backed runner (Just A Thought) at Warwick yesterday and if he runs well, I would be keen to support the six-year-old who obviously enjoys the Mildmay track.

The Fresh Prince is interesting in the Trevor Hemmings’ silks near the foot of the weights in the 2m 4f Handicap Chase and it will be worth noting if the market speaks in his favour. First time out might be the time to catch this quirky sort, but marginal preference goes to On Tour (2.15). He finished runner-up in the corresponding race 12 months ago from a 2lbs higher mark and, arguably, 7lbs lower if you take into account jockey Mitch Bastyan’s 5lbs claim.

Duke Of Navan (3.25) has only raced once since October 2015 and finished runner-up to Pain Au Chocolat at Perth back in the spring. The winner reopposes on 4lbs worse terms this afternoon but Ryan Day takes off a valuable 3lbs and I hope to see the Nicky Richards 9-y-o get his career back on track.


Des Champs

On Tour

Duke Of Navan


The Elite Hurdle at Wincanton is a hot race with conditional Kevin Dowling taking a valuable 10lbs from the back of Coeur De Lion for Alan King. He must go close. But I just favour Lough Derg Spirit (3.00) who has his ideal conditions, a flat right-handed track, and can make a bold show from the front.

Doncaster - Wincanton Races

In the Badger Ales Handicap Chase, Fletchers Flyer (3.35) is only 5lbs higher than when scoring at Punchestown last April. He can make a bold bid for Harry Fry and Noel Fehily although there’s not much chance of the selection getting a soft lead with a number of confirmed front-runners in the race. We’ve priced the selection at 12/1 and is another each way recommendation.


Lough Derg Spirit

Fletchers Flyer

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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