What! Yes, that heading would even confuse Confucius, but please let me explain.
The flat season (turf) begins today with Richard Fahey saddling two runners for owner Dr Marwan Koukash in the Lincoln handicap. Dr Koukash likes to name many of his runners after his son Gabrial and in the Lincoln today his two runners are named Gabrial and Gabrial’s Kaka!
Of the two I prefer the chances of Gabrial who trainer Richard Fahey claims to be “in cracking form and ready to go”. Gabrial has bags of talent but is quirky and it is a good job that stable jockey Tony Hamilton takes the ride today. Gabrial finished off last season with an easy victory at Leicester and despite a hike in the ratings to 100 remains well handicapped on his 4 year old form.
Gabrial raced for most of his four year old campaign off a rating of 110. A strongly run mile is his best trip which is guaranteed at Doncaster tomorrow with several front runners among the 22 declared runners. He handles most ground conditions except for extremes with his best form on good and good to soft. Richard Fahey has a very good record at Doncaster and with Gabrial can win the first leg of the spring double.
Similar to last year in the big race handicaps it is worthwhile have another horse onside with several bookies paying out on the first five places. That bookie concession is a real ace up the sleeve for each way backers. It always surprises the high number of times our selections hit the 5th place over the course of a full flat season. Back to the business at hand with our second selection last year winner Ocean Tempest.
John Ryan who trains Ocean Tempest is hoping more rain will fall at Doncaster before the Lincoln and if it does Ocean Tempest is priced way too high. Similar to last season he arrives from a winter holiday in Dubai where he ran well especially back in January.
It will be tough for him running off an 8lb higher rating than when winning last year but claiming jockey Joe Doyle takes 5lbs off his back affectively allowing him run off 105. Joe knows Ocean Tempest really well and rode him on arguably his career best effort at Chester last summer when winning. On that day Ocean Tempest missed the break from a low draw at Chester but still managed to come from the back of the field to win showing a telling turn of foot. He is the class horse of the race and with this race his main early season target he should go close to winning.
Selection A – 1 Point Each Way Gabrial Doncaster 15:45 16/1 generally, use bookie paying 5 places
Selection B – 1 Point Each Way Ocean Tempest Doncaster 15:45 28/1 Betvictor & William Hill else 25/1 generally with bookies paying 5 places
Best of luck,