I hope you backed Road to Riches last Saturday and managed to get the 8/1 on offer from Bet Victor. He is on an upward curve for sure and jumped super if a bit to his left! Today, we revert to the flat for the turf season finale and the November handicap in the race we target.
Last year this race was won by Conduct but the third home that day Open Eagle tries once again and is entitled to hold a favourite’s chance. David O’Meara has enjoyed a tremendously successful season and there is little doubt now that he is on the way to the very top of the training ranks as better horses arrive and he trains them to deliver on the track.
Open Eagle ran off a rating of 95 last season and gets to run today off 90 but that includes a mandatory penalty for winning last time out. That penalty might be the difference between winning and losing this handicap but on the upside we know the horse is in rude health as that win came at Redcar just 5 days ago!
David O’Meara had no choice but to run him as he needed the 4lb mandatory penalty to get into today’s race. The race at Redcar was over 10 furlongs and Open Eagle won cosily pulling clear at the end and full of running as his stamina kicked in. He will be cherry ripe today. Stable jockey Daniel Tudhope remains in the plate and with soft ground at the very least assured conditions look perfect for a winning run.
This handicap has 23 runners and with some bookmakers paying out on the first five home we will also back another at a bigger price. Ardlui was initially my pick but he is drawn very wide & likes to race near the front so is sure to use up petrol getting to the front rank out of the stalls. In competitive handicaps like this it is very hard to win from the front & this is where I will compound that concern by selecting Dashing Star as our selection.
Both Dashing Star and Open Eagle ran at Doncaster when second and fourth respectively behind Latenightrequest a fortnight ago over course and trip. However, both horses are weighted to turn around that form with Latenightrequest who has been raised a whooping 8lbs by the handicapper. Dashing Star is a horse I have followed all season and he is a horse that gives his all and comes back for more even when passed at the business end of races.
Dashing Star likes to race at the front dictating matters but it’s not essential and Jamie Spencer takes over today. Jamie rode him at Royal Ascot and will know him well and can deliver good tactical rides from the front as well as any rider. Dashing Star is a four year old and they have an excellent record in this race winning it three times in a row before just failing to win the past two years. The trip and ground conditions are all fine as he has handled them in the past and what a way for Jamie Spencer to sign off his riding career with another big handicap win.
Selection A – 1 Point *EW Open Eagle Doncaster 15:35 12/1 generally use bookie paying 5 places
Selection B –1 Point *EW Dashing Star Doncaster 15:35 16/1 generally use bookie paying 5 places
Best of luck,