Goldie believes Dexter’s class can prevail
Jim Goldie is hoping Jack Dexter’s class can help him defy top-weight in the fiercely competitive bet365 Handicap at Doncaster this afternoon.
As a son of Orientor, one of the best horses Goldie has trained, it is no surprise Jack Dexter holds a special place in the heart of the proud Scotsman, and he has certainly come up with the goods on the track so far.
Unraced as a juvenile, Jack Dexter enjoyed a superb three-year-old campaign, winning five of his 11 starts.
He appeared better than ever when winning last month’s Cammidge Trophy over this weekend’s course and distance and while connections would have been well within their rights to have a shot at Pattern level, he instead reverts to handicap company.
Goldie said: “We’re looking forward to running him and I hope they get a bit of rain. I think there is rain forecast and good to soft ground would be ideal.
“We were very pleased with his first run back. He’s a class horse and I think that’s what won it for him last time.
“He’s a course-and-distance winner and hopefully he’ll run very well.
“He’s no sure thing, there are some good horses in there, but we’re looking forward to it.”
Renewing rivalries with Jack Dexter from the Cammidge Trophy are both the third and fourth home – Our Jonathan and Hitchens.
Our Jonathan was making his first appearance since joining Tim Pitt from Kevin Ryan a fortnight ago and given he is substantially better off at the weights with Jack Dexter this weekend, the Newmarket handler is understandably optimistic about his chances.
Pitt said: “We were very happy with how he ran in the Cammidge Trophy and he came out of that race in particularly good order.
“I spoke to his owner, Dr (Marwan) Koukash after that, and we decided if everything went well, we’d aim for this race.
“He was beaten a length and a half by Jack Dexter in the Cammidge, is 4lb better off at the weights on Saturday and he’s really 9lb better off with Robert (Tart) claiming 5lb.
“He’s a big, strong lad and a great horse to have in the yard.
“When Dr Koukash rang me at around Christmas time to tell me he was sending the horse to us, I thought all my Christmases had come at once, as he’s a proper Saturday horse.
“If he runs to his Cammidge form, he must have a big chance.
“I wouldn’t mind seeing a bit of rain for him.”
The Ron Harris-trained Prodigality made a stylish return to action at Warwick at the start of the month, but is now significantly higher in the weights.
Harris said: “He’s been put up 7lb for his Warwick win and we could have done with a couple less as then he’d still have been able to run in 0100s, which would have been nice.
“He beat a 99-rated horse (Justineo) and whether he’s run to 99 we’ll never know.
“He did it well enough and I’m sure he’ll have come on for the run. It’s a big pot on Saturday so we’d be mad to miss it.
“I suppose after this we’d have to be looking at Group races for him, there’s nothing between the best handicapper and those that run in the Group races.
“I’d imagine we’ll take him to Ireland at some point, too, for something like the Sapphire Stakes.
“What with him, Judge N’ Jury and Secret Witness, I hope to win a couple of nice races this season so we can have another good year.”
Move In Time showed smart form in the past when trained by Bryan Smart and there was a lot to like about his winning debut for fellow Yorkshire handler David O’Meara at Musselburgh late last month.
O’Meara said: “He seems really well and we were delighted with his run at Musselburgh.
“If he gets six furlongs or is better at five, I don’t know yet. We’ll find that out.
“He did win over this trip at two. We just want some luck in running.”