Air of optimism for in-form San Donato
MAGNA GRECIA looks hard to beat in the Futurity Stakes (4.05 Doncaster).
Stick with horses that finished either first or second last time out. That puts a big question mark over Circus Maximus, Kuwait Currency and Western Australia who finished too far down the places last time out.
It’s rare for a horse to come and win the old Racing Post Trophy with plenty of miles on the clock, with two previous wins just about the maximum.
For that reason, we will overlook the charms of Great Scott who has been in the winners’ enclosure three times already this season.
Phoenix Of Spain, Dashing Willoughby, King Ottakar and Raakib Alhawa have been away from the track a little longer than you would like.
That leaves us with a shortlist of Kick On, Magna Grecia and Turgenev.
Given there has only been one winner sent off at a double-figure price in the past 10 years, Kick On has a negative to overcome. Trying to split the remaining two on form isn’t particularly easy. But there is one major plus for Magna Grecia over Turgenev.
That’s the strong record of trainer Aidan O’Brien in this race. Some of Ballydoyle’s brightest stars have won this and he has no fewer than eight wins dating back to 1997. That makes Donnacha O’Brien’s mount a confident choice when it comes to the stats.
The Listed Doncaster Stakes kicks off the Town Moor action at 1.45.
This has been a race for horses that were placed last time out and ran within the past month or so.
We can cross out Canton Queen, Garrus, Heartwarming, It’s the Only Way and Emerald Approach.
That has chopped the field in half before we remove Barbill, Dave Dexter and Kodyanna who lack a win over this 6f distance.
After applying those trends, we are left with a shootout between San Donato and Breath Of Air, who have both been popular in the early betting.
There is very little to separate them on the trends but the form of SAN DONATO looks slightly stronger and that can make the difference.
Older horses have a poor record in Doncaster’s Sunracing.co.uk Handicap at 3.25.
You need to stick with horses aged three, four or five which cuts a few of them out of today’s line-up.
Eight winners in the past decade were drawn in double figures so it should pay to stick with that stat this time around.
That has cut the big field down to just nine hopefuls — Tarboosh, Camacho Chief, Ornate, Lord Riddiford, Evergate, Just Glamorous, Quick Look, Erissimus Maximus and Diamond Dougal to concentrate on.
All of them have the crucial win over 5f but Tarboosh looks a little high in the weights to be winning this.
A decent run on Town Moor before has been a good pointer so we can lose Lord Riddiford, Evergate, Just Glamorous, Erissimus Maximus and Diamond Dougal.
So we now have a proper shortlist of just Camacho Chief, Ornate and Quick Look.
Of those, CAMACHO CHIEF is having very much the best season and is finishing it well with two wins and a second from his past three runs.
That runner-up effort was probably the pick at York last time and he looks on a fair enough mark still with a capable claimer on board.
This looks wide open but he should be on the premises again at a fair price.
Top form: San Donato