THE CAP SHOULD FIT TODAY FOR HARRY
Doncaster 1.30 - The action is a mixture between Flat and Jumps and we start with our Flat cap on and a tricky fillies race to pick apart.
I have been really impressed with Fondest this season as she is a fair horse on soft ground but I’m worried it might not be soft enough for her.
Throughout the card there are a few Irish raiders and Dermot Weld’s, BONA FIDE catches the eye here off a mark of 88. I’m sure there aren’t too many daughters of Frankel rated below 90 and an unexposed filly like this one could be well ahead of her mark. Weld wouldn’t be bringing her over for the day out. Wincanton 1.50 - A competitive mares event and I expect IF YOU SAY RUN to be a warm favourite. Paul Nicholls’ mare progressed nicely last year and wouldn’t have been at home in the tacky ground that she faced so often. With the ground currently good to firm at Wincanton I expect her to put her turn of foot to good use.
Doncaster 2.05 - If the forecast showers turn the ground on the soft side I will be backing DONJUAN TRIUMPHANT to gain a deserved success. Andrew Balding’s charge will appreciate the return to a lower grade although he has proven he belongs on the top table with admirable runs in the Sprint Cup and the Champions Sprint. Wincanton 2.25 - The good ground will suit BAGS GROOVE as he bids to double his tally over fences. Harry Fry was always marking time with this horse over hurdles but he became a tidy hurdler and ran some fine races. I was mightily impressed with his win last time out as I think the form is better than it looks and if he can progress again he must have a serious chance of doubling up. Aintree 2.40 - This will be very much a prep run for a lot of these horses. A flat, galloping track is a must for WARRIORS TALE and although he has to carry top weight I think he has a solid each way chance. He is only 4lb higher than when he ran Gold Present close at Newbury and only 2lb higher than when he narrowly got beat in the Skybet Chase at Doncaster. He tends to appreciate a break between his races so I’m hopeful he can surprise a few today. Wincanton 3.00 - I believe today is the day that IF THE CAP FITS (NAP) surges onto the Champion Hurdle scene. I was a keen follower of Harry Fry’s horse last year and although he missed Spring targets due to injury he was simply too good to risk. It may have been a blessing in disguise as he now has another year on his back which makes him a different proposition when running in these big races. Noel Fehily has the utmost confidence in him and I’m excited to see what he produces today.
Doncaster 3.15 - I’m going back to the BAYDAR (NB) well in the hope he can finally cash in on his lenient mark. He has dropped to a very handy mark compared to what he was rated at his best and has put in some fine efforts without winning. This has led to much frustration for myself and Ian Williams as we both know he is good enough to be winning of this mark. He gets in here with a lovely weight and top jockey Andrea Atzeni takes the ride which is a huge signal of intent. I advise a big each way bet. Wincanton 3.35 - It is a big risk tipping EL BANDIT after so long off the track but you get the impression he may have been laid out for this and that he won’t be running off 139 for much longer. A very smart staying hurdler, he made a good impression on his chase debut 543 days ago and should now excel over fences.