FALLON IN THE PINK AFTER MEYDAN SUCCESS: Kieren Fallon flies home from his Golden Shaheen win in Dubai last night to ride Daqman’s nap on the second day at Doncaster.
No point in saying ’I told you so’. Even if you did follow my advice to ‘forget the favourites’, Saturday was still an impossible day to find winners, with Doncaster returns on terrestrial TV of 50-1, 25-1 and 12-1, then 33-1, 14-1 and 10-1 (twice) later on.
That’s my lead-in to talking about terrestrial TV, because I want to say what a mess Channel-4 made of showing how my bet, Captain Bertie, got trapped in the Spring Mile and finished like the proverbial train; the ‘unluckiest loser of the year so far,’ according to Jim McGrath.
In real time, they could manage only a glimpse of ‘Bertie’ flying into the bottom of the picture. The reprise was even worse, showing the winning horse close up in isolation, with voice-over by a baffled McGrath, no doubt napping his eyes in frustration.
They decided to try again but the second replay, shown after the next televised race, was not much better. With courses where finishers get spread across the track, they must have cameras on either side. It’s obvious.
Captain Bertie’s trainer, Charlie Hills, made my feelings worse by landing a Kempton double with Glen Moss and Shropshire, and one of my Lincoln outsiders, Primaeval, won a conditions race there. And I didn’t tip him.
Just to ‘make my day’, Arctic Cosmos, rejected by me at odds on, was allowed to start at 5-4 against. Then he won like an odds-on shot! It’s all about prices, isn’t it.
It was good to see English and Irish jockeys winning at Meydan (Frankie Dettori 2, Kieren Fallon and Colm O’Donoghue one each yesterday).
Fallon is back riding at Doncaster today on Ellie In The Pink (2.45) and Navajo Chief (3.55) for an in-form Alan Jarvis, with the trainer giving Navajo Chief the thumbs up in the Racing Post this morning, though he shouldn’t beat beat Side Glance, who is unpenalised for Group and Listed wins.
2.45 Doncaster: Ellie In The Pink (9.6 on Betdaq, as I write) is in stall 10, which is roughly where the action was yesterday, and she has a potential front-runner either side of her in 9 and 11; a recent AW outing should have put her spot on for this, and the pace in prospect will suit.
‘Ellie’ is the right age, with four-year-olds going for a four-timer. The last three winners have all been trained by Richard Fahey but he has only a six-year-old to shout for this time and Viva Ronaldo has to be claimed off.
3.20 Doncaster: Nothing older than five has won this for eight years now and a weight bigger than 9st 3lb has been carried only once.
Stalls 9, 10, 11 and 12 filled five of the six places in the two sprints yesterday but there were 14 runners at most.
Desert Law was taking Pricewise money this morning, losing his value, and I doubt whether the ground is fast enough (all races bar the Lincoln were run ‘slow’ on the opening day) but he’s back on his winning mark.
Marine Commando (11.5 this morning) is not in the same league as he was when winning the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot as a two-year-old (when he won first time out) but ran well enough at Doncaster in the autumn to suggest he could have this meeting as a target. Trainer won the Lincoln yesterday.
King Of Jazz (11.5) had the Lincoln on the agenda – he would have carried 9st 2lb – but, when Jamie Spencer rode this Doncaster winner on the gallops, he showed such speed that, allied with his stamina (he’s won over 7f), a come-from-behind swoop over today’s fast-run 6f looks on the cards.
3.55 Doncaster (Doncaster Mile): Side Glance was evens this morning, despite Andrew Balding’s misgivings that he’s usually ring rusty starting back (first-run form since two-year-old days: 43).
Meanwhile, Alan Jarvis’s confidence behind Navajo Chief (17.0) has been ignored and Questioning (4.4) is the one backed, with former Lincoln winner Penitent not normally at his best on today’s ground. I shall play the offers, betting odds on that I have the winner in three.
BET 2.3pts win (nap) ELLIE THE PINK (2.45 Doncaster)
WIN-30 JACKPOT: 2.8pts win on each KING OF JAZZ and MARINE COMMANDO, and 1pt win (stakes saver) DESERT LAW (3.20 Doncaster)
BET 6pts win QUESTIONING, 1.25pts win NAVAJO CHIEF and 7.25pts win for cover on SIDE GLANCE (3.55 Doncaster)
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