Doncaster horse racing tips
13.45 – Virgin Bet Handicap Hurdle – 2m
LIVELY CITIZEN landed a big-field Cheltenham handicap in November when sent off 33/1 and confirmed that victory to be no fluke when runner-up the following month over the same C&D. He’s likely to make another bold bid from only a 2Ib higher mark this weekend with more improvement to come.
HYDROPLANE was behind Lively Citizen at Cheltenham in November, but has improved since and scored with plenty up his sleeve in a jumpers bumper at Lingfield recently. He’s a huge player from an exploitable mark.
Selections: LIVELY CITIZEN, HYDROPLANE
14.20 – Virgin Bet Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Listed) (GBB Race) – 3m
An excellent renewal with plenty to consider, including a couple of outsiders who shouldn’t be discounted.
DRAGON BONES scored at 50/1 on debut in 2019 and the form has worked out well with plenty of subsequent winners emerging from behind including Midnight River. She returned from a huge absence to finish fourth in the Market Rasen listed bumper in January and I find it interesting that connections set her a task this high to begin her hurdling career.
PHILLAPA SUE showed smart form in bumpers when trained in Ireland and her close-up third behind Royal Kahala on one occasion is good form. She’s pitched in the deep end on hurdle/stable debut here but looks the type to make her mark in this sphere.
Of the rest, WYNN HOUSE ran well against the boys in a Grade 2 novice at Cheltenham in December and can continue her trend of improvement with another big effort back against her own sex at this easier level.
Selections: DRAGON BONES, PHILLAPA SUE, WYNN HOUSE
14.55 – Virgin Bet Handicap Chase (GBB Race) – 2m
BALLYWOOD hasn’t been at his best this term but has valuable course form (second in a Grade 2 in 2019) and is down to a mark that’s well within his capabilities. He’s undergone wind surgery subsequently and should strip fitter for a spin in a jumpers bumper last month, therefore, Alan King’s charge has to be high on the shortlist against horses who either need to improve or bounce back to form.
The top-weight RETURN TICKET has to be respected. He was a good fourth at Musselburgh back in January and although he was well-held in a jumpers bumper on the latest run, Rebecca Menzies charge will appreciate the return to the larger obstacles.
Selections: BALLYWOOD, RETURN TICKET
15.30 – Virgin Bet Grimthorpe Handicap Chase (GBB Race) – 3m2f
CANELO has been a rapid-improver this season, winning at Aintree and the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby before a good fourth in a hot Sky Bet Chase here when last seen. This is much less demanding and, from a 1Ib lower mark with Tom Bellamy back onboard, this should be his for the taking.
If Alan King’s charge surprisingly runs below-form then perhaps CHIDSWELL will be the one to capitalise for the Nicky Richards team. He warmed up for this with a good spin over hurdles last-time-out and could offer some each-way reward.
Selections: CANELO, CHIDSWELL
16.05 – Virgin Bet Free Bets For Winners Handicap Hurdle (GBB Race) – 3m
A case can be made for most of these but bottom-weight SOME CHAOS ran a big race to finish fifth in the Badger Beers Silver Trophy Handicap Chase in November and reverts to hurdles on a 20Ib lower mark with good ground to suit and plenty of other positives to support his credentials.
I’m going to nominate SENSULANO as an alternative option at large odds. She has been competing in stronger races than this throughout her career and her form figures at this level or lower in this sphere reads an excellent 212121. With that taken into account, she’s a huge player dropping down in grade with Alexander Thorne taking off a valuable 5Ib.
Selections: SOME CHAOS, SENSULANO
16.40 – Virgin Bet Novices’ Hurdle (GBB Race) – 2m3f
KILDIMO only found one too good in a slightly better race than this in January when just touched off by the useful Sheldon. The pair pulled well clear of the remainder that day and, with this longer trip set to suit, he should be able to find the necessary improvement to go one better.
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