By News Team
29th January 2021
There’s a great card at Doncaster on Saturday, with Arkle ante-post Shishkin the headline act. As well as that there’s one of the big handicaps of the season and here are Nick Luck’s fancies…
SHISHKIN will almost certainly be the best chaser trained in Britain this time next year, if he’s not already, and there seems no point opposing him in the Doncaster TV opener (1.30pm), even at 1/4. I would, however, suggest that Cheddleton is a pretty smart prospect and can at least put up a bold show for a long way.
MARIE’S ROCK was well beaten behind stablemate Floressa in the Gerry Fielden at Newbury, but there are reasons for thinking she can turn it around in the Grade 2 for mares (2.05pm). First, she was by far the better fancied of the Henderson pair that day but pulled her chance away before the race developed. The application of a hood and tongue tie should help, as should a return to much softer ground, which may well inconvenience both Floressa and Miranda. Henderson was talking up Marie’s Rock as a potential champion hurdle hopeful at the beginning of the season, and she can be allowed one more chance at 9/4.
FLASH COLLONGES gets a narrow vote in a very tight edition of the River Don (2.40pm) at 9/2. Unraced in bumpers, he has had to learn fast in a short career to date, but he’s made great strides and is taking his racing well. He took another biggish step forward when beating the well regarded Malinello with some comfort at Wincanton last time, his most significant stamina test to date. From a family of very smart stayers, he can improve again for another step up.
I’ll also be have a saver each-way on FERN HILL at 10/1. An extreme stayer in the making who can handle bad ground well and whose Wetherby win is working out a treat.
MUSICAL SLAVE looks a bet at 17/2 in a particularly spicy edition of the Great Yorkshire Chase (3.15pm). Quietly progressive last season – and not fully exposed – he again ran a nice race on his seasonal debut, while leaving the strong impression that two and a half miles on good ground was an insufficient test of stamina. This is much more up his street and I am further encouraged by the fact that his biggest success over hurdles came in a huge field at Punchestown. What is more, the stable’s horses are running pretty well now and he represents a value alternative to Cap Du Nord, who is a deserving favourite, but plenty short enough.
FINANCIAL OUTCOME might be the answer to a trappy Northern Lights Qualifier (3.50pm). He is none too reliable, but the evidence of his last run suggested that a breathing operation had worked, looking the likeliest winner at the last before tiring. He’s entitled to come on for that run at 7/1 and is able to race off the same mark here. The other one of interest is Horatio Hornblower (11/1), who shaped a bit better under today’s rider last time and is now on a very tempting mark.