The 2017 Flat season on turf gets underway at Doncaster tomorrow, when Donncha will be a very live runner in the Lincoln Handicap having not simply hit the bar a few times last season in big-field handicaps, but both posts as well with another goal-bound effort hacked off the line. He was second in the Spring Mile last season after a similar break, and looks like an excellent bet against the favourite Yuften at around 7-1.
It is difficult to find a runner at one of today’s meetings that makes quite the same appeal, but Indian Pursuit (8.45) could be worth waiting for in the final race at Newcastle this evening.
John Quinn’s sprinter has already built up an impressive record on Newcastle’s new Tapeta circuit since making his all-weather debut here last October, and his last two runs in particular suggest that Indian Pursuit is in the form of his life at present.
His first win in 15 starts in February was followed by a close second over today’s course and distance when he was headed close home after sitting close to a strong pace. Indian Pursuit is up another couple of pounds today but should be good enough to beat a field that is not quite as deep as a double-figure field suggests.
Athollblair Boy (7.15) is returning from a break but is another runner with a good course record who is on a fair mark, while on the afternoon’s jumping cards, Magic Dancer (3.20) could reward the patience of his owners with a first success over hurdles at Wetherby.
The runner-up in Lingfield’s Derby Trial in May 2015 has just one win to his name, in a Windsor maiden the previous autumn, but he showed enough on his return from 10 months off at Kempton last month to suggest a Class 4 handicap hurdle at Wetherby is not beyond him.
Chestnut Ben (2.50) should go well on the same card, while at Fontwell Park, Clondaw Banker (2.40) and Carnspindle (4.10) both have plenty to recommend them at their current prices.
Fontwell Park 2.10 Benatar 2.40 Clondaw Banker 3.10 Flanagans Field 3.40 Tara Bridge 4.10 Carnspindle 4.40 Remember Forever 5.10 Dell Oro
Wetherby 2.20 Master Of Finance 2.50 Chestnut Ben 3.20 Magic Dancer 3.50 Treat Yourself 4.20 Manwell 4.50 Ardea 5.20 Duc De Beauchene
Lingfield Park 2.00 Captain Courageous 2.30 Right Action 3.00 Our Channel 3.30 Stepper Point 4.00 Amanto 4.30 Anonymous John 5.00 Ajman Princess
Newcastle 5.45 Mazaaher 6.15 Cheval Blanche 6.45 Multicultural 7.15 Athollblair Boy (nb) 7.45 First Excel 8.15 Little Miss Daisy 8.45 Indian Pursuit (nap)