Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter Saturday

Tomorrow at 4.00pm Doncaster hosts the Lincoln on what is traditionally considered the first day of the new Flat season. I've always considered the race a bit of a lottery and won't be getting involved. Several of the fancied ante-post runners, including Zaahid and Don't Panic, failed to make the cut and race in the Spring Mile at 2.50 instead. With the ground riding good to soft, the general opinion seems to be that high drawn runners could be at a disadvantage. Rio Riva has been touted in several quarters during the week, was second in this race last year (when run at Newcastle), is joint top rated in The Racing Post, will handle the ground and has a decent draw in stall five; that's a number of positives but, as I've indicated, I won't be playing.

The jumping cards on offer are not out of the top drawer. At Haydock Captain Oscar looks the one to beat in the concluding bumper while, a bit further north, in Carlisle's opener several of the runners are closely matched. King Mak would have won last time out at Market Rasen but for trying to demolish the last fence - he gets the vote here.

Only six go to post at 3.30 for Newton Abbot's best race of the day and question marks surround all the participants. Likely favourite Squires Lane might be considered somewhat fortunate to have won last time; here he's taking on horses that have been running in better class races without showing too much form. Both Mister Ed and The Risky Viking are preferred to the twelve year old Paxford Jack. The Peter Bowen stable hasn't had the best of seasons but is now returning from a quiet spell but I'll take a chance with Nick Williams' The Risky Viking if he's priced up around 4/1.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Rio Riva (17/2) finished fourth of the twenty one runners in the Lincoln. There was a fair amount of debate about the draw - to my mind, if there was an advantage it went to horses comig from the higher numbered stalls.
Captain Oscar was a non-runner at Haydock but at Carlisle King Mak (11/4) made all and won by an impressive fourteen lengths.
The Risky Viking (11/4) put in as poor a performance as King Mak's was good, weakening from three out to be beaten the best part of thirty lengths into fifth behind Squires Lane (5/2f). Before the off I had no qualms in opposing SL as he hasn't always looked the safest conveyance and his tendency to jump right (which he again displayed here) was likely to prove a hindrance on this course. Despite all that, he has still won 'heavily eased' by ten lengths - that looks a decent effort.