Racing: This year’s flat season goes out with a whimper rather than a flourish with the November Handicap at Doncaster tomorrow.
Much will depend on the weather at Town Moor to determine where the prize for this final big handicap of the season goes.
If the track doesn’t get too much rain then Kirthill looks the most obvious player to me.
Luca Cumani’s charge found the 10 furlongs at Newbury way too sharp for him last time and, allied to a slow pace, was predictably out-speeded down the home straight.
Kieren Fallon readily accepted the situation through the final 200 yards and that kindness could yet be repaid here.
However, as I fear the track may get more rain than the four-year-old would appreciate, it could pay to look elsewhere for a well-weighted horse that appreciates softer conditions.
The runners that qualify in that category are probably First Mohican, The Tiger, Nicholascopernicus, Clayton and Party Line.
Of that group the former is the 7/2 favourite and having initially been thought to be a group horse, could well maintain an unbeaten record.
That said, he is too short in the betting for me and this, coupled with the fact that he has drawn a bad box in 21, means that The Tiger gets my vote.
Having been shrewdly campaigned by Ed Dunlop this season he is just the type of horse you want to keep onside in this kind of event, despite having been raised substantially in the weights since an impressive Catterick success.
Harking back to the ground conditions and away from the listed mud lovers, if the going doesn’t become a mud bath then old Sirvino is another contender to consider at around 25/1.
The remainder of the card looks very difficult for us punters, but it may pay to take a chance on Pelmanism in the opener at 11.50 now that he has dropped to a good mark.
In addition, Sirius Prospect finally gets a clear-cut chance to re-enter the winner’s enclosure in the Listed Wentworth Stakes at 3.10, in which he probably has C&D winner The Cheka to worry about most with Valencha also interesting returned to six furlongs under William Buick.
Elsewhere there is a fine card of National Hunt racing at Wincanton and it is interesting that Ruby Walsh prefers to ride Prospect Wells ahead of stablemate Zarkandar in the Elite Hurdle at 2.50.
That said, both may have to bow to the classy four-year-old Baby Mix who already has a run under his belt.
Around 35 minutes later Michel Le Bon is given one final chance to shine when he runs off a potentially lucrative mark of 140 in the Badger Ales Trophy at 3.25.
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.