Paul Callaghan’s Doncaster Racing Tips – Saturday 30th January
1.30 Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) (GBB Race) over 2 miles 78 yards.
Arkle favourite, Shishkin, looks to cement his credentials further for the Cheltenham festival and keep his unbeaten record in tact over fences. He was my ante post bet for the season back in September at 7/2 for the Arkle, he is currently 8/11 to take the second race, on the opening day at the 2021 Cheltenham festival. I’ll be disappointed if we don’t see something special once again. At the prices Shishkin may not be a betting proposition but this is certainly a race, I hope to sick back and enjoy.
2.05 Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 2) over 2 miles 128 yards.
A chance is taken on the Paul Nicholls trained Miranda, partnered by Harry Cobden. The daughter of Camelot, despite being a beaten favourite on her latest outing in a handicap hurdle at Musselburgh, was only beaten around a length by the winner. She’s favoured by the race conditions here and won’t mind the ground. She ticks a lot of boxes for me and I think she will take the beating.
2.40 Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) over 3 miles 84 yards.
Only a length and a half separated Pats Fancy and Ask A Honey Bee, when the pair clashed finishing second and third respectively – in favour of Pats Fancy – in a Grade 2 Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham last month. I fancy the Fergal O’Brien trained gelding to reverse that form and take this Grade 2 contest on Town Moor. He likes to go forward but doesn’t have to make the running, which is worth noting as there is one or two others in the field who like to be up there. Pats Fancy is usually dropped in, so I’m taking a chance that jockey Paddy Brennan will get first run, from a prominent position when heads straighten for home. (I hope it works out as easy as it sounds!)
3.15 Handicap Chase (Listed Chase) (GBB Race) over 2 miles 7 furlongs 214 yards.
Musical Slave is sure to be popular, now partnered by Richard Johnson, who has re-routed following the abandonment of Cheltenham. However I think Cap Du Nord is going to take some beating. Connections are hopeful that the selection can develop into an Aintree Grand National contender, and to do so, you would expect him to be thereabouts in this one. On his last start, he followed Royal Pagaille (who has won at Haydock since) home at Kempton on the 27th of December. Despite not being fluent on occasions, Cap Du Nord was in front at the second last fence, he made Royal Pagaille work and pulled 19 lengths clear of the third. If he builds on or reproduces anything like that performance, he’ll take the beating here.
3.50 Handicap Chase over 2 miles 7 furlongs 214 yards.
I think this can go the way of the Henry Oliver trained Agamemmon, partnered by jockey Paddy Brennan. He was a little disappointing when finishing fifth on heavy ground at Market Rasen on his last start. He seemed to run in snatches throughout and never looked entirely happy. The ground will not be as testing this afternoon and he has form on soft ground. He is running off a handicap mark of 113, he has run off a mark as high as 121 in the past and has won off a rating of 117, so he ought to be on the premises come the latter stages of this contest.
Odds correct at time of publication