2.55 1m4f Group 2 Roaring Lion Stakes – Coronet 15/8
Super consistent mare that’s chasing that Group 1 winner, she was unlucky last year with three 2nds in Group 1’s, one of which she was just outdone in a head bopping photo finish when looking the winner for the majority of the race. She starts her campaign this season in a Group 2 like last year when winning the Middleton Stakes on seasonal debut to take her record to a unbeaten 4 from 4 away from Group 1 company, like winning last season on debut she also won her maiden to prove she goes very well fresh, she’s also proved she enjoys taking on her opposite sex on more than one occasion. She’s won over the Rowley Newmarket course on her only try and goes on any ground, so she won’t mind what the going stick says at any point or if that heavy predicted rain comes. Trainer John Gosden is in his usual flying form with 36 winners to his name already this season, a 30% win strike rate and 62% win & place strike rate and again looking to add to his 4 black type wins already this year, plus at a course he has a very healthy +£97.95 level stakes profit. Usual partner Frankie Dettori is called upon once again who knows the mare well with 3 wins on her back, he’s in fantastic form himself with a 30% strike rate and rode a winning hat trick from 4 rides on Wednesday at Ascot and has a exceptional partnership with John Gosden with close to 500 wins and over £17.5 million in prize money just on British soil alone and backing them blind to a pound you’d be £41.71 up over the years, not many powerhouse partnerships you can say that about, if any.
3.35 1m Group 1 2000 Guineas – Madhmoon 15/2 Great Scot 16/1 e/w 4 places
Changed my mind on this race more than once, initially I liked Magna Grecia after an impressive 2yo campaign, was 2nd to French trained Persian King in a Group 3 over this C&D on just his 2nd run, with Persian King having the benefit of 2 extra runs and MG running green to finish just a neck away he clearly had the most scope of the 2 individuals and was the one to take away from the race. He backed that up when winning the Group 1 Vertem Futurity Stakes NTO, everything didn’t go entirely right for him and looked at one point as his chance was going to be wiped out with his path closing, but the colts quick turn of foot powered Donnacha O’Brien through the gap and past the line in front very eye catching in the process. However I’m a little thrown off with Ryan Moore choosing to ride Ten Sovereigns instead of Magna Grecia, he rarely gets his choice wrong especially in these Group 1 situations and says the yard think more of Ten Sovereigns, or his owning Magna at home or even Magna isn’t quite fit yet, either way I’m going to look elsewhere. Ten Sovereigns would then seem the logical replacement, which I toyed with for a long minute, unbeaten in his 3 starts as a 2yo and won the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes over this track when last seen, they was all over 6 furlongs and we’ve not seen him run past that yet, visually he looked like he’d at least get another furlong and had his ears pricked saying there was more to give, but running a stiff mile full tilt is a big ask and on pedigree raises more question marks than answers, on the dams side the sire Exceed And Excel was a sprinter and has produced some good milers but when given time and with age, the dam was a 10 furlong winner in France and did place in a listed race over 11f which does give hope, but then Sovereigns sire No Nay Never was also a Group 1 winning sprinter and strongly suggests sticking to sprinting, so with that being said I couldn’t back TS or MG at their current prices with any confidence. Attentions turn to Madhmoon who was the next most impressive 2yo, he won a very strong Group 2 juvenile over a mile at Leopardstown on just his 2nd start against mainly more experienced rivals, he didn’t have the best of draws and was caught widest throughout, he travelled like a dream and easily put the race to bed under hands and heels, the form took a big boost with the well beaten 2nd Broome nearly winning a Group 1 in France NTO, before smashing a Group 3 over 10f last month. Madhmoon had a nice prep for this in a Guineas trial last month over 7f, he was a little keen, he didn’t like the ground, was widest throughout and had a 3lb penalty, he however ran a fine race with all against him, today the step up back to a mile looks his optimum, I believe he will get more in time but right now a strongly run stiff mile is perfect, he’ll come on for the recent run, loses his penalty, a straight mile looks like it’ll bring out more as he’s more of a galloper and at present the ground is perfect and if the rain doesn’t come everything is on side for a huge run. One more to note is Great Scot, he’s really impressed in his 3 wins and even impressed in his loses, he’s very head strong and throws away his races with racing far too keen, clearly plenty of ability and potential and as soon as he learns to settle if he ever does, he’ll win some big races, today’s likely strong run mile will suit and could cause a surprise if he settles.
5.15 6f Class 3 Handicap – Naadirr 13/2
Has won on fast and soft ground, but is a true good ground specialist and gets his ground today, he loves Doncaster, with his record reading 113148 over this trip. He was rated as high as 111 once upon a time for Marco Botti but hasn’t found that level for Kevin Ryan but either way shows you how well in he is, his last win came here in a 0-95 with Jamie Spencer aboard off a mark of 92 last March, it was a far from perfect run which also showed you how well treated he is to still win the way he did, he carried that form well to place in a Group 3 in Italy, he finished the season below par in all 3 runs which prompted a wind surgery, he returned this season in much better light, finishing strongly on seasonal debut and then running well in a Group 3 on synthetics even if it doesn’t really suit, the return to turf in a much easier 0-90 handicap on his lowest handicap career mark (90) should see him looking very dangerous, he clearly loves the course and Jamie booked and are both big pluses.