Early look at the first feature flat race of the season which is ran over the Doncaster mile. 4 year olds have a great record in the race and are our main focus, they have won the last 4 renewals of the race and won it 10 times in the last 17 years.
Also another few significant trends to add, is 9/10 of the last 4 year old winners was making their seasonal debut, ie hasn’t run at Meyden this year, 6 of them won their final outing as a 3 year old and also 6 of them 9 had only 7 career races or fewer to their name. Also 9/10 had won at a mile before and all 10 had ran at a mile or over.
So basically a 4 year old, who won their last start as a 3 year old, whose has had fewer than 7 career races and had won at a mile before is a good trend.
Currently at the top of the betting market sits Fifth Position from the Roger Varian yard, he’s only won 1 of his last 6 starts when beating Space Blues who carried a 7lb penalty in a novice event, now 114 rated Space Blues went on to win a listed event before a couple of big runs in French Group 1 races, most notably 2nd to Too Darn Hot in the Prix Jean Prat which was tipped by Russell Blair Racing. Fifth Position since has ran in a few decent pattern races and was last seen when staying on 8th in the Cambridgeshire, he doesn’t strike me as particularly well handicapped which make his odds look very short at 6/1.
The next 4yo is Top Rank who is around 3rd fav in the market at current, he’s won his last 3 from 3 and has a bright looking future but his mark of just 91 leaves him looking unlikely to make the cut, the last 3 years the lowest mark that made the cut was 96.
Ebury with just the 2 wins from 5 runs, but has just the 2 runs to his name on the turf, he won a conditions race on turf debut with Wafy in the field who went on to win a Group 3 in Meydan this season and is a leading fancy in the Group 1 Golden Shaheen. Ebury next and last race on turf came in a decent enough class 3 handicap at Newmarket where he looked very well in, he was held up out the back and left with an awful lot to do in a race where nothing else came with a closing run he closed down the 10 length gap between him and the eventual winner Hafeet Alain to just a length at the line, that was on soft ground too which is another big plus proving to handle almost any ground.
Tinandali has a interesting angle, he’s trained by David O’Meara who won this race in 2017 with a ex A P O’Brien Irish horse Bravery who was very exposed at the time so was a fine training job, this year he tackles the race with another ex Irish horse from the D K Weld yard whose a lot less exposed with just the 6 runs to his name with 2 wins on the board. He’s won over further than this 1 mile race too which holds in good light and his Dad Oasis Dream was very quick sprinter with 3 top Group 1’s to his name and is Europe’s leading Group 1 sprint sire, so plenty of pace in the pedigree coupled by the his dams stamina who also won over 10 furlongs and the dams sire Daylami was an exceptional stayer with 7 Group 1 victories to his name in middle distance events, so with a exciting pedigree of pace and stamina his full potential may now be unlocked with a change of yards.
Beatboxer is worthy of a big mention from the dangerous John Gosden yard who as normal has his yard in fine form with 11 winners and 16 places from just 48 runners this season. Beatboxer showed early promise winning his first 2 starts as a 2yo before 2 below par runs questioning his attitude, he put them behind him when winning the Silver Bowl handicap last year at Haydock off a mark of 95 showing plenty to like on his day but again proved unpredictable when running below par in his next 2 runs to finish the season. He’s been gelded over the winter which could bring out his true ability and may be one to follow this season if the operation has done the job.
Bell Rock comes from a inform Andrew Balding yard whose operating on a 22% strike rate this season, he also has been gelded over the winter, he’s out of a very exciting young sire Kingman whose progeny have hit the ground running and was also the leading second season sire in Europe last year. Bell Rock is very unexposed with just the 4 runs to his name, he won on debut as a 2yo late in the season and was highly tried in 3 races last season, a step back into handicap company and now gelded could see a very dangerous run and is another who could be one to follow this year.
A interesting renewal of the Lincoln this season where I don’t see any 4yo (likely to make the cut) that won their last race as a 3yo which is normally a good trend to follow, but non the less all looking the leading contenders and have the upper hand over their elders again this year, the favourite Fifth Position for me is a bad favourite and to be taken on, but at present is a tough decision to know what to take him on with, Ebury currently 16/1 is the top choice and available with www.wetttippsheute.net, he was visually the most impressive LTO, looks to have the most in hand and we know he’ll handle any ground. Tinandali 20/1 has the most exciting pedigree and untapped potential IMO, but D K Weld is a brilliant trainer and hard to fathom that if he couldn’t get the best out of him then will O’Meara, but the same could be said about when he did it with Bravery. We also have the 2 recently gelded Beatboxer and Bell Rock who both are 25/1 and look potential forces if the operation has done the trick, a little worried on the ground for both of these, as they both have to prove they’ll go on the likely softer ground but Bell Rock breeding says he’ll relish conditions. So gun to head if I had to pick 2, I’m at present with Ebury 16/1 and Bell Rock 25/1, but a keen eye on both Tinandali & Beatboxer.