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Man On The Spot previews the first card of the Flat turf season at Doncaster on Friday.
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13.25 William Hill Download The App Brocklesby Conditions Stakes
A fresh crop of two-year-olds kick start the new Flat season. Mick Easterby trained last year's winner but Kraka Gym's winning relatives all scored over longer trips and Lord Clyde makes more appeal. The latter's pedigree is packed with speed and Paul Hanagan's presence boosts confidence. Bill Turner has won this on numerous occasions so Mick's Yer Man is worth noting while both Sleepy Joe and Vodka Time hail from yards that tend to have their two-year-old representatives well forward at this time of year. Charles Smith runs a couple in the same colours and both are of interest. The 95,000euros colt Donny Rover is a half-brother to the useful Mac Love, who finished sixth in this contest on his debut, but a punt is taken on stablemate DONCASTER BELLE. She's an early January foal and may well be strong enough to give the boys a run for their money on her debut.
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All of these are stepping up in distance for their first outing of the year. Ronaldinho was a progressive juvenile, winning three nurseries and signing off with a victory in soft ground at this track. He looks a leading contender but MISTER IMPATIENCE is just preferred. The latter stormed clear to win his maiden in testing ground over a mile at Nottingham in October and can pick up where he left off given today's trip should be no problem. Havana Beat's fast ground win at Sandown in September suggests he'll be winning races this year and Allnecessaryforce is another to consider on his fourth in Listed company at the end of last season, although Arthurs Secret had finished ahead of him at Haydock earlier. Mister Marcasite's win at Ayr was less impressive and Mystical Man has plenty to prove over the distance.
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MODEL PUPIL went within a nose of landing the Chester Vase last May when just held by Mickdaam. A setback didn't see him race again until failing to land the odds at Leicester in October but Charlie Hills' colt has more potential than his older opponents and can take advantage of today's favourable terms. A winner in France, Genzy missed most of last year but was beaten only a length in Listed company on the Polytrack in November while Cracking Lass has also been placed in a Listed race and is fit from hurdling. Masterful Act arrives in good form having landed a recent double at Southwell but like the remaining handicappers, he has plenty to find in this company.
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RED TYKE showed progressive form last year with a win in soft ground at Hamilton separating a couple of victories over hurdles. A recent spin over timber will have freshened him up and he gets the token vote. Boston Blue is another recent winner over hurdles when beating today's rival Royal Opera but last season's Chepstow winner Taste The Wine makes more appeal than both of them. Pandorica looks likely to handle the going better than both Tenhoo and Maid Of Meft while Yeomanoftheguard makes most appeal of those fit from racing on the all-weather.
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Intimidate made all in heavy ground over 7f at Yarmouth last October and he'll take some pegging back in today's going if allowed an easy lead. However, ANNUNCIATION has a touch of class that the others lack and he gets the nod. Third in the Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar last year, he'll be sharper for last week's outing at Chantilly and the Hannon colt is taken to come out best. Fortinbrass has been running well on the all-weather without success but the soft ground is a worry for both him and Threes Grand but Kimberella and Shahdaroba will handle the surface and have chances. Maiden winners Smart Spender and Heaven's Guest are a couple of less exposed types to keep an eye on this season as they return to action.
16.10 William Hill Download The App Handicap (Div 1)
Classic Colori has won his couple of starts at Wolverhampton but is 10lb higher today and his only win on Turf came back in 2009. He beat Azrael last time but recent Southwell winner Caldercruix makes more appeal off his current mark. An Cat Dubh beat lower rated opposition in a maiden at Chester in August and needs more on his return while Day Of The Eagle is another Chester winner having his first start since July. Pearl Nation has scope and may well figure if handling the surface but Ayr winner Barkston Ash is better over 6f and finished tailed off in this last year. Defence Council has plenty to find on running at Thirsk in September behind FIELDGUNNER KIRKUP and the latter gets the vote. Three times a winner over 7f in soft ground last term, David Barron's charge can make a winning reappearance in this.
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Any strong support in the betting for the 160,000gns newcomer Munhamer could prove significant and fellow debutant Artistical can boast a Listed winner among his relatives. Amanada Wolf is worth a second glance along with Aetna but YUL FINEGOLD has the best proven form. His fifth at Sandown in September has worked out well with a couple of winners coming out of the race and Richard Hughes has been booked for his reappearance. Khelman went close at Catterick last season and Lightning Launch was beaten a length by a subsequent winner at Haydock in August and they look best of the rest.
17.20 William Hill Download The App Handicap (Div 2)
Gloriam had just the one outing last year but showed some promise as a two-year-old and Ruth Carr may find a way to get him back on track. Magic City only managed a couple of appearances last season but is dropped in class for his return while Docofthebay's victory at Southwell last month was his first since 2011. Green Park has a shout off his current mark and makes more appeal than Steel Stockholder, upped a grade after scoring at Musselburgh in September. Personal Touch has to come into the reckoning given Richard Fahey's good record in this event but the speculative vote goes to BANKROLL. He hasn't taken to hurdling for Jonjo O'Neill but is only 3lb higher than winning on the Flat at Naas at this time last year.