Richard Fahey: Kaka ready
Star columnist Richard Fahey takes us through his weekend runners at Doncaster and Meydan.
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Saturday marks the start of the turf Flat season at Doncaster but I won’t be there as I’m over in Dubai for Gabrial’s run in the Godolphin Mile.
We’re thrilled he got in the race and while it’s a tough ask, he hasn’t had much luck since winning over at Meydan. He needs a strong pace up front and if he jumps out on terms and gets that, he’d have a sporting each-way chance.
Over at Town Moor Tales Of Grimm is our first runner in the William Hill In The App Store Doncaster Mile. He ran well a couple of times over in Dubai and while disappointing last time, does come here fighting fit which is an advantage. He has good form on soft ground so the rain Thursday night/Friday morning isn’t a worry for him.
Heaven’s Guest enjoyed a tremendous time of it last season when he was surely handicapper of the year. He’ll find it tougher this time around and goes up in grade for the William Hill Bet On The Move Cammidge Trophy. He’s fit and well but has a few pounds to find with one or two here on official ratings.
I’m looking forward to stepping Farlow up in trip for the William Hill Spring Mile. The way he settles and his general demeanour offers hope he’ll get it – and if he does he could run a big race. He’ll like the ground.
Brae Hill loves the straight mile at Doncaster and can never be discounted here. He’s getting on nowadays but runs well fresh and has a sporting chance in a very competitive race.
We have one runner down at Kempton, Polski Max in the Grand National 6 Places At BetVictor.com Handicap. He’d have a small chance in a wide-open race as he seems in good form despite not coming in his coat just yet.
We’re double handed in the William Hill Lincoln and neither Gabrial’s Kaka or Hi There will mind the ground. The former has an obvious chance, he’s favourite and did well last season. He’s had an uninterrupted preparation for this race and we’re delighted with him going into it.
This time last year I’d have been adamant Hi There wouldn’t want cut in the ground but then he went to Newbury last autumn and dotted up on it. He’s much higher in the ratings now but is fit and gets every yard of the trip which could be important.
Onto Sunday and we start with Manchestar in division one of the William Hill Download The App Handicap. The trip would be sharp enough here but we’re pleased with him and I can see him running well.
We’re double handed in division two with Khelman and Justonefortheroad. The latter was balloted out of the Spring Cup and while seven furlongs might be ok for him, I suspect he’ll be better back up to a mile. He’s in good form though.
So is Khelman who’s always worked like a much better horse at home than the one we see on a racetrack. It’s frustrating as we thought he’d have won a few more races by now, we do feel he’s well handicapped, and it would be nice to see him start the season well.
We also have two runners in the John Smith’s Extra Smooth Maiden Stakes. Woodbridge is a half brother to Overturn but is a very keen horse and one who needs to learn to settle. Hopefully he’ll be better on that front on Sunday.
Hesketh Bank was very backward last year and makes his racecourse debut. He’s sure to be better with a bit more time and experience.
I don’t know whether Sir Reginald will run in the William Hill Bet On The Move Handicap if the ground gets very soft. That said we think he’s a better horse over seven furlongs so his stamina could come into play. If he settles he could run very well, that’s the key to him.
Flyman took a while to find his form last season but ran well here and at Newmarket at the backend. He’s wintered better between three and four than he did between two and three and I’d be hopeful of a good run – although the ground could be a worry.
The field for the Doncaster Shield may lack a little in terms of quantity but not quality. Our runner Romantic Settings has a bit to find on the ratings but goes into the race fit and well. We're sneaking under the radar a little and I think she'll run well on Sunday.
I really think Latenightrequest will love the ground at Doncaster. She hasn’t come in her coat yet but is working nicely and I can see her running well in the WearAHatDay - Brain Tumour Research Handicap.
Finally two of our stable stalwarts run in the Universal Recycling Handicap. Mica Mica always gives a good account and ran well on his last two starts on the all-weather. High Office didn’t get his head in front last season when seemingly in the handicapper’s grip but ran very well on a number of occasions. They both go there fit and in good form at home.