In the Nic of time
Anita Chambers previews Saturday's meetings and fancies Nicholascopernicus to land the last big flat handicap of the season.
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DONCASTER: 11.50 Dundrum Dancer, 12.20 Clumber Place, 12.50 Flashlight, 1.25 Run Fat Lass Run, 2.00 Surprise Moment, 2.35 NICHOLASCOPERNICUS (NAP), 3.10 Jack Dexter, 3.45 Myboyalfie.
KELSO: 12.25 Grouse Lodge, 1.00 Twice Lucky, 1.30 Scotswell, 2.05 Relax, 2.40 Stagecoach Pearl, 3.15 Castlelawn, 3.50 Pete.
NAAS: 12.30 Hot Prospect, 1.05 Jezki, 1.35 Teelin Star, 2.10 Moscow Chief, 2.45 Worldor, 3.20 Son Of Moyne, 3.50 Ned Buntline.
SANDOWN: 12.45 Lamps, 1.20 Overturn, 1.50 Dollar Bill, 2.25 Rob Conti, 3.00 Kartanian, 3.35 Graduation Night, 4.05 Florida Quays.
WINCANTON: 12.35 Mr Mole, 1.10 Roll The Dice, 1.40 Coronea Lilly, 2.15 King Of The Night, 2.50 Baby Mix, 3.25 Michel Le Bon, 4.00 The Stout Italian.
DOUBLE: Nicholascopernicus and Baby Mix
Nicholascopernicus has attracted plenty of support in recent days and he can reward his supporters' faith with victory in the Betfred November Handicap at Doncaster.
Ed Walker's charge has looked firmly on the upgrade and really seems to excel on this soft autumnal ground.
Relatively lightly raced, the three-year-old scored a quickfire double at Doncaster and Newbury in June, prompting connections to raise their sights for the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Nicholascopernicus made little impact in finishing ninth but was far from disgraced, just over five lengths behind the winner.
Given a break following those three quick outings, the Medicean colt failed to sparkle on the Kempton all-weather but switched back to easy turf at Haydock, he came back to life.
Second on that occasion, he soon went one better at Goodwood, quickening up smartly to claim a competitive heat by upwards of two lengths.
A 9lb leap in the weights followed and while he will obviously have to improve again to strike off a career-high mark of 95, Nicholascopernicus looks to be on a steep upward trajectory.
Surprise Moment may not be the pick of the three Godolphin runners in the Betfred EBF Gillies Fillies' Stakes judged on jockey bookings, but she could spring a surprise.
Sajjhaa would appear to be the leading Godolphin contender but Surprise Moment is one to consider after winning her first three starts.
She fell slightly short in Listed company on the all-weather last time but was always fighting a losing battle after taking a bump when leaving the stalls.
The Authorized filly has a fair bit to find on the official ratings with some of these, but she could be something of a dark horse.
Jack Dexter can make the leap to Listed company in the Betfred "Bonus King Bingo" Wentworth Stakes after winning her last three starts.
The three-year-old has been victorious at Ayr, Ascot and on Town Moor in his last three outings and can cap off his season in style.
Wincanton stage a top-class jumps card and Tom George can maintain his pleasing run of form with Baby Mix in the feature totepool.com Elite Hurdle.
The four-year-old was a Grade Two winner last term but did not cut much ice when reasonably supported in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
George returned to handicap company for Baby Mix's seasonal bow but he faced a tough task in attempting to give lumps of weight to each of his four rivals on that occasion.
The effort told as he faded into third but it was nevertheless a fair performance and should set him straight for this outing.
Overturn makes a belated fencing bow at Sandown after missing an intended run at Wetherby last weekend.
Lining up in the Bet On Today's Football @Bluesq.com Beginners' Chase, he will take some beating if he can transfer his excellent hurdles form to the bigger obstacles.
They also race at Kelso, where Stagecoach Pearl can go well in the feature Mayfield Restaurant Chase after a creditable effort in Grade Two company at Aintree.