Our gossip column is back ahead of Saturday's action and A Momentofmadness is fancied to the land the Portland at Doncaster.
1350 Doncaster - A Momentofmadness
A Momentofmadness could prove the value bet to turn over the well-fancied Bielsa in the William Hill Portland Handicap at Doncaster on Saturday. Barry Hills was always keen to have big handicap winners on this course during his illustrious career and son Charlie was over the moon 12 months ago when this speedy performer won this race off a four pounds higher mark than he races from here.
Although his form is not quite as good as last season, he ran a very sound trial for this prestigious dash at York last month and there is every prospect he has been sharpened up for the follow up bid. Underfoot conditions should be ideal and he may just know too much for Bielsa, who looks a very promising sprinter and is working very well but may just be found wanting on the experience front.
1500 Doncaster - Juan Elcano
Kevin Ryan, trainer of Bielsa, can enjoy better luck with Juan Elcano in the Group Two Pommery Champagne Stakes. There were high hopes for this son of Frankel in the spring and he did not let anybody down in the first half of the season. He justified market confidence on debut at Haydock, despite running green, and then finished a very good second to Mystery Power in aat the Newmarket July Meeting.
Although Richard Hannon, the winner's trainer, will have a big idea where he stands with the selection as far as his highly rated Gimcrack winner, and hot favourite, Threat goes, Ryan had the third in that race, Repartee. The Hambleton team are more than hopeful Juan Elcano has improved since his trip to HQ.
1535 Doncaster - Sir Dragonet
Sir Dragonet can see off Logician and win the WIlliam Hill St Leger for Aidan and Donnacha O'Brien. The Coolmore team have made very bullish noises about the Investec Derby fifth in the build-up to the oldest Classic and his form in the Blue Riband gives him an outstanding chance if he sees out the trip. Connections are confident he can step up considerably on his most recent effort in a Group Three at the Curragh a month ago after some very encouraging preparatory work over the last couple of weeks.
1610 Doncaster - Forbidden Land
Forbidden Land can register a deserved first success in the Napoleons Casinos & Restaurants Nursery. Placed on each of his four outings so far over shorter distances, he looks sure to be suited by this step up to a mile after a strong-finishing second to Imperial Empire in what looked a good nursery at Sandown last time.
1445 Chelmsford - Lethal Lunch
Clive Cox has his team in great heart and he can take the feature at Chelmsford, the Luxdeco.com Handicap, with Lethal Lunch. A winner at Lingfield just under a year ago, he won on the all weather at Kempton after a seven-and-a-half month break, and would have finished closer behind Swindler at Ascot last week had he not met with trouble in running. Connections feared the six furlongs might have been too sharp at the Berkshire course and this return to his favourite trip of seven should see him double his tally for the campaign.
Mykindofsunshine, a stablemate of Lethal Lunch, has been performing well over shorter trips and has given the impression he would appreciate a step up to seven furlongs. He tackles the What Would Johnny Do Handicap and a big run is anticipated.
1515 Chester - Vintage Times
Vintage Times, a pillar to post winner of a decent novice stakes at Ripon last month, can make the most of her advantageous draw in the Stellar Group Nursery at Chester. Although she has been well beaten at Catterick since, she was drawn towards the outside and the ground was on the quick side. The performance looks too bad to be true and she is worth another chance on this first appearance in a handicap.
1400 Bath - Amberine
Malcolm Saunders loves to support his local course and should go close with Amberine in the opening SDS Intellistorm Handicap at Bath. A daughter of her trainer's popular Listed-class performer Crimson Fern, she will be sharper for her outing here last month and has a definite chance on her two placed efforts at this track in the spring.