David Massey has picked out his best two bets on Thursday, including a 14/1 selection at Doncaster.
2pts win Desert Gulf in 4.40 Yarmouth at 7/2 (General)
1pt win Saaheq in 5.42 Doncaster at 14/1 (General)
Scoffsman isn’t one for your last fiver having refused to race once last season for Kevin Frost. However, there is no doubt he’s got the ability to take this if he’s in the mood and he looked much more cooperative on his first run for Mark Loughnane at Nottingham last month.
He threw in his customary slow start and took a keen hold but stayed on nicely in the latter stages to finish on the heels of the leaders in a close sixth. That form is working out fine, with four of those finishing around him winning since, and given it was his first start since last September, you can reasonably expect him to come on a bit for the run, while his rider was noticeably easy on him when his winning chance had gone.
Perhaps a return to Yarmouth – the scene of his only win to date – could spark his interest as well, and if he’s got out of bed on the right side, it’s all to play for.
Based on a hugely eye-catching run at Lingfield in May, we were keen on the chances of Desert Gulf in the Palace of Holyroodhouse Handicap at Royal Ascot, but we reckoned without the torrential rain and William Knight’s three-year-old simply failed to cope with conditions. He ran better despite not really handling the dip at Newmarket next time and finally revealed his talent with a comfortable win on quick ground here last time.
He does seem to need top of the ground, and this track obviously suits, so he looks to have a fine chance of doubling up now that the penny has dropped. He is a horse with a lot of potential at this trip and we’d expect him to make metaphorical hay as long as the sun literally shines.
The Racing League rolls on relentlessly to Doncaster tonight, with six races ranging from five furlongs to a mile and a half on the card.
The sprinters go up first and this looks fairly open. Expect both Autumn Flight (from stall 2) and the in-form Ballintoy Harbour (from stall 5) to dispute the early running, but making all on the straight course at Doncaster takes some doing and we’re looking for something held up off the pace to come and take this late.
Celsius has a clear chance if building on his reappearance run here at the start of July and may well have been saved with this in mind, but at a bigger price Saaheq makes appeal as well.
His best efforts this year have come at Sandown, where the against-the-collar finish suits him well, and in the past Doncaster has been a happy hunting ground for him too, with a win and a second from two starts at the track. He’s not the most consistent around but is perfectly capable on his day and, lining from a mark he’s won off this season, can come with a challenge on the near side of the pack late on.
Published at 19:40 BST on 04/08/21
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