Horse Racing: Doncaster – Saturday 23rd March Tips and Betting Preview

A week or so after the highlight of the National Hunt season at the Cheltenham Festival, the flat season gets underway on Saturday when Doncaster hosts the opening turf meeting of the new campaign where the Lincoln handicap is the headline race.

We are going with a couple of bets in the big race on Saturday but there is a decent support card to accompany the Lincoln and one of those races offers up a decent betting opportunity for us to start our flat season with.

2.25 Doncaster: Spring Mile Handicap

18 go to post for the Spring Mile &, despite there not being a maximum field, it’s incredibly competitive with bookies going 13/2 the field & half the field trading at 10/1 or less.  Last year’s winner Harswell Duke bids for a repeat of an 8lb lower mark this time around but it’s his stablemate, at a much bigger, in the shape of Wildfell that catches our eye.  He had a productive season for a different yard last year, winning his first 4 which saw his mark rise by almost 2 stone.  The last of those 4 wins was over course & distance but it was his performance at Glorious Goodwood that took the eye where he ran a cracker on similar ground to today’s, being denied by only the favourite, Novus who looked very well handicap having since won a Group 3 & now rated 21lbs higher than for that win.  He’s maintained his form on the all weather since joining this stable, finishing 2nd at Chelmsford off this mark & coming from a mile back in eyecatching fashion to finish 4th at Kempton.  Reunited with the jockey who won 4 times on him last year & back on soft ground, he looks wildly overpriced & cannot go unbacked in such an open race.


Back Wildfell (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 21.00 Betfair Sportsbook BOG (⅕ odds 1-6)


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3.35 Doncaster: Lincoln Handicap

The big race of the first day of the flat is the Lincoln & there’s 22 runners including the last 2 winners of the race in Migration & Johan and Monday’s Irish Lincoln winner, Chazzesmee.  We are going double handed in this with the first bet being the well backed Spirit Genie.  Since coming over here from Ireland in the latter part of the last year, this lightly raced 4 year old has put in 2 performances that make him hard to ignore.  He was a very impressive winner, albeit in a seller at Leicester, on soft ground trouncing his 8 rivals by almost 9 lengths before narrowly failing in a Newmarket handicap over this trip.   He wasn’t the best positioned that day, finishing fast from off the pace & was closing all the way to the line.  His small yard is in fine form, the jockey booking is a positive & he comes out of the stall nearest to the stands side so if the bias is towards the high drawn numbers (& there’s pace high), he looks to have an excellent chance.

Vetiver is another we want on side.  This lightly raced 4 year old, with just 7 starts to his name, has a cracking chance if he improves on a good campaign last year.  A winner of a Listed race, he was also 3rd in a very strong Group 3 here behind 111-rated Matilda Picotte & in front of 4 other rivals rated with a rating of 100 or more.  His run in the Balmoral wasn’t devoid of promise & he stayed on well for a 5th of 20 off this mark.  Whilst he has to improve on the bare form, it’s worth noting he was a 3 year old running against battle hardened older horses.  It’s interesting that his in-form trainer has chosen to come here rather than pitch him straight into pattern company & that feels like a bit of a tip in itself.  Normal progression will see him be rated well into the 100’s so a mark of 98 here looks attractive & provided he’s fit & ready to go, he’ll be bang there at the business end on ground that clearly suits.


Back Spirit Genie (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 17.00 William Hill BOG (⅕ odds 1-6)

Back it here:

Back Vetiver (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 17.00 Paddy Power BOG (⅕ odds 1-6)