BILL ESDAILE TAKES A LOOK AT THE RUNNERS FOR TOMORROW’S FLAT SEASON OPENER AT DONCASTER AND THE DUBAI WORLD CUP AT MEYDAN
1 BRONZE ANGEL 20/1
Major improver at the back end of last season, rattling off wins in two ultra-competitive big field handicaps. Trip and ground fine, but plenty more needed as he begins this campaign with a stone more in the saddle.
2 OCEAN TEMPEST 20/1
Last year’s surprise winner who arrives at Doncaster match fit again after a busy few months in Dubai. Last four wins on home soil have all been with plenty of cut in the ground, so needs heavens to open.
3 FIRE SHIP 25/1
Ended last season with a narrow defeat in a Listed contest at Newmarket, but you have to go back to August 2013 to find his last win. Admittedly, that was in a Deauville Group Three, so not totally discounted at a big price.
4 MONDIALISTE 14/1
A real ‘dark horse’ who is set to make his British debut for one of the shrewdest trainers in town. Only lightly-raced in France and wasn’t beaten far in a Group One back in 2013. Market support would be significant.
5 ZARWAAN 7/1
Lightly-raced, unexposed four-year-old who has always been the apple of his trainer’s eye. Only 1lb higher than when beaten two lengths at Royal Ascot and, if the rain arrives, is the one they all have to beat.
6 BELGIAN BILL 20/1
Form figures at the track read 211 and arrives here in the form of his life with three good runs in Dubai under his belt. Arrives race fit, excellent jockey booking, and certainly one of the most interesting outsiders at 20/1.
7 GABRIAL’S KAKA 10/1
Trainer knows how to win this race, but beaten off a 6lb lower mark 12 months ago. Rounded off last campaign with a promising effort at Ascot, but sneaky feeling that there are at least one or two much better treated.
8 MOOHARIB 14/1
The fact that this one was left in the Listed Doncaster Mile on the same card until yesterday shows that connections feel he may still be well-handicapped. No surprise to see him go close for his ultra- shrewd trainer.
9 BARAWEEZ 16/1
Well-campaigned last term by Brian Ellison winning two nice handicaps over in Ireland. Has since taken a hike in the weights and evidence of last run at Ascot suggests that the handicapper may have caught up with him.
10 EMELL 33/1
Champion Trainer’s only runner, but worryingly winless since August 2012. However, has finished runner-up on six occasions since and handicapper has slowly begun to loosen his grip. Sadly doesn’t look back on a winning mark quite yet.
11 TRES CORONOS 33/1
Could only finish eighth in the race 12 months ago from a 4lb lower mark and isn’t getting any younger. Also, the best of his form seems to be over trips in excess of a mile and may well get tapped for toe.
12 GABRIAL 16/1
Was good enough to win the Doncaster Mile at this meeting a couple of years ago and the return to this trip paid dividends last time. Not badly treated on old form and dangerous to dismiss at decent odds.
13 JACK’S REVENGE 28/1
Has run with credit when fifth and seventh in the last two renewals, but is hard to fancy another year on with even more weight. No doubt he is admirably consistent, but that may be his downfall in a race like this.
14 GM HOPKINS 31/1
Anything John Gosden runs in this race has to be respected and last year’s Silver Cambridgeshire winner is no exception. The ground turned against him on his last two starts and genuine good ground looks a must.
15 BERTIEWHITTLE 28/1
He has never won over a mile and the suspicion remains that his best trip is seven furlongs. Also, the handicapper hasn’t taken much of a chance with him considering he didn’t exactly fire last season.
16 DON’T CALL ME 33/1
Tends to do his winning at Ascot, although did run well at this track when chasing home Gabrial in the Doncaster Mile a few years ago. Has had over 50 runs under rules now so has no secrets from the handicapper.
17 WHAT ABOUT CARLO 16/1
Won the Esher Cup at Sandown over this trip last season and relished the step up in trip at Epsom on Derby day. Any rain would greatly enhance his chances as gut feeling is he needs further than a mile.
18 MANGE ALL 22/1
Trainer William Haggas is looking for his fourth win in the race and this one looks the pick of the unexposed four-year-olds off what seems a lenient mark. Meets Silver Cambridgeshire conqueror GM Hopkins on better terms and carries stable confidence.
19 HILLBILLY BOY 18/1
Won at this meeting last season, but the pick of his form is over seven furlongs. Recent spin on the all-weather sets him up nicely, but never raced off a mark higher than this and looks exposed.
20 LINCOLN 25/1
There wouldn’t be a more aptly-named winner of this famous contest, but even though Mick Channon’s charge arrives here on a hat-trick, he’s never raced over a mile before and is not certain to stay.
21 BOOM AND BUST 33/1
A string of disappointments last campaign means that this former Glorious Goodwood winner is back down to a very competitive mark. He has gone well fresh in the past, but not last season - and his best days look behind him.
22 ROBERT THE PAINTER 33/1
Only 1lb higher than when third in this race 12 months ago and is another who comes here race-fit from Dubai. Has shown his best form of late when the ground is soft so will want the rain to arrive.
Bill Esdaile’s 1-2-3-4
1st Mange All
2nd Belgian Bill