EVEN though the Flat season officially came to an end at Ascot last weekend, it still rumbles on for another couple of weeks with the curtain finally coming down at Doncaster a fortnight tomorrow.
Newbury stages its last two Flat meetings of the season over the next two days, with little jumping off the page at me.
Instead, I am going to concentrate on this afternoon’s meeting at Doncaster, where the best sprint handicap of the weekend takes place with 22 declared for the six-furlong Racing Post/SIS Betting Shop Manger Handicap (3.35pm).
Hugo Palmer’s Hyperfocus will have plenty of supporters having won his last couple of starts since being gelded.
He looks sure to go well again but is now 13lbs higher in the weights after those two successes.
The drying ground isn’t in his favour and along with the likes of Shanghai Glory, Al Qahwa and Naggers, he would want the heavens to open.
I’m going to fire two darts elsewhere starting with Ed Walker’s AEOLUS who was only just touched off by Lancelot Du Lac in the Stewards' Cup at a huge price when I last recommended him at Goodwood back in August.
You can ignore his two starts since as one of those runs came over seven furlongs which stretches him and the other came on unsuitably heavy ground.
He lines up this afternoon another 2lbs lower in the handicap and with Walker’s team in good nick can go close again.
Last time he ran at Doncaster was over a year ago when he was only just touched off by Growl in the Listed Wentworth Stakes.
He is in much calmer waters here and I’m convinced that he can go well again at 12/1 with 188BET.
Coming from the opposite end of the weights is DOUGAN who is yet to win on turf for trainer David Evans.
It may seem strange to be keen on one who has form figures in 2017 that resemble a telephone number, but I’m convinced he can outrun his odds.
He has run really well on his three previous outings here at Doncaster including when a close-up fourth in this 12 months ago off a 3lb higher mark.
Champion apprentice David Egan takes off a valuable 3lbs and he looks primed to go well again at 14/1 with 188BET.
DUBHE really impressed me when bolting up in his Sandown maiden back in August and just seemed to get bogged down in the mud behind Chilean at Haydock last time.
He’s had some time to get over those exertions and this beautifully bred son of Dubawi can get back to winning ways in the opener (1.20pm).
Trainer Charlie Appleby is still firing in the winners and he looks to have been found a really nice opening here dropped into a nursery.
The Hannon pairing of Algam and Regimented look the big dangers on paper, but they shouldn’t be good enough to trouble Dubhe.
Finally, tomorrow’s Doncaster card looks really trappy, but I’m going to throw a few quid at Richard Fahey’s ZAP in the nursery (2.20pm).
He faces some stiff opposition here in Al Hajar and Rogue, but caught my eye when running on over six furlongs last time.
Adam McNamara takes off a valuable 3lbs and the step up to seven furlongs looks what he has been crying out for.
Dubhe 1.20pm Doncaster (today)
Aeolus ew 3.35pm Doncaster (today)
Dougan ew 3.35pm Doncaster (today)
Zap 2.20pm Doncaster (tomorrow)