RICHARD Hughes will be doused with champagne by his fellow jockeys for the second year running at Doncaster tomorrow afternoon after another fantastic season.
He takes the ride on Hughie Morrison’s Nearly Caught in the November Handicap (3.35pm), but he has plenty of weight for a three-year-old and I’m inclined to look elsewhere.
John Gosden is going for a record sixth win in the race and he relies on Aiken and Lahaag. The former is taking a massive step down in class, but his performances this season have been pretty dire.
Lahaag is more interesting, although he has disappointed twice on Town Moor and he’s short enough at 8/1.
William Haggas is always to be feared in these big handicaps and his lightly raced six-year-old Conduct must have a big chance. He will relish the step up in trip to a mile and a half and should love the ground.
However, I’d rather have a couple running for me at bigger prices and the first is COMMUNICATOR who was beaten less than a length when second in this race last year. This looks to have been the plan all season and Andrew Balding’s inmate can race off a 3lb lower mark tomorrow. The 20/1 with Coral is a great each-way price.
Ismail Mohammed has had a brilliant season and he can end it in style with a big run from RHOMBUS. The Authorized gelding has won both his starts on ground softer than good and he has the assistance of Silvestre De Sousa, who is riding out of his skin at the moment. Take the 16/1 generally available.
ETON RIFLES won the Listed Wentworth Stakes (2.25pm) 12 months ago and he can repeat the feat under Andrea Atzeni. Stuart Williams said his charge would need the run on his seasonal reappearance at Ascot, so finishing a close second to the in-form Steps was clearly a massive run.
Jack Dexter is the obvious danger, as he will love the ground, but he has had two very tough races in the past couple of months and his presence might make the market for my selection.
Another winner from last year’s card is fancied to go in again as I think TARTIFLETTE is very well-handicapped in the 1.50pm. She is only 1lb higher than when taking this 12 months ago and looked to be running back into form at Ascot last time.
There is some decent jumps action at Wincanton tomorrow and I’m going to take a chance on DE LA BECH in the Badger Ales Trophy (2.40pm) off just 10st 6lb. Philip Hobbs thinks his six-year-old is on a very appealing mark and the fact that he pitches him into a race of this quality is a tip in itself.
Sandown Park stages its hugely popular Gentlemen’s Day tomorrow which this year is in association with Movember. It’s going to be a great day with live music from Rockaoke, an HWM Aston Martin Best Dressed Gentleman competition and a number of Movember initiatives, including a ‘Mo Bro Derby’. Get down there.
TARTIFLETTE e/w 1.50pm Doncaster
ETON RIFLES e/w 2.25pm Doncaster
DE LA BECH e/w 2.40pm Wincanton
COMMUNICATOR e/w 3.35pm Doncaster
RHOMBUS e/w 3.35pm Doncaster