CAMELOT may be the big focus on Town Moor but that shouldn’t detract from the rest of the Doncaster festival and today’s card is packed full of talent. In the Group Two Flying Childers Stakes (1.15pm) I cannot see why CEILING KITTY is as big as 15/2 with Paddy Power. Greenness rather found out the Tom Dascombe-trained filly early on but, after breaking her maiden, she defied odds of 20/1 to win a useful Listed event at York. She then landed a competitive renewal of the Queen Mary Stakes at Ascot in grand style, again at 20/1.
Ceiling Kitty had one of today’s main rivals, Hoyam, behind her that day and although that one met trouble, it doesn’t mean Ceiling Kitty was lucky. She has been rerouted here because she didn’t get into the Nunthorpe, but the fact connections were thinking of pitching a two-year-old filly into such a race speaks volumes about her talent.
The Mallard Stakes (1.50pm) revolves around one horse, Sir Graham Wade. This one just chinned my each-way pick Tropical Beat last weekend but in all honesty Sir Graham Wade would have won by a country mile had Kieren Fallon not found trouble in-running. However, the Mark Johnston horse has got very short in the betting considering this will be his sixth run since 1 August. Although the Scottish handler is a genius at getting his horses to follow up, Sir Graham Wade is a full 23lb higher than his maiden win and at less than 2/1 I’m prepared to look elsewhere.
A number of these horses are rogues but the veteran I can’t get away from is NANTON. I wouldn’t normally tip up 10-year-olds but Jim Goldie’s gelding won this in 2009 off a mark of 98 and was a head second off 102 last year. Running off just 87 today, and with the excellent Graham Lee in the saddle, I cannot resist an each-way interest in the old boy at 14/1 with Coral.
The fifth race in the QIPCO British Champions Series Long Distance category is the Group Two Doncaster Cup (2.20pm), run over the stamina sapping distance of two-and-a-quarter-miles. Saddler’s Rock won this last year but there was clearly something amiss at York last month and I couldn’t be steaming in around the 11/4 mark.
Colour Vision is a genuine Group One horse but has to carry a penalty so instead I’m going to chance Sir Mark Prescott’s unexposed staying prospect, REPEATER. I fancied him for the Old Borough Cup last weekend so the fact he was taken out to run here is interesting. Prescott knows a swan from a goose and as a three-year-old he gets a massive weight allowance. Repeater has always struck me as a thorough stayer and, with nearly all the field having question marks over them for some reason, the 14/1 for Luke Morris’s mount looks value.
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CEILING KITTY e/w 1.15pm Doncaster (today)
NANTON e/w 1.50pm Doncaster (today)
REPEATER e/w 2.20pm Doncaster (today)