SINCE its establishment in 1885, the William Hill Portland Handicap (1.50pm) has only seen four back-to-back winners, with Halmahera incredibly winning the race three years on the bounce from 2002 to 2004.
Such a paucity of multiple winners of the 5½f contest shows just how hard it is to win it again, but I’m hoping A MOMENTOFMADNESS, ridden by William Buick, can do just that tomorrow.
Since his win 12 months ago, Charlie Hills’ six-year-old hasn’t shown an awful lot to suggest he’s up to taking such a competitive handicap, however he shaped much better at York last time.
Equilateral’s win on Wednesday showed Hills’ ability to get sprinters back to their best and I’m hoping the same will happen with A Momentofmadness.
He’s now running off a mark of 95, 4lbs lower than the mark he won off last year, and he looks the each-way bet in the race at 12/1.
The Frankie Dettori factor will surely make Justanotherbottle popular, but he’s got to shoulder a 4lb rise for his win at Sandown while, although clearly talented, likely favourite Bielsa faces a big task taking on seasoned handicappers here.
I’m hoping it will be a double on the card for Buick as I fancy his mount SHINE SO BRIGHT in the Group Two Park Stakes (2.25pm).
Andrew Balding’s inmate has always been well-regarded and was far from disgraced when sixth in the 2000 Guineas.
A setback kept him off the track for over four months but he showed no ill effects when making all to win the Group Two Sky Bet City Of York Stakes last time.
I’m a big fan of Sir Dancealot, but a penalty makes his life tough, so I’ll be backing Shine So Bright at 11/8, with conditions sure to be in his favour.
A Momentofmadness e/w 1.50pm Doncaster
Shine So Bright 2.25pm Doncaster