It's a good card at Doncaster on Friday and I am on two.
Willie Mullins trained dual-purpose performer Thomas Hobson will attempt to gain his first victory on the Flat since winning the Ascot Stakes more than a year by going one better than 12 months ago in the Group Two Doncaster Cup at 3.35. Sheikhzayedroad has not looked quite up to his usual standards since a decent effort when runner-up in the Dubai Gold Cup back in March. That said he was the winner of the 2016 renewal and third 12 months ago so he seems to like it here in early Autumn – I backed him on both occasions. The yard is in form and at 7-2 he is my pick to take the jolly on with.
I wrote about the Godolphin owned Saeed bin Suroor inmate Royal Marine for last weekend but he did not run at York having had a number of entries that week. He does go in the Gary Reid Memorial British EBF Maiden Stakes at Doncaster on Friday due off at 4.40. The fourth foal of Inner Secret and so a half-brother to winners Secret Ambition, Crystal River and Midnight Meeting he was sixth on debut at HQ last month where he ran into sixth without being asked too many questions by Pat Cosgrove. The from looks good and of the four runners that day that have been out since the third and fourth have come out and won whilst the fifth was second in a Novice Auction Stakes at Ascot. Godolphin had four entered for this race so it looks significant this colt is the only one left in; Oisin Murphy was booked nice and early for the ride. I am on at 6-1. Connections clearly think a lot of Turgenev, who is well bred, but I can't be backing him on debut at the price not knowing anything about what he has done on the gallops.