It’s usually an advantage to come from off the pace on the round course at Doncaster and I downgrade any horse who finished in the first four under a hold-up ride at that venue. Since 2012, those who recorded a top four finish at Doncaster on their latest start, in handicaps of 1m2f or further, won 73 of their 582 subsequent starts (12.54% strike-rate) and made a loss of £209.26 to a £1 level stake at SP. Those switching to Haydock, a track not as kind to their patient running style, scored just twice from 30 starts.
Calculation’s last-time-out Doncaster victory was achieved on a day the track looked to be favouring the closers even more than usual and, though he won easily, I still want to be against him in the 1m6f Like RacingTV On Facebook Handicap at Haydock today (3.50).
Mark Johnston’s MONDAIN is the one I like best. He won his first two starts after gelding and can be excuses his odds-on Salisbury defeat last time out as he hurdled the path three furlongs out, losing momentum at a vital stage.
Low draws have enjoyed an advantage in big-field sprints at Nottingham for some time now and when I walked the track earlier this season it was obviously quicker down the centre. There are a few interesting ones among the low stalls in the 6f MansionBet Beaten By A Head Handicap (2.50) and I’m going to side with two of them – CHAMPAGNE MONDAYS (stall five of 14), the pace angle in first-time blinkers, and DUBAI ELEGANCE (stall two), who clocked a good time despite blowing the start and only finishing sixth at Yarmouth on his latest outing.
Champagne Mondays – Nottingham 2.50 (0.5pts each-way, 20-1 Coral, Ladbrokes, four places)
Dubai Elegance – Nottingham 2.50 (1pt each-way, 14-1 William Hill, Coral, Ladbrokes, all four places)
Mondain – Haydock 3.50 (1pt win, 11-2 Bet365, BetVictor)
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