Better ground will suit Dingo Dollar at Doncaster
Doncaster has taken quite a drenching this winter but this week’s improved weather has dried up the ground appreciably, so, hopefully, underfoot conditions will suit Dingo Dollar, who has another shot at the Sky Bet Handicap Chase on Town Moor on Saturday.
Alan said:”Dingo Dollar ran another sound race in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury in November considering the ground was softer than he likes.
“He has enjoyed a good break since with this race very much in mind. Doncaster suits him – he wants a flat, left-handed track and has a good record at the track. Having won there as a novice, he finished sixth in this race last year after which he was second in the Grimthorpe.”
However, Dingo Dollar is not our only runner in the race, which many of us coffin-dodgers still refer to as the Great Yorkshire and which we can boast back-to-back victories with Ziga Boy. We also have Azzerti and Good Man Pat in this year.
Alan added:”Like Dingo Dollar, Azzerti is also best going left-handed. He was staying on well to finish fifth in his first try at three miles at Ascot last time, and the ground was bottomless there so these improved conditions will be more in his favour.
“Good Man Pat looked to be out of his comfort-zone back down in trip in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham in mid-December. He looked a little light after that run and has had a break since, so we are stepping him back up to three miles here, though he looked not to stay that trip when we tried him at Ascot in November.”
The Lightning Novices Chase has been a lucky race for Barbury – both Valdez and Sceau Royal won it and Ballywood finished second 12 months ago – so, hopefully, Lisp will also be a big player in this year’s renewal.
Alan said:”Lisp settled and jumped well when cantering around to win like an odds-on chance should at Plumpton in early December, having previously finished third in a strong race at Warwick. He had three quick races so we gave him a break and he is now ready to return.
“He has taken well to fences, and, though he is entered in the Arkle, he’ll be given a mark for the Festival after this run, which will help us make our minds up about Cheltenham, where he will also be entered in at least one of the handicaps.”
It seems strange to be focusing on Doncaster when Cheltenham is also being staged on Saturday, but we will be busy on Town Moor, with Mahlermade also heading there for the three-mile staying handicap chase series qualifier.
Alan said:”Mahlermade won the final of the series at Haydock last April and that is again his spring target, so I am keen to get him qualified with a run here. I was much happier with his third at Wincanton last month and again any improvement in ground conditions is a plus for his chance.”
Our final Doncaster runner is Burren Walk in the mares bumper. She missed her Taunton engagement last week because of the heavy ground, so she has been re-routed here for her comeback run, having been absent since her promising debut at Warwick in April. She had a hold up at home in the summer which delayed her return, but Alan hopes she might be Listed class, so it will be good to see her back in action.