The Flat is back and the jumps are still going strong so get the best bets from Tony Calvin and the rest of our tipsters as well as insight from Paul Nicholls…
Tony Calvin: “I have been told that this race has been the plan since Darkness joined David O’Meara for 70,000 euros last July…”
“I’m keen to side with Bielsa who, despite being a seven-year-old, looks to have every chance. This race tends to go to upwardly mobile four-year-olds, but I’m not sold on the two runners of that age in this year’s race.
“This race has gone to older horses as recently as 2018 when it was won by an eight-year-old in the form of Perfect Pasture.”
“I have been told that this race has been the plan since Darkness joined David O’Meara for 70,000 euros last July, that he has had no hold-ups or issues, that he is working well and better than a 95-rated horse, and he certainly looks fairly handicapped on his French form, which included a stab at a Group One at two.
“The stable won this with a stable-switcher in 2017 (Bravery, from Aidan O’Brien no less) and have done well in this contest since with the likes of Lord Glitters and Hortzadar, both French purchases. And of course future Grade 1 winner Mondialiste was only just touched off by Gabrial in this race in 2015, on his first start for the yard after coming across the Channel. That’s hard evidence that David O’Meara really does lay one out for this.”
“He started this season on a stiff enough mark and has been a bit disappointing as a result. But he is 10lbs lower now and will appreciate the drying conditions at Stratford over a trip of two miles, six furlongs which should be ideal.
“Given that Grand Sancy needs to be going left handed he has a lot in his favour and I expect him to run very well.”
Groundbreaker showed plenty of ability when last seen filling the runner-up spot at Kempton in December, racing freely in the early stages but sticking to his task well under pressure to pass the post just a head behind the winner. That form sets the standard in this line-up and Groundbreaker remains with potential now stepping up to a mile and a quarter, particularly if settling better in a first-time hood. Several interesting newcomers feature amongst the opposition, but Groundbreaker rates by far the most solid proposition as he tries to open his account at the third attempt for Andrew Balding, who won this maiden with Bangkok in 2019.
Trainer: Andrew Balding
Jockey: David Probert
Weight: 9st 5lbs
Timeform’s bet: Back Groundbreaker i the 16:10 at Doncaster
Saturday 26 March, 3.35pm
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