Brian Boranha runs in the 3.35 at Doncaster on Saturday in what looks, on the face of it, a decent field. But I have doubts about two or three of the principals, and the the Durham National winner looks overpriced by quite a few points, especially with Paddy Power offering an extra place EW in this seven-runner race.
There is a chance that Brian Boranha prefers these smaller fields, and the ground will suit perfectly, something that can’t be said for a few rivals here. This 8-y-o really came alive when faced for the first time with a proper stamina test over 3m 5f in the Durham National and my only doubt here is that it might not be quite far enough at 3m 2f. But at 16/1 EW 3 places I am happy to take a chance on that. He has much more going for him than against, not least the booking of James Bowen who will ride for the yard (Peter Niven) for the first time (regular jockey Henry Brooke is serving a suspension).
At Newbury, my old friend Happy Diva runs in the 2.40. I’ve tipped her before on the blog. She’s a good jumping, enthusiastic mare who is admirably consistent and I’ll back her EW at 11/2 with HIlls as they are paying 5 places. I’ll also have an EW double with Power who are paying 5 places in the Doncaster race. EDIT – a kind correspondent informs me that Bet365 are offering a quarter the odds first 5 in this.
Also, another correspondent asks, ‘What about One For Arthur?’ He runs at Kelso and I will be backing him, simply out of dogged faith. But I find it difficult after his last two performances – especially that emerging trait of jumping badly left – to recommend him as a bet. The trainer reckons they’ve fixed that leftward tendency but you can never tell until you see them on track. He was a very talented animal on a huge upward curve, as I’ve said before, and I will keep the faith for now. You must make your own decisions on him.