Steve Hughes has selections for the continuation of the festival meetings at Listowel and Doncaster on Friday
There are some disappointing sized fields in the handicaps at Doncaster, but finding winners there on Friday will still take a bit of doing. I have selections from two races. There is no outstanding race at Listowel this afternoon, but I have two suggestions for the 12f handicap on the card. We found the winner of the lady riders race at Doncaster on Thursday with Saluti (9/1).
Doncaster 2.40: Charles Kingsley
I have played a few times on Charles Kingsley this season without success, but I am giving him one last chance at Doncaster this afternoon.
He let me down when unplaced at Glorious Goodwood and then the Ebor meeting at York, but bounced back to form when ridden with more restraint in the Old Borough Cup at Haydock on Saturday, finishing strongly for fourth place. Looking at his overall profile, there is a possibility that he prefers a smaller field like he will find today.
He beat three opponents on debut by 11l at Beverley, won another four horse contest at Brighton in June and put in his career best effort to beat six rivals cosily at Newmarket in July. Only five line up to take him on here and I think this long finishing straight will suit his galloping nature.
Listowel 3.40: Formal Order & Way Back Home
Two interesting performers are fancied here – one on handicap debut, the other having a first outing on the level since a highly successful first season hurdling.
Formal Order has yet to get his head in front but ran another honest race when second at Roscommon in testing conditions last month. He had been beaten narrowly by the classy jumper De Names Escapes Me at the same track earlier in the summer. He definitely seems to prefer a slow surface and will get that at Listowel today. An opening mark of 73 looks fair and he is quite comfortable racing prominently which can be an advantage around here.
Way Back Home must have big claims off a lowly mark of 63 if he can reproduce any of his form of earlier in the year over hurdles. He was no great shakes on the flat as a youngster, losing all nine races. He did not get to race beyond a mile though and his hurdles form over 2m suggests a greater emphasis on stamina will bring about an improvement. He won twice at Fairyhouse in February, including a grade 3, whilst he was only beaten 10l into fourth in the Grade 1 juvenile at Punchestown. Provisionally rated 136 over hurdles, he must be thrown in on his flat rating if as good without a row of jumps to negotiate.
Doncaster 5.30: Intisaab
It has been a while since connections of Intisaab tasted success, but the 8yo looks to have been found a good opportunity at Doncaster.
This gelding has always been in that zone between top level handicaps and group races. However at his advancing age he does seem slightly on the downgrade now. Therefore even races like the Wokingham are perhaps too taxing (eleventh this year). However a small field here might just suit him over this extended 6f.
His last win came at this distance at the Curragh last summer and he was a good fourth in the same race this season, showing he still retains ability. Since then he found 7f too far on soft going at Ascot and spoiled his chance with a slow start at Chelmsford. He has not been rated as low as 98 since 2016 and he will get his favoured fast ground here.
1pt win – Charles Kingsley – 2.40 Doncaster – 5/1 general
1pt win – Formal Order – 3.40 Limerick – 11/2 BetVictor, Paddy Power
0.75pts each-way – Way Back Home – 3.40 Listowel – 13/2 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 4)
1pt each-way – Intisaab – 5.30 Doncaster – 15/2 general