Horse Talk with Simon Jackson: Top horse-racing tips and the latest news. FLAT RACING passes the baton to the national hunt code this weekend as Doncaster stage the last UK Group 1 of 2016 and Cheltenham host their first jumps meeting of the season.
The feature race at Doncaster is the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy for two-year-olds which offers £200,000 in prize money and like so many other top-class races this season is dominated by Aidan O’Brien who has three of the 10 entries.
O’Brien’s runners are headed by Yucatan, who this week overtook stablemate – and the then favourite Capri – as market leader after sustained support. Capri was not among the entries on Thursday for the six furlong contest where O’Brien will also be represented by The Anvil and Finn McCool.
Yucatan, the winner of the second of his three starts, was beaten by three quarters of a length into second place by Capri in a Group 2 at Curragh in September. There appears to be significant confidence that Yucatan is primed for Doncaster where he is selected to win.
“We haven’t been able to give Capri away, while the cash just keeps on coming for Yucatan,” Paddy Power spokesman Paul Binfield said earlier this week.
At the time of writing the fields were not out for the Showcase Meeting on Friday and Saturday at Cheltenham, where their feature race of the year – the Cheltenham Gold Cup – is the key target for World Hurdle winner Thistlecrack, who is selected to win on his debut over fences at Chepstow on Tuesday.
Closer to home, Newbury host their last flat meeting of the year on Friday and Saturday where the Hugo Palmer-trained Baydar is fancied to land the Group 3 Worthington´s OCSL Stakes (Saturday 2.20pm).
Baydar – the winner of five of his seven starts – is unbeaten in his last four runs and can build on the good impression he made on HorseTalk when easily winning a maiden on his second start as a two-year-old at Lingfield last year.
The son of Rock Of Gibraltar had finished second on his debut and impressed with the manner of his victory at Lingfield under Martin Harley where he eased to a three and three quarter length victory.
“He was really well at home and we were keen to get a run into him,” Palmer told HorseTalkUK.com at Lingfield immediately after the victory.
“Martin said that he didn’t come out of second gear. He is a lovely horse who is beautifully bred. We thought he would win first time and just greenness in the stalls and a missed break [beat him]. He made no mistakes today.
“He couldn’t have done it any easier and he will be a lovely horse next year.”
Horse Talk with Simon Jackson. Showcasing horse racing in London and the south east.