By: Paul Harrison
A bumper day for racing fans extends well into the evening. There are two night meetings to look forward to and we like the look of a couple running up at Doncaster. Our first bet comes in the second race on the card, the Panelcraft Access Panels Fillies Handicap (6.40). We aren’t going to see any world beaters here in a race that in all likelihood won’t take much winning. That automatically makes Elizabeth Coffee of interest. She won this very race 12 months ago by an impressive margin of 7 lengths and gets in here off the same mark of 55. However whilst she was running consistently well in the lead up to the race last year, she has been frankly dreadful ever since. Being beaten over ten lengths on her comeback run in April didn’t offer too much encouragement that her turn was once again near. We can’t trust her at present. The one to back is Mark Brisbourne’s Taro Tywod. Good to firm ground is the key to this horse, three of her four career turf victories have come with the word firm in the going description. She has only had that once so far this season when she ran well to finish third off a mark of 69 at Pontefract. Going down by under three lengths on good ground at Brighton last time out shows she is maintaining her form well, and she looks poised to strike here. Around this time last year she was winning off a mark of 70, with the ground coming in her favour, she looks well in off 66 and can land this weak contest.
Our Second bet on the card comes in the Beaver 84 Maiden Stakes (7.40). The two most obvious ones here are Fleeting Strike from the Richard Hannon yard and Baroot from the South African operation of Mike De Kock. It is interesting to see that De Kock has a runner here and it is his representative that appeals the most on pedigree. Breeding doesn’t come much better than being by Dubawi out of a Saddlers Wells mare. We would like to have seen a bit more from him than being beaten an average of 22 lengths in his two starts to date though. A drop back to six furlongs may bring about improvement, but it needs to. We would probably expect Fleeting Strike to go off favourite following a narrow defeat at Newbury last time out. This will however be his fifth attempt in a maiden and by far his worst effort came in his only previous attempt over this trip, when beaten 16 lengths. With question marks against those two we feel the door is left open for a shock winner here. Tim Easterby’s Midnight Mojito makes some appeal but we prefer the chances of the less exposed First Excel. A six and a half length defeat over five furlongs on his debut may not appear to offer too much promise at first glance, but that doesn’t really tell the whole story. This chestnut by First Trump was the definition of clueless that day, veering badly right and running very green. He ran in most encouragingly once he realised he was on the racecourse though and has an extra furlong to get his act together here. We would expect a far more professional performance in this and expect him to go close at what could be rewarding odds.