Sky Sports Racing Race of the Day: Okavango Delta can go off the mark in Doncaster’s Competitive Handicap Hurdle | Race News
Alan Thomson takes a close look at Friday’s At The Races betting day race, a competitive handicap hurdle to complete the card at Doncaster.
On Friday I follow the Sky Sports Racing cameras to Doncaster and the most interesting race on their card from a punting point of view is the two mile three furlongs race Combo Handicap Leisure Hurdle (3.30). Thirteen runners have gathered and this large field opens up a variety of betting options.
The advanced assessment is good, good to soft in places, with 24 dry hours in prospect. Town Moor is one of the most galloping tracks in the country with a run-in of more than four furlongs.
Kathy Woollacott’s six-year-old has been out for 200 days since he hunted Marajman in Southwell and was placed in Newbury and Bangor on soft ground last winter. Market signals can give a clue to its physical condition.
Placed five times for Rose Dobbin but still chasing that elusive victory. The six-year-old ran out of turn again when he ran third behind Melburnian and Cuban Cigar at Kelso in October, but it was a stronger contest. Cheeks are tried and regular rider Craig Nichol is in the saddle.
Undoubtedly the horse of form of the race but which intensifies in journey. Eight days ago, the four-year-old Jamie Snowden beat 81-ranked Baliyad in Wincanton, completing most of the race in this “hands and heels” novice handicap obstacle. Cornicello also scored at Plumpton in October and only found Maxcel too strong at Hereford earlier this month.
Alex Edwards rode the gelding to victory at Uttoxeter in early September and runner-up Encashment has since finished third behind Cornicello at Plumpton receiving pieces of weight. Finalshot has little to find with Cornicello on this collateral, undiscounted line of form.
Jenni Candlish and Sean Quinlan are hoping for a change of fortune with the five-year-old, second in his last three outings. Her latest effort came behind Mick Easterby’s in-form mare Pardon Me, who made her next start with a top mark of 5lbs, and Lough Carra also posted a strong run behind Calliope in Perth at the end of September. The cheeks are applied.
Has been off track 307 days and little encouragement to draw from its last three races starting with odds of 80/1, 22/1 and 22/1. However, it’s never wise to dismiss anything from the Dan Skelton yard, and David England is an interesting booking.
creek of kings
Won over three miles at Southwell in May and placed four times this year. Disappointed on his last start at Sedgefield beating a single rival at home, but has a cringe if it was just a day off.
Held well behind Lucky Lover Boy and Strong Team in form over two miles at Newcastle a fortnight ago but was noted to continue running steadily. Worth a try over this longer distance but it’s well held by Okavanka Delta in the form of Kelso.
She’s hinted at her abilities a few times, but Ruth Jefferson’s mare has to find an upgrade somewhere to feature. Wearing a balaclava for the first time.
Nick Gifford’s six-year-old was good under James Davies at Fakenham last month beating favorite Blended Stealth in a 2m 4f novice handicap hurdle. The runner-up was stopped on his Lingfield debut last week, but Cobbs Corner must be interesting with a mark of 4 pounds more.
OKAVANGO DELTA keeps knocking on the door and it wouldn’t be the strongest event he’s played, so it seems hard to get out of frame. Cornicello is on a roll and his chance is clear going the distance.