A brave run by Portrait Emotion on Friday, just beaten in a driving finish and not getting the verdict, despite a long stewards' enquiry as the result of an objection to the winner


November handicap day at Doncaster and a plethora of near impossible races to unravel for ambitious punters. There is one very strong fancy on the card for me, and that's SAJHAA (Doncaster 2.00) in the Listed race. Had a nice spin in France recently when not beaten far and that should have blown away the cobwebs. A light season too is a plus in November, so this classy horse will do for me.

A pin job for the feature handicap and I'll go with the Class act, despite topweight, RETRIEVE e/w (Doncaster 2.35), second in a Group One last time, no less. That entitles this horse to the utmost respect. Despite five places on offer, bet365 22/1 is the biggest in 'the village' currently. Worth nabbing imho.

Mr Mole should back up the big impression he created last time by taking the opener at Wincanton, but may well be unbackable, however of more 'investment' interest is OPERATING (Naas 12.30). Chased home one of Ireland's top bumper horses Clonbanan Lad last time on hurdling debut, and looks a smart recruit to this sphere. Rory O'Moore will be popular after a good run last time, but Shrapnel, the winner there, was scoring after having had plenty of chances, while Hot Prospect is rated 102 on the flat and clearly open to improvement despite a modest enough run last time.

On the same Naas card Jessie Harrington sets a minor conundrum by running both Jezki and Director's Forum in the Listed race. Of the pair i prefer Jezki but Pageboy is another in that with a solid chance and i'll pass at least until nearer the time. EDIT: Remiss of me not to mention Hisabaat for this race. After a recent spin on the flat, and bearing in mind the horse was second to Countrywide Flame at Cheltenham! Could (probably should) beat them all.

MOSCOW CHIEF (Naas 2.10) can win the other maiden on the card, and finally NED BUNTLINE (Naas 3.50) looks a decent bet. Milan Bound is apparently well thought of, but the selection gave the aforementioned Jezki a serious race on its only racecourse appearance and is preferred.


Highlight of the day will be the reappearance of Voler La Vedette in Ireland on Sunday, but I'll be betting in more modest races. LAST TIME D'ALBAIN (2.20 Navan) should be hard to beat off 105 in the handicap hurdle. A 133 rated chaser so does look very well in for this event, having scored in a similar race on heavy ground last time.

The two maiden hurdles at Limerick can go the way of GENTLEMAN DUKE (Limerick 1.05) a solid performer on the level rated in the 80s, after a decent third last time, and THE CRAFTY BUTCHER (Limerick 2.10). Some decent bumper runs and a fair effort in a similar event last time, while this looks weaker.

A busy weekend then for the blog after a quiet week, my best bet might well be NED BUNTLINE on Saturday, but that's price dependent. Thanks for your time!