Friday sees Doncaster stage a Class 2 Hcap over 6f and with 22 runners it looks like being competitive stuff for this time of the year. A lot of the old favourites take up battle once again and heading the handicap is the 3yo Iver Bridge Lad and Newmarket trainer John Ryan has booked the assistance of Fallon. He has been running well of late and he wasn't beaten far behind Bewitched at Ascot last time and the stables Oceans Minstrel ran very well in the Cesarewitch.
Just in front of Iver Bridge Lad in that race was the consistent Secret Witness who gets a pull in the weights here but Fallon should make all the difference to that battle.
Golden Desert is another that has been doing well of late he was 5th in the Wokingham off 1lb higher when behind Laddies Poker Two and Ryan Moore has been booked to do the steering but some might say he might not be suited by the conditions.
Knot in Wood finished 4th in the Ayr Gold Cup and is now down 4lb from that mark and with Dettori booked the stable could mean business.
Parisian Pyramid has been consistent all season but he is still 7lb higher than his last win so although he may run well he may struggle to win something of this nature.
Mac's Power is the overnight fav, he won well on the AW last time out for James Fanshawe but this looks a much stiffer test for him and although his trainer is keen on him I'm not sure he can win this. The stable have had a poor time of it this year win wise but they are in better form now.
Ancient Cross has run a couple of good races lately too but he has gone up 5lb without winning so you would have to think he is up against it here. Dandy Nicholls has a couple entered and Joseph Henry is capable of going well if he can run to the form he showed at Goodwood when beating his stablemate Victoire De Lyphar and Tajneed who has Ripon in his blood could be well drawn in stall 3 for a front runner but he wont have the cut he needs.
Its difficult to know however what effect the draw will have on this, in the Portland Hcap the draw seemed to favour those drawn low, but the going was good then and it may be slightly softer here. Whatever happens it will give us a guide for the 5f Class 2 Hcap here on Saturday afternoon.
It is often the skill of the jockey though that can have the edge in these big handicaps and one such jockey who was always worth having on your side in a handicap was Mick Kinane, however in this we have the likes of Fallon, Moore and Dettori and come the end it wouldnt be a suprise to see the 3 of them fighting it out.
Well its decision time and I'm concious of the draw having just watched the Portland again but I'm going to go for Knot in Wood who although 8 years of age is still capable of decent form and with Dettori booked he should go well.
Cheltenham International Meeting (Sat) - Spotlight On The Caspian Caviar Gold Cup https://t.co/xRIsnLhWp3 #Cheltenham — Steve Mullington (@mulldog) December 15, 2017 Some great results for the blo...
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