Rory Delargy: Doncaster Saturday - "Swerve overrated Bona Fide in Listed contest"

5 min


13:30 Gillies Fillies’ Stakes

Bona Fide looks one to take on here having scrambled home in a Gowran handicap from a 71-rated filly who was well beaten on her next starts. She was rated 80 that day and merely had to run to that mark to win all out, whereas she now meets rivals who are all rated 85 or higher, and does so at levels.

People will note that Dermot Weld is bringing her over as if it’s a tip in itself, but she’s a daughter of Frankel looking to get black-type at the last available opportunity on turf this year, and her presence in the field reflects that simple fact.

She is unexposed after just three runs, but she won with nothing in hand having taken a weak maiden at that track on debut.

It’s certainly worth having a stab at a listed race, but her chances of winning are very slim, much more than the odds would indicate, and she needs to improve markedly even to hit the frame in a race full of triers. Not for me.

Recommended: Lay Bona Fide for a place @ 2.8 or shorter (5.4pts liability)

14:45 7f Handicap

Fire Brigade has been disappointing this year, and that is best demonstrated by his poor run at Leicester last time in a race he won last year. He ran badly in the Lincoln here earlier in the year, and never looked like getting to grips with Ostilio on a return visit in September. He does have a better record at this trip, but hasn’t looked like a drop in trip would help him of late, and of even more concern is his yard’s form.

It’s not been a bad year for Michael Bell, but it’s ending with a whimper, and of 25 runners on turf in the past four weeks, only one has made the frame.

Recommended: Lay Fire Brigade for a place @ 3.25 or shorter (4.5pts liability)

15:15 November Handicap

The draw is an important factor here with horses drawn middle to high doing much better than those in low stalls, and the last four years have seen no horses drawn lower that 8 making the frame. That is reflected in earlier renewals (15 of last 16 winners drawn 9 or higher, and we should look to take on low-drawn horses, especially if their prominent style of racing dictates that they will remain on the unfavoured inner. My Lord And Master fits the bill to a large degree, although he did improve for a change of tactics last time.

He’s not proven at this trip, for all he was staying on over shorter last time, and was well behind Buzz at Newbury prior to that. He looks too short on balance.

Recommended: Lay My Lord And Master for a place @ 3.5 or shorter (5pts liability)

Rory joined Tom Stanley and Sam Turner on the Matchbook Betting Podcast to preview Saturday’s feature races from Doncaster and Wincanton. If you haven’t already subscribed, search for ‘Matchbook Betting Podcast’ on your preferred podcasting app.