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A Duo at Doncaster

Fri 31 May 2019

Good afternoon from Newmarket. It has been a busy week, with runners all over the shop, but our efforts have been rewarded with a couple of winners so let us hope we can continue the good work today!

We venture to Doncaster this evening with Jabalaly and Achaeus, a pair of three-year-old maidens who are both interesting projects, albeit in different ways.

Jabalaly, who takes his chance in the seven-furlong 0-80 handicap at 7.00, is a son of Moohaajim who has made good strides in maiden company. He has run twice before at Doncaster, finishing second on debut last year and then fourth in a fair event over this course and distance on his comeback towards the end of April.

That effort was followed up by another second place finish at Beverley, and the return to a flatter track this evening ought to be in his favour. We are now racing in handicap company for the first time from a rating of 79 - which looks fair rather than lenient - and we are sticking to seven-furlongs although the lingering suspicion is that  a mile will suit better. So there are one or two little imponderables, but this is a nice progressive horse and I hope to see him continue in this vein for a little while yet. He ought to be competitive in this sort of company, and I keep my fingers crossed for a big effort. Dane O’Neill rides.

In the mile and a half 0-70 handicap at 9.00, Achaeus is a big outsider having fluffed his lines on handicap debut at Wolverhampton last time out. However, we learnt very little from that contest, as he set a very steady pace out in front, was far too keen, and then got outsprinted. He is better than that, but clearly we need to see a revival and it is difficult to know what exactly he might achieve tonight.

At the start of the year we hoped he was a good handicapping prospect over middle distances, and I have not given up hope just yet. This is his first try on turf, which could be key, and the galloping nature of Doncaster should play to his strengths. Whether he is good enough for this race I really am not sure but his mark of 61 does not look punitive, and I would like to think he can show a good deal more than he did at Wolverhampton and get his career back on track. Let us hope for a positive showing – Ben Curtis takes the ride.

All the best,

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