Doncaster Mile 2013 Preview

A small but select field of seven turns out for Saturday’s Doncaster Mile with Highland Knight topping the market at 3-1. Andrew Balding’s six-year-old gelding by Night Shift was last seen running a creditable fifth in a Group 2 at Longchamp in October. That run followed a victory in a similar event at Baden-Badgabrialen and he is certainly entitled to respect here.

Possibly the most interesting runner is Ralph Beckett’s Moonstone Magic. The filly won so impressively on her debut at Leicester last season that she was pitched in at Group level next time, winning the Dubai Duty Free Stakes at Newbury. Her proven ability on soft ground seemed to give her a chance in the 1,000 Guineas in May but she was left floundering behind shock winner Homecoming Queen. Connections have not lost faith in the filly and she is a 4-1 chance with Bet365 to make a winning return.

Michael Bell’s Sovereign Debt has also been flying high and finished his three-year-old season at Ascot behind Excelebration. He had run a fair race was three-length seventh behind Ishvana in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot and won a decent conditions race at Newmarket in July. If he has strengthened up with another year on his back he could be one to follow this season.

Richard Fahey’s stable has been firing on all cylinders at the start of the new turf season and he is represented by the talented, but sometimes wayward Gabrial. He hung across the track when winning a valuable Haydock handicap in may and then performed with great credit to finish fifth behind Most Improved in the St James’s Palace Stakes. Understandably no match for Frankel at Goodwood, he then finished third at Haydock and Sandown. Kieren Fallon is an interesting jockey booking for this smart performer and he is likely to be held up behind runners for a late swoop.

Richard Hannon’s Chandlery was a smart two-year-old but missed the whole of 2012 through injury. He won the Group 2 Vintage Stakes from his stable companion Rockinante at Goodwood on his last start and will be a threat to all if he is fit enough to do himself justice. David Nicholls runs Don’t Call Me who has been plying his trade at Meydan recently. He finished second to Mandaean at Meydan in January and was not disgraced when fourth to Trade Storm at the same venue last month. He sprang a 25-1 surprise when winning a valuable Ascot handicap in September and cannot be ruled out.

The field is completed by Stand My Ground who has been purchased by Middleham Park Racing and sent to David O’Meara. The six-year-old has won four times in France and this could be a fact-finding mission for him.

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