Friday 17 January 2020

Golden Apollo can land a winning mission

Golden Apollo
Golden Apollo

Golden Apollo can land another decent pot in the Vertem Leading The Field Handicap at Doncaster.

Tim Easterby's five-year-old returned to winning form in last month's Ayr Silver Cup, and has good prospects of following up today despite a 5lb rise.

Golden Apollo prevailed by only a neck, but was strong at the finish and appears to have got his eye in again.

He has won off a higher mark in the past and has shown his form in soft ground - so should not be significantly compromised if the forecast rain materialises.

His Ayr victim Gabrial The Saint re-opposes, inevitably on more favourable terms for his narrow defeat. But the force is with Golden Apollo again, and he can prove the point.

Modakhar is at the other end of the experience scale, but is another seeking a second successive victory - and it may come his way in the 1st Security Solutions Handicap. He won his novice with authority at Hamilton in soft ground last month and should have potential off his opening mark for an in-form yard.

Hamish may well go off at short odds but will deserve to in the British European Breeders' Fund Conditions Stakes at Newbury. William Haggas' gelding arrives in this bracket on the back of a hugely-impressive win in a valuable York handicap two weeks ago.

He dispelled any worries about handling soft ground there, so should be in his element again and will surely take some stopping.

Lady Adelaide has been off the track since struggling in Listed company back in May, but she may find the Thatcham Butchers Fillies' Handicap more to her liking - with a rating of 82 not looking too harsh.

She won once as a juvenile, but was 20 lengths behind Maqsad in the Pretty Polly at Newmarket and might appreciate easier company.

Smokey Lane seems to like easy ground, so is one for the short-list in the Energy Check Great Deals Handicap after winning at Leicester recently.

High Fort showed a first glimmer of ability on his fifth career start, across the codes, last time - and that level may well be enough for victory in the Bombardier Golden Beer Handicap at Newcastle.

Cheltenham's season kicks off with a typically classy card, and it is Wholestone who catches the eye in the Matchbook Most Trusted Betting Exchange Novices' Chase.

Rated 161 at his peak over hurdles, he is a notable contestant in the novice-chase division and made a winning start when lifting a valuable Perth event last month.

CHELTENHAM: 2.00 Braid Blue, 2.35 Getaway Trump, 3.10 The Big Galloper, 3.45 Wholestone, 4.20 Getariver, 4.55 Doing Fine, 5.30 Oakley.

DONCASTER: 1.50 Gold Souk, 2.25 Echo's Love, 3.00 Camahawk, 3.35 GOLDEN APOLLO (NAP), 4.10 Celestial Force, 4.45 Modakhar, 5.15 Gamesters Icon.

DUNDALK: 5.10 Dubai Rainbow, 5.45 Outside Inside, 6.15 War Leader, 6.45 Perry Owens, 7.15 Bellick, 7.45 Swiss Power, 8.15 Prosecution, 8.45 Cache Queen.

NEWBURY: 1.10 Iron Heart, 1.40 Bright Eyed Eagle, 2.15 Mishriff, 2.50 Lady Adelaide, 3.25 Hamish, 4.00 Zeyzoun, 4.35 Smokey Lane, 5.05 Mr Smith.

NEWCASTLE: 5.25 Anyonecanhaveitall, 6.00 Maria Rosa, 6.30 Star Of St Louis, 7.00 Orange Justice, 7.30 Provocation, 8.00 Millicent Fawcett, 8.30 High Fort.

DOUBLE: Golden Apollo and Lady Adelaide.

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