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Dark Horses 4th March

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3:40 Doncaster – Baron De Middleton

Frustrating is a very apt adjective to describe BARON DE MIDDLETON. Brian Ellison’s 9-year-old has 2 wins on his CV from 18 career starts under rules but has finished 2nd on 6 occasions and has finished in the first 3 on 5 of his last 6 starts. He has been knocking on the door without getting his head in front but put a poor display at Kelso behind him when finishing 3rd at Sedgefield, beaten less than 2-lengths. He probably didn’t stay the trip on Heavy ground at Kelso, producing a much better showing when running on good ground at Sedgefield 5-weeks ago. Although he is 0-12 over fences, he continues to run well and has been left on the same mark of 119 following that run at Sedgefield. He won his novice hurdle here in 2019, his only start at the Yorkshire track and should get a decent pace to track from Joke Dancer and could finally reward his patient connections with the visor on for the first time.

4:15 Doncaster – Moonamacaroona

A very interesting mares’ novice hurdle, with the unbeaten Corey’s Cottage likely to prove hard to beat, but she does have a double penalty to carry and the 12lbs could be enough to give MOONAMACAROONA a chance. Alan Kings mare has run well in her 4 starts over hurdles and was probably unlucky not to make a winning debut when she unseated Tom Cannon when travelling like the winner at Market Rasen in October. She has finished 2nd on 2 of her 3 subsequent starts and showed enough last time out over this course and distance in a mares’ handicap hurdle when only beaten a length by the now 113 rated Stop Talking. If she can repeat that effort, she could go close on these terms and it is interesting to see that champion jockey elect Brian Hughes retains the ride. The cheekpieces go on for the first time and if they bring about any improvement, she should come out on top.

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