Wednesday 21 February 2018

Rivet can fasten Atzeni's grip on Doncaster prize

Jockey Andrea Atzeni. Photo: Daniel Smith/Getty Images
Jockey Andrea Atzeni. Photo: Daniel Smith/Getty Images
Ronald Koeman. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Wayne Bailey

Lester Piggott and Pat Eddery both won the Racing Post Trophy five times each (3.50 Doncaster), but Andrea Atzeni is catching up, and will attempt to land the prize for the fourth time in a row on board Rivet, a general 5/1 shot for the last Group One of the season.

Aidan O'Brien's Yucatan looks certain to go off as favourite around even-money under Ryan Moore but I'm not so sure he should be that short against Atzeni's mount which has Group Two winning form under the belt.

The favourite was second in the Group Two Beresford Stakes last time behind stablemate Capri and has room for improvement but I suspect there will be less in this than the market suggests.

The likes of Salouen, which was second in a French Group One last time, cannot be ruled out.


Having said that, it will be tough on all challengers - Yucatan does have a great pedigree and is the type that O'Brien gets more from with every race.

Sir Dancealot is also worth a mention and was trading at 9/1 yesterday evening. He is usually thereabouts although he's a bit to find here on all known form.

Rivet had won two in a row including the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, and although his fifth place in the Dewhurst Stakes last time looks disappointing, the pace didn't really suit the son of Fastnet Rock.

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It was no surprise to see Churchill win that race but today's affair is more open and at the prices, Rivet makes the most appeal. The extra furlong should suit and he can give the favourite a real test today.

At Newbury, Executive Force will possibly go off as favourite in the Group Three Worthington's Alzheimers Society Stakes (1.45) although if the forecast prices are anything to go by, Eaton Square, Colibri and City Of Joy will be warm in the markets too.

Expected to go off around 12/1, I like the look of Silver Line for Saeed bin Suroor under Frederik Tylicki. He won a minor event at Nottingham on his debut and improved to finish third in the Group Two Norfolk Stakes at Ascot in June, but he was well out of his depth in the Group One Middle Park Stakes and finished last of the ten runners.

A couple of weeks ago, he was fifth behind Sir Dancealot, but he found it hard to find a good position so that mediocre result is overlooked.

He's better than his latest two races would suggest and I'm surprised to see his price that high in the early markets.

In the Group Three Worthington's OCSL Stakes (2.20), John Gosden's Western Hymn makes appeal around 6/1 despite the fact that he hasn't won a race in well over a year.

That last success was a Group Three but he wasn't disgraced when third in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Ascot and also put in a good run without setting the world alight in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes at the same track last time.

Occasionally, he can appear unsettled and race a little awkwardly but this contest is within his grasp and you'd have to fancy the five-year-old to go close.

Kings Fete is the danger for Michael Stoute under Pat Smullen. He won the Glorious Stakes at Goodwood and the Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury this summer but he appeared in need of the run after seven weeks off when third in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot last time.

Quarterback is another interesting entry for Norwegian trainer Rune Haugen around 20/1.

As pointed out by Haugen this week, he has raced in six different countries in the last nine months so he's no problem with travelling and his galloping style may well be suited to Newmarket.


The Kevin Ryan-trained Bogart slips in near the bottom of the weights on 8st in the Top Price Templegate Tips Handicap (2.40 Doncaster), and jockey Nathan Evans helps reduce the burden with a 3lb claim.

Once rated as high as 107 back in 2012, the seven-year-old is now on a career-low mark of 82 but he ran reasonably well off 1lb higher when fourth in a competitive handicap sprint at York last time, and the assessor appears to be giving him a fair chance here.

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He has won only four times in a 41-race career but a price of 12/1 or thereabouts seems reasonably generous at the weights.

Trained by Denis Hogan, Tithonus looks the best of the rest. He's the opposite of the selection in that he's climbed steadily in the ratings having won four of his last six races, but he may still have more to come and should land a place.


1.45 Newbury: Silver Line

2.20 Newbury: Western Hymn

2.40 Doncaster: Bogart (e/w)

3.30 Cheltenham: Ultragold

3.50 Doncaster: Rivet

5.30 Chelmsford: Dubai Elegance

Do the double


They are very short around 4/6 but you'd have to fancy Ronald Koeman and his Everton side to take full points away to Burnley this afternoon. The Toffees have been pretty decent on the road this term and earned a draw against City last week, despite being outplayed for a good chunk of the game.


Trained by Saeed bin Suroor, Dubai Elegance is tipped to take the toteplacepot Racing's Favourite Bet EBF Maiden Stakes (5.30 Chelmsford), priced in the region of 3/1. I'm always wary of backing horses which have raced just once but her debut at Doncaster, in which she came third, was promising and she kept on very well in the closing stages. She looks the type to progress, although Kingofmerrows will give her a run for her money.

Irish Independent

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