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2018 November Handicap tips - Two against the field for Doncaster's end-of-season feature

Brian Healy 8 Nov 2018
Doncaster stages the season-ending November Handicap on Saturday

Brian Healy picks out his two against the field for Saturday's flat racing finale at Doncaster, the competitive November Handicap.

Doncaster stages the final day of the 2018 Flat season on turf, and there is one last competitive big race hurrah to be run before the curtain falls on another fantastic few months.

The November Handicap is the big race in question, and the 1m 4f contest will go to post at 3.15pm with a maximum field of 23 runners contesting a first prize pot in excess of £40,000 to the winner.

Brian Healy has looked over the potential field of entries for the Flat season’s last big prize, and he picks out two against the field who should give punters a run for their money!

Five three-year olds have won this race since the turn of the millenium, with the last being Prize Money in 2016; but Kevin Ryan’s MORNING WONDER (12/1, Coral) could well put another win on the board for that age group, and the progressive Dawn Approach gelding can remain competitive having struck over course and distance last month.

A winner on his second start as a juvenile at Leicester, Kevin Ryan’s charge has shown good form since being gelded following his return to action in May where he looked in need of the run when finishing seventh to Raa Atoll at Nottingham.

Third at Chester in June where he was beaten only a half-length behind Berkshire Royal, the Dawn Approach gelding looked a non-stayer when tried over 1m 6f at Haydock in September where he was beaten almost twenty lengths behind Canford Heights.

To be fair to him, it was also his first start in 103 days so he may have needed the run; but he was under pressure too far out to suggest he was just short of fitness. He quickly bounced back however when running out a ready winner over Jabbaar over course and distance last month, and there could be more to come from him over this trip.

He won cosily last time despite hanging badly across the track to run against the rail, but Josephine Gordon got a real tune out of the youngster and the pair combine again for this outing. There could be better still to come, and while 6lbs higher in the weights he looks a progressive sort who can have a big say in the outcome.

Josephine Gordon can go close riding Morning Wonder in Saturday's November Handicap.


Mark Johnston’s HOCHFIELD (16/1, Paddy Power) was progressive last term, winning three times from his eight starts with the last coming when successful at Newmarket last August.

The Cape Cross gelding has been running consistently well in defeat this term, only once finishing outside the first four horses home, and his lastest start saw him denied only by a nose behind the reopposing Restorer at Leicester last month.

That was a solid effort by the Johnston runner who had made all the running until headed well inside the final furlong by the winner; but he battled on tenaciously and almost snatched the win only to lose on a bob of the heads at the line.

He is only 1lb better off with that rival here, and given that he had a hard race last time out there has to be a chance that he won’t be at his best here after just twelve days off; but his overall consistent profile this campaign suggests he’ll continue to remain competitive.

His earlier runner-up in Listed company at Chester looks decent form now with the third horse home having gone one place better in a Listed contest at Bath behind the progressive True Self, and he can post another big run if none the worse for his recent Leicester exertions.

Record-breaking trainer Mark Johnston could cap a fantastic season with a winner in the November Handicap.


2018 NOVEMBER HANDICAP - TWO AGAINST THE FIELD


MORNING WONDER (12/1, Coral), HOCHFIELD (16/1, Paddy Power)

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2018 November Handicap tips - Two against the field for Doncaster's end-of-season feature

Brian Healy picks out his two against the field for Saturday's flat racing finale at Doncaster, the competitive November Handicap.

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