Brian Healy looks ahead to the big race field for Saturday’s November Handicap at Doncaster, the season’s final big flat racing handicap, and he picks out two against the field who could post big runs.
The final day of the 2019 Flat racing season in the UK goes to post at Doncaster on Saturday, and the curtain falls on another fantastic campaign with a seven race card which features the competitive November Handicap as the day’s main event.
This 1m 4f contest will boast a maximum of 23 runners to contest over the Town Moor course with each bidding to land the £43,000-plus first prize for victory. Some smart sorts have won this contest in recent years, including Royal Line, Litigant, Open Eagle and Zuider Zee since the turn of the decade.
Brian Healy takes a look through the big-race field for Saturday’s feature handicap and picks out two against the field he thinks could run well in the season’s last big contest.
RESHOUN (12/1, Paddy Power) could lurk on a winnable mark, and with the prospect of testing ground at Town Moor on Saturday then Ian Williams’ charge could post a big effort.
The Shamardal gelding handles soft ground well as he evidenced when beating Never Surrender in heavy conditions at Haydock last September, and he subsequently finished third in this race twelve months ago where he was beaten just under two lengths behind Royal Line.
His form has admittedly been patchy since despite returning this term with a promising third behind Gumball at Salisbury in April, although he appeared to relish a return to softer conditions when finishing third behind Time To Study at Haydock latest where he crossed the line four lengths’ adrift of the winner.
He has 2lbs less to carry than was the case twelve months ago, and the Shamardal gelding might be able to get closer this time around although he doesn’t come into the race in quite the same form. Nevertheless, he is a former course and distance who might appreciate stepping back to this distance, and with conditions no issue he can run well with Jim Crowley in the plate for this outing.
BO SAMRAAN (16/1, Bet365) is improving with every start and arrives here on a hat-trick, and while this represents a much harder contest than those he’s taken in to date in his career Mark Johnston’s charge could prove up to the task with the potential to improve further.
The Sea The Stars colt made the frame in each of his first four starts over teh summer, but since encountering softer ground the last twice he has taken his form up a notch with wins at Pontefract and Catterick latterly, albeit in a lesser grade than this.
He hasn’t won either by far, beating Sod’s Law in soft ground by a head before turning out again eight days later under a penalty to strike a quick double with a defeat of Jabbaar in heavy ground, finding plenty for pressure in a sustained battle to the line.
There is a fear that might have left a mark, and this step up in grade clearly demands that he finds further improvement in a more competitive race where he has been raised a further 3lbs in the weights.
But, with just 7st 12lbs to carry in what could be some desperate ground come post-time then he might well be able to take advantage of his low weight in conditions that will prove no issue. Assuming he’s over his recent Catterick tussle, he could post a big run.
2019 NOVEMBER HANDICAP TIPS – TWO AGAINST THE FIELD
RESHOUN (12/1, Paddy Power), BO SAMRAAN (16/1, Bet365)