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Friday, 21 October 2011

Fencing to put opponents to the Sword

The flat season is rapidly drawing to an end but there are still some great races to round off the season, including Saturday's Racing Post Trophy, meanwhile the jumps season is starting to get into the swing of things with decent meetings at Chepstow & Aintree. We've got picks today from Doncaster & Chepstow, we'd have liked to take a look at the Old Roan Chase at Aintree but a disappointing field of three runners, albeit including Master Minded & Albertas Run, means that we won't be getting involved.

 (Fencing streaks away at Newbury - can he follow up in the Racing Post Trophy?)

The Racing Post Trophy is the UK's last Group 1 of the season & is seen as the key two year old trial for the following year's Derby with three winners in the 2000's following up in the world's most famous flat race, this year sees an interesting field with plenty of exciting, unexposed types. Camelot is hot favourite for this, with Aidan O'Brien's colt as short as Evens with some firms & has a lovely pedigree being by Montjeu out of a Kingmambo mare, a mile at this stage of his career should be ideal. Camelot has just raced the once, picking up a Leopardstown maiden back in July over this distance, it's understandable why Camelot is favourite & should be respected with his connections but the prices available offer little value & this will be some test for jockey Joseph O'Brien up against some of the riding world's elite. Godolphin's Encke is a colt by Kingmambo & absolutely flew home in a maiden 3 week's ago at Newmarket & only made its debut in September, there should be plenty of improvement to come & Frankie Dettori will place his mount with every chance, we'll certainly be wary of this one. Our fancy is John Gosden's Fencing another that has raced just the twice but was successful in a Listed contest on that 2nd start, impressing hugely that day, the form of Fencing's maiden (finished 3rd) hasn't worked out too badly with the winner Entifaadha following up in a Group 3 & running well since. He should appreciate the likely sound surface & although he was said to have had a minor setback since his win in August John Gosden wouldn't be running him without thinking he held the best of chances, we can't wait to see Fencing use his awesome exceleration against other top horses, odds of 100/30 with Ladbrokes look very fair.

At Chepstow, the Welsh National track, we have a highly competitive Grade 3 handicap hurdle but we think we've got a good one from the 18 runners with David Pipe's Shoegazing, a relatively lightly raced horse that has run to a consistently decent level of form. Shoegazing won well over this same distance with similar ground at Ffos Las last February & was sent off 2nd favourite for the conditional jockeys hurdle at Cheltenham Festival but took a couple of bumps & could only finish 9th of 23. Some of the other major trainers have multiple entries in this contest (Nicholls has two & Hobbs has three) but David Pipe relies solely on Shoegazing with the ever-improving Tom Scudamore getting the leg up, we fancy his chances at odds of 14/1.

3.00 Doncaster - Fencing at 100/30 with Ladbrokes
4.15 Chepstow - Shoegazing at 14/1 (Boylesports & Bet 365)

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