This intriguing Handicap over one mile for three year olds looks not like an easy race to call, however I can’t let Godolphin’s Symbolic Star go for a big looking price. A cautious bet, yes, as it is not quite clear what to expect from some of the others, but cautious only to an extend. Let’s take a look at his rivals here first.
The Richard Hannon inmate Maftoon won on the Chelmsford All-Weather when last seen. He did that nicely and progressed from his juvenile season. But now switched to turf of a mark off 86 in a hot race much more is required. He looks a bit smalish as well, I can’t see him as a well handicapped individual.
Lingfield scorer Alfajer makes much more appeal. She won really well back in October 2014 and the step up to 1m should suit. Botti has his horses well at this early stage of the season, so wouldn’t be a surprise to see her go close. She’s drifting in the betting though, which is a slight worry.
Grand Spirit finished a good deal beaten at Brighton on his seasonal reappearance. The form works out well with the winner hacking up subsequently. He should improve but that says he has to if he wants to go close here.
Paco Boy son Sarsted won a poor maiden last season. There might be more to come. Darshini could easily be a better three year old but has been off the track for a long time. Darrington drops in trip which will help. He’s interesting as the feather weight with a 5lb claimer in the saddle.
That brings me back to Symbolic Star. He steps up to 1m now, which should clearly suit on pedigree. An opening mark off 85 looks stiff at first glance, but if assessing his form a bit closer, one has to get the impression that it could also be fair, maybe even lenient.
On his debut he finished a close 3rd over too short 5f in a very hot maiden, with the first and second franking the form. The runner-up won a Group 3 subsequently for example. His success in a rather poor Wolverhampton maiden over 7f was visually very impressive then. He seemed to have wintered well and the change of gear was excellent. In my eyes he has the most potential of them all in this field, and if he can cope with the quick ground, he should be hard to beat.
7.00 Doncaster: Class 3 Handicap, 3yo, 1m
Symbolic Star @ 3/1 Bet365 – 5pts win