Racing Post tipster Robbie Wilders was a perfect two from two on Thursday and returns with seven wagers on the opening day of the British Flat season at Doncaster.
Old Chums @ 12/1
Isla Kai @ 6/1
Fast Response @ 6/1
Baradar @ 9/1
Bopedro @ 16/1
Tacarib Bay @ 4/1
The opening Brocklesby Stakes (1.50) is always a difficult puzzle to solve given we are dealing with a field of unraced two-year-olds, but I enjoy delving into pedigrees and Old Chums makes a bit of appeal at a decent each-way price from that standpoint.
Old Chums is a son of top stallion Kodiac, whose progeny tend to appreciate an ease underfoot, while his dam ran to a Racing Post Rating of 103 and handled a cut in the ground with relish.
Tom Dascombe, who knows the time of day with juveniles, will doubtless be keen to hit the ground running this season following his split with long-time ally Michael Owen last term and can kick the campaign off in style.
The Spring Mile (2.25) is a much more competitive field than last season’s meagre eight-runner turnout, and the one to make the most each-way appeal is Nigel Tinkler’s course winner Isla Kai.
Isla Kai has predominantly been campaigned on better ground, but he is unbeaten in two starts on soft and produced his best effort of last season first time out when a close fourth to Modern News at Newbury off 7lb higher.
The son of Awtaad should be ready for his first run of the campaign and is dangerously treated off 92, while as a five-year-old there should be a little more to come this season.
Four places are up for grabs in the Cammidge Trophy (3.00) and the two to side with each-way are Fast Response and Vadream.
Fast Response is another who loves testing ground and is reportedly being aimed at the Prix de l’Abbaye at the end of the campaign. She is progressive and can step forward again at four.
Vadream brings a race fitness edge to the table, having raced three times on the all-weather since early February. Her best form is also on a slow surface and double-figure prices about her are an oversight.
Horses switching stables have a strong record in the feature race on the Doncaster card, the Lincoln (3.35), and my two fancies joined George Boughey and David O’Meara respectively at the back end of last season.
The Boughey-trained Baradar, who scored in smooth style on his debut for the yard on heavy here in the autumn, is quite lightly raced for a five-year-old and his course form dates back further, as he finished third in the 2020 Vertem Futurity Trophy on heavy. He will love the conditions and is well treated on past form.
The O'Meara-trained Bopedro also emerged with credit when second in a similar race at this track near the end of the 2022 campaign.
He is battle-hardened, rated a fair bit below his peak and represents a trainer in David O’Meara who saddled the 20-1 winner in 2017 and placed horses at 66-1, 40-1, 9-2, 14-1, 25-1, 25-1 and 11-1 this decade.
On a stacked day at Doncaster the final runner to support is Tacarib Bay in the mile Listed contest (4.10).
Tacarib Bay has form figures of 131 on soft ground and has a fitness advantage over every runner in this field bar Tempus, who is best on a fast surface.
He is also open to plenty of improvement as a four-year-old and it is encouraging that his trainer Richard Hannon saddled a double on this card last season.