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Graeme Rodway
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Horse racing tips: Trust Cruz to take control for Lacey and Sheppard

The ITV cameras are at Doncaster on Saturday and Racing Post tipster Graeme Rodway gives his best bets for the bet365-sponsored card on Town Moor.

Graeme Rodway's tips

2.05 Doncaster - Cruz Control @ 15/2
2.40 Doncaster - Geromino @ 9/1
3.15 Doncaster - Whistleinthedark @ 11/2

2.05 Doncaster - Cruz Control @ 15/2

The bet365 Novices' Limited Handicap Chase (2.05) is a hot race, but it's worth taking a chance on CRUZ CONTROL, who represents Tom Lacey and is Stan Sheppard's only ride today.

Lacey struck last Saturday with Operation Manna at Sandown and Cruz Control can give the stable another big win judging by the way he jumped when scoring at Newcastle last month.

Cruz Control was always prominent that day and looked a sitting duck in the straight as two rivals loomed. However, he pinged every fence from that point and gradually shook off his challengers to win going away. There was a lot to like about the way he put his head down.

The runner-up, Glory And Honour, is back to re-oppose and has a 3lb pull in the weights, but Cruz Control appeared to win with plenty more in hand than the length-and-a-half margin.

There should be improvement to come from this lightly raced six-year-old on just his fourth outing over fences and a 5lb rise in the weights might not stop him from following up here.

Graeme Rodway's tip:

Cruz Control @ 15/2 - 1pt win

2.40 Doncaster - Geromino @ 9/1

Donald McCain has been banging in winners recently and it's interesting that he has booked 10lb claimer Charlie Maggs for GEROMINO in the bet365 Handicap Hurdle (2.40). Geromino will now, in effect, race off a mark 15lb lower than his chase rating and can take advantage.

The seven-year-old has been in good order over fences this season and the form of his second at Wetherby in October has worked out well. The winner, Homme Public, went on to score at Cheltenham next time and the fourth has also scored since. Geromino is 4lb lower this time.

He unseated rider early when favourite at Catterick last time, but that might not be what has prompted the return to hurdles. There is a chance this might have been the plan for a while because Geromino finished second in this very same race in 2021, the last time it was run.

The winner that day was none other than the classy Tommy's Oscar and Geromino was running off a mark of 132. He goes off just 126 on this occasion and could go one better.

Graeme Rodway's tip:

Geromino @ 9/1 - 1pt win

3.15 Doncaster -Whistleinthedark @ 11/2

The bet365 Handicap Chase (3.15) is the last race live on ITV and the one who catches my eye is WHISTLEINTHEDARK, who should find this easier than competing at Cheltenham last time.

Whistleinthedark had a tough task on that first run since April in a race as competitive as the Paddy Power Gold Cup and his jumping let him down as he trailed home 39-lengths behind.

He probably found it difficult to jump at that pace and should be given another chance as he had previously gone unbeaten in four starts over fences last season, improving for chasing.

Whistleinthedark steadily improved his Racing Post Ratings, culminating in a career-best at Perth in April, and his below-par reappearance means that he has dropped 2lb in the weights.

The key might be the step up to 3m because Whistleinthedark is a brother to Young Ted, who won over this trip. His half-brother Ice Cool Champs also stayed this far and that gives hope that the selection can find the improvement needed now he is up to this trip for the first time.

Graeme Rodway's tip:

Whistleinthedark @ 11/2 - 1pt win

Graeme Rodway's tips

2.05 Doncaster - Cruz Control @ 15/2
2.40 Doncaster - Geromino @ 9/1
3.15 Doncaster -Whistleinthedark @ 11/2

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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