SUNSPORT racing expert Jim Delahunt tipped up a 14-1 winner last week.
Here, he returns with his top selections for a massive weekend of racing at Doncaster and Ireland.
Joe Fanning could deliver the ride of the weekend on a horse who hasn’t won for two-and-a-half yearsCredit: PA
LUCKY DEAL hasn’t won on turf for nearly two and a half years but the cards have fallen kindly in Doncaster’s 3.15 on Friday and Mark Johnston’s stayer can snap his long losing run on grass.
The 6 year-old spent 17 months of that barren spell on the sidelines with injury but he bounced back to win twice on the all-weather either side of last Christmas and his two most recent turf starts suggest he’s coming to hand nicely.
Bang in-form Johnston had 5 entered for this £50,000 handicap but the 8-times winner Lucky Deal is the last horse standing from the trainer’s entry and Joe Fanning is 2 from 3 on a horse which should relish the quick conditions from a 4lbs lower mark than his last success.
Hurricane Lane is going to be very hard to pass in Saturday’s Cazoo St Leger at 3.35 but that doesn’t mean he’s unbeatable and I’m happy to have an each-way punt on Goodwood winner OTTOMAN EMPEROR.
Johnny Murtagh’s colt hasn’t been hiding his light under a bushel but we still managed to get 11/1 when he landed the daily bet at Goodwood in July and Murtagh’s racing brain knows he can’t be afraid of one horse on Town Moor.
History is constantly reminding us that the St Leger is run over nearly a mile and 7 furlongs and not every mile and a half Classic winner is guaranteed to be the same horse at nearly 3 furlongs further in trip.
That brings slightly “lesser” animals into the equation just about every season and Ottoman Emperor looks well equipped to stay much further than he’s done already and take advantage of any stamina questions which the favourite might fail to answer.
Saturday’s Portland Handicap provides the usual sprint puzzle for punters ahead of next Saturday’s Ayr Gold Cup and I’m siding with the Roger Teal trained 3 year-old WHENTHEDEALINSDONE.
Teal certainly knows when to hold and fold with sprinters after training July Cup hero Oxted and this horse won off 88 and 93 before coming up short off Saturday’s mark of 99 at York last time.
I thought he ran way better than his finishing position of 10th would suggest and the rain forecast for Town Moor over the next couple of days could make him a very attractive each-way bet under William Buick.
Iain Jardine has 3 of the 8 entries for Sunday’s £30,000 Musselburgh Gold Cup but I strongly suspect the bulk of the prizemoney is set to head south with Michael Bell’s THE VEGAS RAIDER.
The grey’s been cutting his teeth around Chelmsford but he looks a rapid improver and the Newmarket trainer’s 3 year-old middle-distance horses are in tremendous form.
CALL ME GINGER was a 3-1 winner for Jim at Doncaster on Thursday.
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