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2016 British Champions Day: Donncha worth an each-way bet in Balmoral Handicap

| 15.10.2016

Donncha bets each-way and jockey Smullen a potent combination

Donncha has some solid form in big field handicaps, so looks worth an each-way wager in a typically fierce and wide open renewal of the 1m Balmoral Handicap that brings proceedings to a close on British Champions Day at Ascot (16:25).

The Robert Eddery trained five-year-old is a tough and consistent sort who has finished in the frame in three of his five starts at the track.

They include a fine fourth in this race 12 months ago and, although now 3lb higher in the weights, Donncha comes into the contest on the back of three solid efforts.

Donncha bets look promising for an each-way success at Ascot

Donncha bets look promising for an each-way success at Ascot

Booking on board catches the eye among Balmoral Handicap tips

Following a fast finishing second at Sandown after being slowly away, the gelding ran a blinder when a 2/14 length third of 29 to Franklin D at Goodwood off his current rating of 100.

Donncha was also far from disgraced last time out when a close-up eighth behind Librisa Breeze over 7f at this venue. He will appreciate the step back up to 1m over which he has notched three of his five career successes.

The booking of top Irish jockey Pat Smullen to do the steering is also eye-catching and one which suggest connections mean business.

Morando progressing at a rate of knots

Morando is an lightly-raced and unexposed colt, who comes into the race on a serious upward curve and seems sure to go well.

This Roger Varian trained three-year-old shaped with plenty of promise when fourth on debut at Windsor and has since shown improved form to land his next three starts.

In the last of those at Ayr, he made light of a 10lb rise in the weights and step up in grade to run out easily land a competitive 14-runner class 2 contest by 2 1/4 lengths.

Our Balmoral Handicap tips also feature Roger Varian's Morando.

Our Balmoral Handicap tips also feature Roger Varian’s Morando.

The manner in which Morando got the job done suggested he was a handicapper that needed keeping firmly onside and, although the assessor has hit him with a further 8lb rise, the son of Kendargten has come a long way in a short space of time. He could be a pattern performer in the making.

Remarkable has smart for in the book

Remarkable finished just behind Donncha over 7f at this venue following a break and is another interesting contender.

The John Gosden trained gelding won his first two starts this season in good style before finishing a fine second to Log Out Island in a Listed contest at this track.

Remarkable also ran a blinder when a four length fifth of 19 to Ribchester in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at the Royal meeting and the winner has since gone on to enjoy Group 1 success.

That is very strong form in relation to this contest and Remarkable remains lightly-raced after just six starts and open to further progression.


You’ll find recommended race-by-race British Champions Day bets on the Ascot page of Coral news prior to the flat season’s big finale.

Coral’s top tip: Donncha bets each-way look worth a wager in a typically fierce renewal of the Balmoral Handicap. Morando and Remakable head a whole host of possible dangers.

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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.