Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 17:02 10/09/2015
Doncaster's Mallard Stakes on Friday has attracted only ten runners but the fact that bookmakers are going 9-2 the field puts in perspective just how open the extended one mile six furlong contest appears. Bottom weight Not Never heads the betting and could take some beating if getting his own way up front as the Hugo Palmer-trained colt looks well treated, enjoying a pull of 9lb with fellow rival Polarisation for a head beating in York's valuable Betfred Melrose Stakes last time.
The three-year-old son of Notnowcato is due plenty of respect but at the 11-2 available with Boylesports and Coral ( money back if beaten a length or less ) the Roger Varian-trained Battersea is fancied to take the £40k contest for jockey Andrea Atzeni. The Galileo colt has taken his time to find his form this season but ran with plenty of promise at Goodwood last time, although its his victory at Ascot 12 month's ago that gives the four-year-old a massive chance.
Running off just a 7lb lower mark the well backed 8-1 co favourite for the ultra-competitive handicap took the lead in the mile and a half race approaching the final furlong before running out a comfortable length and a half winner over his 17 rivals. Not only was the victory strikingly impressive it was the quality of the opposition that elevates the form considerably. Back in third place ( conceding 5lb ) was Agent Murphy who is currently favourite to take Sunday's Irish St Leger at the Curragh.
The seventh horse home - Second Step - has won a Group 2 race at Newmarket this season and more recently landed a German Group 1 at Hoppegarten while further back in 14th spot was this year's Ascot Gold Cup winner Trip To Paris. Notarized, Nancy From Nairobi and Satellite are others who finished well back before winning decent handicaps this season. With the ground and the trip sure to suit Battersea should show his rivals a clean pair of heels if in the same kind on form on Town Moor.
2 Points each-way Battersea 11-2 Coral ( money back if beaten a length or less )