November Handicap preview - Flat season finale at Doncaster

Flashback to November Handicap day 2013. A rainbow appears over Town Moor as Levitate and Oisin Murphy win the Betfred Fun and Family Handicap. Photo: John Giles/PA Wire
Flashback to November Handicap day 2013. A rainbow appears over Town Moor as Levitate and Oisin Murphy win the Betfred Fun and Family Handicap. Photo: John Giles/PA Wire

The market has spoken favourably for Zand in recent days and Mark Johnston’s recruit is the tentative selection in a typically wide-open renewal of the Betfred November Handicap at Doncaster.

The end-of-season highlight always presents punters with a devilishly difficult puzzle to solve and this year’s renewal appears no exception.

With just five runs under his belt, Ralph Beckett’s Argus appears the potential ‘Group horse in a handicap’, but there must be a chance this demanding test will come plenty soon enough after his course-and-distance triumph a fortnight ago.

Penhill also looks a fast-improving type for Luca Cumani, but the money that has come for the Zand is of major interest.

Since his early days in Ireland with John Oxx, the five-year-old has done much of his racing across the Channel, winning multiple prizes in Switzerland and a Listed event at Strasbourg, France little over a year ago.

Johnston knows more about the Swiss racing scene than most and saw enough to bring him to Britain this summer.

His Goodwood introduction was not devoid of promise and he can be forgiven a disappointing effort when turned out quickly at Haydock.

He fared far better at Newbury next time and backed that up with a good effort on the all-weather at Wolverhampton, his only run in this country over the mile and a half he faces this weekend.

A line can be put through his latest run over 10 furlongs at Chelmsford and with the step back up in distance and a return to soft terrain on the grass expected to bring out his best, a bold bid is anticipated.

A return to Town Moor can help Jack Dexter regain winning ways in the Betfred Lotto £100K Cash Giveaway Wentworth Stakes. Jim Goldie’s six-year-old has won three times at Doncaster.

* Selections:

Doncaster: 12.10 Mr Orange, 12.40 Tanaasub, 1.15 In My Place, 1.50 Hoof It, 2.20 Jack Dexter, 2.55 LAHAYEB (NAP), 3.30 Zand, 4.05 Mass Rally.

Chelmsford: 4.35 Memyselfie, 5.10 Calder Prince, 5.40 Pea Shooter, 6.10 Bazooka, 6.40 Mediation, 7.10 Comanche Chieftain, 7.40 Two Sugars.

Aintree: 12.45 One Cool Scorpion, 1.20 Beast Of Burden, 1.55 Just A Normal Day, 2.30 Simonsig, 3.05 Minella Forfitness, 3.40 Minella Present, 4.10 Vieux Lille.

Kelso: 12.30 Gully’s Edge, 1.05 Roc De Prince, 1.40 Isaacstown Lad, 2.15 Present Lodger, 2.50 Amethyst Rose, 3.25 Alizee De Janeiro, 4.00 Bambys Boy.

Wincanton: 12.20 Wishfull Dreaming, 12.55 Fourth Act, 1.30 Killala Quay, 2.05 Shuil Royale, 2.40 Double Silver, 3.15 All Yours, 3.50 Fazakerley.

Double: Jack Dexter and Lahayeb.