Doncaster Thoughts, 23rd March 2024

The flat season starts again today and there’s £150,000 in the placepot pool guaranteed. Last year’s placepot paid £7,580.60 for a pound, though the previous three or four were a lot more punter-friendly. So I think the options for today are your choice of:

  1. Spread wide for small stakes and hope to catch a piece of a big dividend
  2. Stay narrow with a ‘C’ outs to catch something interesting
  3. Play A’s and B’ only for a ‘normal’ (i.e. couple of hundred pound) dividend

Given how many horses are returning for a first run of the year, the market will be a big factor in terms of hinting at fitness. The Geegeez racecards only start to show blue (strong) and pink (weak) signals on their odds tabs from 9am on raceday, thus avoiding a lot of the ‘cheap’ overnight moves that mislead oddschecker users.

There are two straight mile big field handicaps to be run on soft, the Spring Mile and the Lincoln itself. The Spring Mile has tended to be won by a horse fairly close to either rail, and so too the Lincoln, though a good horse (as defined by short in the market) can apparently win from anywhere.

The scourge of the placepot player, the seven horse race, features in half of the six contests which would usually be a turnoff for me; but because I feel this one might pay a quid or six I’m going to have a crack – I’m expecting to have a third place in a seven runner field hard luck story!

Here’s roughly how I’m playing (I can’t be specific for obvious reasons – I don’t want you to cannibalise my dividend, and I’m sure you don’t want me to do likewise for you)…

Race 1: Charyn with Astral Beau on A, along with some B’s plus unnamed favourite.

Race 2: The favourite (same team second last year, owner had winner the year before) plus the blue horses, with unnamed favourite again featuring.

Race 3: I’m eliminating middle draws (rightly or wrongly) and playing around that opinion.

Race 4: Very tricky. Probably going deep across A and B here. Could be expensive and wasteful but this race looks a minefield.

Race 5: A lot of the pace is low, where the favourite and Monday’s Irish Lincolnshire winner is berthed. He should get a nice tow into the race and I might just play him as a sole A with some B backup. If he’s in the same form as Monday he’ll be tough to keep off the board. [It’s often good to go narrow where others spread out – though you need to be right in your opinion, obvs!!]

Race 6: Two rags but four of the seven are 6/1 or shorter, and the seventh runner has been supported. A race to play the top of the market and hedge on the exchange if the dividend looks like paying a few quid. I’ve written about this here if that doesn’t make sense to you.

Good luck!



4 responses to “Doncaster Thoughts, 23rd March 2024”

  1. I took an early bath here. Despite going seven deep across A, B and C, I couldn’t find any of the first three home. Well done if you were still going after that and, especially, if you managed to get through the full six race sequence. It wasn’t easy!


  2. The 2nd leg culled many an entry, including mine.

  3. Richard Foley avatar
    Richard Foley

    I got as far as Leg 6 but then Kings Reign let me down by finishing 4th unfortunately:

    Leg 1 = 2 – Leg 2 = 12 – Leg 3 = 6 – Leg 4 = 2 – Leg 5 = 15 – Leg 6 = 4

    1. Hard luck Richard – would have been an epic payout 🙁