Tim Easterby's Captain Dunne tipped for Doncaster success
Updated 11:43am Thursday 10th July 2014 in Sport
POPULAR North Yorkshire sprinter Captain Dunne, who ended a long losing run at Haydock last Friday evening, turns out again at Doncaster this afternoon in a bid to complete a quick-fire double.
Trained by Tim Easterby, pictured, at Great Habton, the nine-year-old is in the autumn of a career which has seen him scale some lofty heights including on Derby Day in 2011 when he won the Epsom Dash and at Newcastle the previous season when he landed the Gosforth Park Cup.
In his prime, Captain Dunne, who has won almost £185,000 in his career, was rated well over 100. He is now down to a mere 69 and he capitalised on that rating at Haydock last weekend when making all the running in the hands of Rachel Ricahrdson in an apprentices' race.
The bonus of that success is that Captain Dunne can line up in today's188Bet Handicap without a penalty and, with Richardson back on board, he has every chance of rolling back the years and chalking up another victory.
Tony Coyle can start the Doncaster card with a bang courtesy of Checkpoint in the Les 'Buddy' Clarke Memorial Handicap.
Last month at York, Checkpoint won the Macmillan Charity Race under Chloe Fairley. That race may not have been acknowledged in the form book, but it worked out pretty well given that Extraterrestrial, who finished second, went on to win next time out at Doncaster.
Checkpoint came narrowly unstuck on his latest outing at Pontefract and has a leading chance this afternoon of going one better for his Norton trainer. Barry McHugh has the mount.
Andrew Balding has a couple of good chances on Town Moor. The Kingsclere trainer runs Secret Hint (3.40), who showed promise in her only start last season, in the maiden, and also saddles Far From Frost (4.50), who has won both his races on the all-weather. He now has to transfer that ability to turf.
At Newmarket, Mark Johnston may be able to kick-off the richly-endowed July Festival in style by winning the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy with Hartnell, the mount of Joe Fanning.
The progressive three-year-old won the two miles' Queen's Vase at last month's Royal Ascot meeting, despite hanging badly to his left in the closing stages. He should not be troubled in returning to a slightly shorter distance and is fancied to make a bold show.
Richard Fahey pitches George Bowen in at the deep end in the Group 2 Portland Place Properties July Stakes.
A winner on his debut at Carlisle and a highly-promising colt, he is expected to run well, but whether this will be a step too far too soon remains to be seen. It could be that Paul Hanagan, Fahey's long-time stable jockey, could upset the party aboard Mubtaghaa, a Nottingham winner on his debut, who has since run well in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Fahey and Hanagan join forces in the Frontline Bathrooms Handicap with Arctic Feeling, who is napped to notch his first win of the campaign. The six-year-old finished a respectable third at Carlisle last time out after making the running. He could be more effective here, taking a lead and being produced late.
Arab Spring is unbeaten in four outings this season and was successful at York in May. His latest victory came under top weight in handicap company at Royal Ascot and he now steps-up to Group 2 company in the Princess of Wales's Stakes. Sir Michael Stoute has nurtured this horse with typical patience and skill to bring him to a high level and it would be no surprise to see Ryan Moore's mount continue his excellent campaign.
2.00 Checkpoint, 2.30 Cool Strutter, 3.05 Burnt Sugar, 3.40 Secret Hint, 4.15 Buredyma, 4.50 From Frost, 5.25 Captain Dunne, 5.55 My Destination.
1.40 Hartnell, 2.10 Mubtaghaa, 2.40 Arab Spring, 3.15 Mange All, 3.50 Exceedingly, 4.25 Pretzel, 5.30 Arctic Feeling (NAP).
Today's other meetings
Bath, Epsom and Nottingham.
Ascot, Chepstow, Chester, Newmarket and York.