All eyes on Dunboyne Express at Doncaster

Horse Talk with Simon Jackson

FRANKEL thumped a top class field in the Dewhurst at Newmarket last Saturday, two weeks after he was strongly tipped to win the race in this column.

Labelled here as “impossible to oppose” the Henry Cecil trained colt stormed to an impressive two and a quarter length win on the Rowley mile.

The manner of his victory had most bookmakers running for cover for next year’s 2000 guineas with Ladbrokes top-priced at 5-4 when the Ham&High went to press.

Cecil said: “He’s been very relaxed at home, but he got a bump coming out of the stalls which set him alight a bit and they weren’t really going fast enough for him. But he did it well, and Tom [Queally the jockey] never had to hit him or anything. If he hadn’t got that bump, I think he might have been more impressive.

“At home, he does work unbelievably well. I’ve never had one work like him, he goes into a sixth gear. I think if he was a Formula One car, he’d win everything so long as I didn’t drive him. When you pick him up he just lengthens and he’s gone.

“I hope he has a good winter and everything goes right and he should make a lovely three-year-old. I’m hopeful he’ll make a Guineas horse and [to] the St James’s Palace and whether he’ll get further later on in his life, we’ll see.”

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The group one brace continues a remarkable return to form for Cecil whose stable appeared to be in the doldrums five years ago, before winning the 2007 Oaks with Light Shift which heralded a change of fortune.

Cecil’s stable is firing on all cylinders and the 10 time championship winning trainer looks good value at 5-1 to win the 2011 flat trainer’s championship and warrants a bet.

As the flat season winds down all eyes will be on Doncaster’s two day meeting this week with the highlight Saturday’s Racing Post Trophy where Dunboyne Express can topple the favourite Casamento.

Dunboyne Express, winner of his only two starts has yet to contest a group one but had Roderick O’Connor and Glor Na Mara, who were second and third in the Dewhurst, behind him in two runs in Ireland and can come up trumps here.

The winter jumps season for many racegoers started last Friday with the first of two days racing at Cheltenham.

The action moves to Aintree on Sunday where the best bet is the highly regarded Franklino who is selected to make a winning debut in race one.

With declarations for Aintree still to come at the time the Ham&High went to press the final fields are still uncertain, but if they are declared, Cue Card and Cape Tribulation should both run well.