Communicator to go one better than last year in November Handicap
The curtain comes down on the flat turf season at Doncaster on Saturday with the November Handicap. Finding the winner of this ultra-competitive handicap is no easier than picking the Lincoln winner, Snow Princess being the last favourite to oblige in 1995.
One person who does seem to have found the secret to this race is Newmarket trainer John Gosden who has won it five times, most recently with Zuider Zee in 2011. He is represented by the top weight Aiken and recent York winner Lahaag.
Charlie Hills is optimistic of a good run from Forgotten Hero who won over course and distance in September and has only gone up 3lbs. Trainer William Haggas has been the man to follow in big handicaps this season and Conduct catches the eye off 9st 2lb.
He has only had two runs for Haggas since joining him from Sir Michael Stoute’s stable and was a close third Clon Brulee here last time out. This will be his first run over the distance but connections are expecting him to put up an improved performance.
Richard Fahey’s Hi There was a good winner at Newbury but is also unproven at this trip. Roger Charlton runs Border Legend, owned by Her Majesty The Queen. The chestnut often travels well in his races but does not find a great deal off the bridle.
Communicator was second in this race 12 months ago but has been short of his best so far this year. He was not disgraced on his latest effort at Chester and it may be that Andrew Balding has had this race in mind for some time.
Nicholascopernicus chased home Lahaag before a moderate run behind Thomas Hobson at Newbury. Ed Walker is still on a high from Ruscello’s win in Australia and it would be no surprise to see the Nicholascopernicus run into a place here.
David O’Meara’s Open Eagle is the dark horse of the race having bolted up at Carlisle on his British debut. He had decent form in France previously and could be a threat if he settles early on.