Doncaster Preview: Gilbey’s Mate can score for Gosden

Doncaster stage a competitive eight-race card today, and Gilbey’s Mate looks weighted to take all the beating in the feature mile handicap (4.25).

The John Gosden trained gelding is a progressive sort who won a Catterick maiden on soft ground by seven lengths on his final start last season and made a promising return to action last month when fourth of 11 at Nottingham.

That race was over a mile on quick ground, and Gilbey’s Mate ran on strongly from off the pace to be beaten just 1 1/2 lengths by Donny Rover.

It was an effort which suggested the son of Medicean was one to keep onside in handicaps, and he gets into this off the same mark of 79.

That looks more than exploitable given Gilbey’s Mate’s upwardly mobile profile, especially with the return to slower ground expected to suit.

In the 1m 2f fillies’ handicap (2.10), Ballyshonagh is a fascinating contender.

Trained by Chris Wall, the daughter of Tiger Hill has had just three starts last season and put in a much improved effort on the last of those when fifth of seven to Hawker in a 1m 2f maiden on the all-weather at Lingfield.

Ballyshonagh could never get competitive, but kept on to be beaten 7 1/2 lengths without being unduly knocked about in a race which has a strong look to it.

The runner-up Vermont has won since and is now rated 83, and the third home Red Warrior went on to land a handicap off 77.

That makes Ballyshonagh look potentially well-in off an opening mark of just 64, and she looks a potential big improver now tackling handicaps.

Personal Touch has a good record fresh and looks decent value to make a winning return to action in the 7f handicap (3.50).

The Richard Fahey trained gelding won over course and distance on his first start last season off a mark of 78, and was then far from disgraced when finishing fifth of 14 to Dr Red Eye at Chester off 82.

The five-year-old now gets into this off 80, just 2lb higher than when last successful, and that gives Personal Touch every chance at the weights.

The son of Pivotal also handles cut in the ground, and both his career successes have come over this afternoon’s 7f trip.

1.40: Deep Resolve
2.10: Ballyshonagh (NB)
2.40: Muhaarar
3.15: Speculative Bid
3.50: Personal Touch
4.25: Gilbey’s Mate (NAP)
5.00: Twin Appeal
5.35: Derbyshire