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Doncaster preview: It’s time to get into the Spirit

Irish Girls Spirit can get back to winning ways in the 5f handicap that opens proceedings on this evening’s card at Doncaster (18.00) now eased in grade.

The Paul Midgley trained mare ended 2014 in rude health, landing a 5f contest at Musselburgh before bolting up by five lengths at Hamilton off a mark of 58.

Not surprisingly the handicapper didn’t take kindly to the latter and hit Irish Girls Spirit with a 10lb rise.

However, having failed to trouble the judged in three runs this season the six-year-old has been dropped 4lb and should be able to be competitive off her current mark of 64.

Irish Girls Spirit has also shaped far better than her form figures suggest, showing plenty of pace to chase the leaders before being unable to find any extra in the closing stages on each occasion.

The daughter of Desert Millennium has needed several runs in the past to race peak fitness, and that suggests she should now be spot on to do herself justice.

Irish Girls Spirit also drops back down to class 5 company having competed at class 4 level last time out over course and distance, and everything points to a big run.

Nonchalant bounced back to form when runner-up last time out and can cash-in on a lenient mark to go one better in the 1m 2f handicap (20.40).

The gelding won on debut at Cork last year when trained by Dermot Weld and went on to run a couple of solid races to be runner-up off an official rating of 94.

Nonchalant’s form then tailed off, and after joining David O’Meara the son of Oasis Dream failed to cut any ice in his first six starts this season.

However, there was much more to like about the four-year-old’s effort over course and distance seven days ago when running on strongly to go down by just 1 1/2 lengths to Triple Dip.

It was a massive step back in the right direction, and Nonchalant is able to race in this off an unchanged mark of 78.

That is a career-low rating and makes Nochalant, who is due to race off 4lb higher in future assignments, look thrown-in at the weights if building on his latest effort.

Selections:
18.00: Irish Girls Spirit (NAP)
18.35: Gwendolyn
19.05: Bahaarah
19.45: George Cinq
20.10: Tutu Nguru
20.40: Nonchalant (NB)
21.10: Born To Be Bad