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Doncaster preview: Mallard Handicap (14.30)

Battersea has shaped nicely in two runs this season and looks to have plenty going for him in the 1m 6f Mallard Handicap at Doncaster (14.30).

The Roger Varian trained colt progressed throughout last year when landing back-to-back competitive class 2 contests at Ascot.

In the last of those, the four-year-old showed a good turn of foot to beat Gwafa by 1/2 lengths off a mark of 90.
That race has thrown up plenty of subsequent winners including Agent Murphy and Second Step who are now rated 117 and 118 respectively.

Although not at his best on his final start of 2014 when well-beaten at Newmarket, Battersea was clearly not right that day and shaped far better than his finishing position suggests when eighth of 14 in the Old Newton Cup at Haydock on return to action.

Battersea travelled powerfully for much of the 1m 4f contest until being unable to find any extra two from home and being allowed to come home in his own time to be beaten six lengths.

The son of Galileo backed that up with a decent eight of 14 in the 1m 6f Summer Stakes at Goodwood, again travelling well until weakening late on to be beaten just over five lengths.

With those two runs under his Battersea should now be spot on to do himself justice, and his current mark of 97 looks exploitable given the strength of his last win at Ascot.

Not Never has a progressive profile and rates the main danger. The Hugo Palmer trained colt has won two of his five starts and posted a career-best effort last time out when a cracking head second of 18 to Polarisation in the Melrose at York.

Not Never looked all over the winner until collared in the dying strides and now meets the winner on 9lb better terms.

That should be more than enough for the son of Notnowcato to gain his revenge, and Not Never remains unexposed and open to further improvement for a yard having a fine season.

Coral’s top tip: Battersea looks decent value to get back to winning ways having shaped with plenty of promise in two runs this season