Doncaster preview: Rocket Ronnie ready for take-off
Rocket Ronnie can take advantage of a drop in the weights to land the 1m handicap on today’s seven-race card at Doncaster (15.00), now partnered by Ryan Moore for the first time.
The gelding was a three-time winner in 2013 when trained by Dandy Nicholls, with the last of those successes coming at Beverley when trouncing Red Charmer by seven lengths off a mark of 74.
The five-year-old got put up to 84 for that runaway success, and has managed to finish in the first three just once in 16 subsequent starts.
However, that resulted in Rocket Ronnie’s mark falling and the is now able to race in this off just 69.
That is 5lb lower than when last successful and gives Rocket Ronnie, who is now in the care of Ed McMahon, a massive chance from a handicapping perspective.
Rocket Ronnie also comes into the contest on the back of a solid fourth at Redcar which hinted that he was ready to strike, and now gets the services of Moore in the saddle.
The three-times champion jockey teamed up with the stable recently to give Express Himself a brilliant winning ride, and he looks the ideal partner to get Rocket Ronnie to put his best foot forward.
In the 6f handicap that closes proceedings (17.15), the improving Darrell Rivers looks decent value to open her account.
The Giles Bravery trained filly has only had six starts, and shaped well on the second of those at Chelmsford when fourth of 11 to Wanting.
After blowing the start and being slowly away, the three-year-old showed plenty of pace to recover and take up the running until being headed at the two marker.
Darrell Rivers then rallied inside the final furlong to be beaten 5 1/2 lengths, and the winner has gone on to score since and is now rated 97.
The three-year-old also shaped much better than the bare result suggests on her penultimate when eighth of 14 to Lolita in a class 5 contest at Lingfield, enduring a nightmare passage throughout and finishing full of running under a kid glove ride.
It was an effort which suggested Darrell Rivers was on a potentially lenient mark, and that view was confirmed when the daughter of Hellvelyn finished an excellent 1/2 length third at Thirsk last time out when showing plenty of pace and keeping on really well.
15.00: Rocket Ronnie (NAP)
16.45: Tiger Lilly
17.15: Darrell Rivers (NB)