Doncaster preview: Invincible Army can march to Cammidge Trophy gloryPublished on: March 29, 2019Author: David Metcalf
Invincible Army looks decent value at 3/1 with BetVictor to win the opening race of the 2019 Flat racing season at Doncaster on Saturday, the Listed 6f Cammidge Trophy (13:50).
Trained by the in-form Jason Tate, this four-year-old has won three of his 11 starts and drops in class.
He can clearly go well fresh as he won first time up last season when landing the Group 3 Pavilion Stakes at Ascot in impressive fashion.
After travelling strongly on the heels of the leaders, Invincible Army took up the running two from home and when asked to put the race to bed quickened well to comfortably beat Eqtidaar by 1 1/2 lengths.
He backed that up with a fine nose second of eight to Sands Of Mali in the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock and was then far from disgraced when a four-length ninth of 22 to Eqtidaar in the Group 1 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The form of those races sets a clear standard in this lower grade affair and a rating of 112 puts Invincible Army 5lb and more clear of his eight rivals. It makes him the one to beat for a yard that can do little wrong at present.
Arbalet, a 9/2 shot with Betfair, looks the main danger, but is not sure to be suited by the drop back to 6f as all his best form has come over further.
Of those at bigger odds, the Dean Ivory trained Eirene appeals each-way at 11/1 with Ladbrokes given that she has won once and been placed once in two starts over course and distance.
Rampant Lion and Gulf Of Poets each-way punts in Spring Mile
Sixteen are set to go to post for the Spring Mile Handicap (14:25) and the fact that bookmakers go 7/1 the field shows what a wide-open affair it is.
Rampant Lion has won two of his last three starts and comes into the race with a run under his belt, so makes more appeal than most.
This William Jarvis trained four-year-old warmed up for this when landing a 12-runner contest on the all-weather at Kempton last month off a rating of 82.
He made smooth headway from the rear two from home, before running on strongly to beat Poetic Force by a neck.
Rampant Lion was well on top at the finish and value for more than the winning margin, so off an unchanged mark looks weighted to make a bold bid to follow-up.
He can be backed at a tempting 9/1 with BetVictor, who are a quarter of the win odds for five places.
At slightly bigger odds, the Mick Easterby trained Gulf Of Poets also appeals each-way at the 10/1 on offer with Coral given that he has a terrific record fresh and has dropped to a handy mark.
This seven-year-old won first time up last season when scoring easily by 2 1/2 lengths at Pontefract and followed-up under a 5lb penalty when trouncing Fire Brigade by 3 1/2 lengths at Haydock off a rating 91.
Gulf Of Poets got put up to 98 after that taking display and ran a cracker when a 1/2 length third of 15 to Original Choice at Wetherby.
He now returns to action off a mark of 92 and that gives him a big shout at the weights on the pick of his form.
Sharja Bridge impossible to oppose in Doncaster Mile
Sharja Bridge looks a worthy red-hot 8/11 favourite with Paddy Power to take the step up into Listed company in his stride and land the spoils in the Doncaster Mile (15:00).
This five-year-old hails from the Newmarket yard of Roger Varian, who has won two of the last three runnings courtesy of Belardo (2016) and Zabeel Prince (2018).
Owned by Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum, the son of Oasis Dream has won twice and been placed on four occasions from just nine starts.
He had only three outings last season and showed improved form in each. Sharja Bridge posted a career best effort in the last of those when overcoming all sorts of trouble in-running to land the ultra-competitive 20-runner Balmoral Handicap on British Champions Day at Ascot.
After being held-up well off the pace travelling well under a confident James Doyle, he Bridge was denied a run when making a move two form home.
Sharja Bridge then encountered more traffic trouble inside the final furlong, before bursting through a narrow gap to beat Escobar by three-quarters of a length.
It was an incredible performance and one that marked him out as a potential pattern performer in the making.
This looks a nice launch pad before stepping up into Group company and it will be disappointing of Sharja Bridge doesn’t prove far too good for his eight rivals.