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November Handicap Preview – Saturday 11th November

Last updated: November 9, 2017 by Leon Marshal

The £65,000 November Handicap at Doncaster on Saturday is the last major race of the flat racing season.

The race is run over a mile and a half and usually in very testing conditions. Open Eagle in 2014 was the only winning favourite in the race in the past 22 seasons. Punters have enjoyed some success in recent seasons with Malt Or Mash (2007), Charm School (2009), Zuider Zee (2011), Conduct (2013) and Prize Money (2016). John Gosden’s runners are always worth a second look. The Newmarket trainer has now won the race on five occasions, equalling the record of Sam Hall.

The start of a race at Doncaster Racecourse

Royal Line tops the betting in November Handicap

Bookmakers have sided with Gosden’s lightly-raced Royal Line as the early market leader. He races in the original colours of Sheikh Mohammed, now representing HH Sheikha Al Jalila Racing. The son of Dubawi won his first two races at Windsor and Haydock. He then finished third to Time To Study in a Conditions race at Newbury. He is 8lbs higher than when winning at Haydock and will be ridden by William Buick.

Dance The Dream is a four-year-old filly by Sir Percy trained by Marcus Tregoning. She ran a couple of nice races at Leicester last month. The filly beat Top Tug by a length and a half in good to soft ground and has only been raised 3lbs. A wide draw in stall 23 is a big disadvantage in this race.

Saunter suited by conditions at Doncaster

Jim Crowley has been booked to ride Saunter for Ian Williams. The grey moved from David Menuisier’s yard in September and made an eye-catching debut for his new stable. Saunter stayed on from the rear to finish second to Torcello at Newmarket, finishing five lengths clear of the remainder. He was carrying 9st 10lbs that day and will be 12lbs lower in the November Handicap.

David Probert rides Towerlands Park for Michael Bell, a four-year-old gelding by Danehill Dancer. He has won twice on the all-weather at Kempton before reverting to the turf at Newbury last month. He ran well to finish third to Century Dream over ten furlongs.

Wild Hacked has won on the all-weather and on good to soft ground on the flat. He was a fair third to Blakeney Point at Newbury in September for Marco Botti. Martyn Meade’s Chelsea Lad has proved very expensive to follow, being a beaten favourite in five of his last six races. He now steps up in trip with Josephine Gordon in the saddle.

Four horses running at Doncaster Racecourse

Top Tug joint top weight at Doncaster

Alan King saddles joint top-weight Top Tug, a winner over hurdles last winter. He has been performing well on the level. Top Tug carried 9st 10lbs into second place at Leicester behind Dance The Dream.

Syphax has failed to live up to his early promise and has yet to tackle a mile and a half. He ran well over ten furlongs last time behind Dark Red in first time cheek-pieces at York. Machine Learner was beaten a head in the valuable Petingo Handicap at Leopardstown in September. Joseph Tuite’s gelding was disappointing last time at Goodwood.

Franny Norton rides Al Destoor for Jennie Candlish, a seven-year-old gelding by Teofilo. His only poor run this season came at Haydock in soft ground in September. He bounced back to finish second to Alexander M at Chester in heavy ground.

November Handicap Betting Tips

Saunter @10-1 888Sport

Royal Line @8-1

Each-way ¼ odds, 1,2,3,4

The November Handicap is due off at 3.15 at Doncaster on Saturday 11th November and will be televised live on ITV4.