AKILAK has been given a chance by the handicapper and he can see off the claims of Jimmy Bond and Le Roi Rouge. This represents a massive drop in grade for the Alan Shearer owned horse and while his performances this season have been little to write home about, he is now 11lb lower than he was at this time last year. Jimmy Bond had a hard race at Carlisle last month. That said, the veteran should be at home in the testing ground conditions. Le Roi Rouge stayed on from a mile back to win a handicap over two miles at this course in December. He did this despite looking notably burly in the paddock so could have improved still. Award Winner bids for the hat-trick having scored at Bangor and Carlisle. The ground is markedly different from what he will have experienced there. Agglestone Rock has proven form on soft going. He should have stripped fitter for a very decent run on the flat at Doncaster. Dawn Ride is something of a standing dish around here although her recent runs have suggested that the handicapper is probably getting the better end of the argument. Hold The Bid has shown solid form around Market Rasen though has a bit to prove on the basis of his recent assignments. Camden George looks a future Grand National type. He stays three miles with few issues and Tjade Collier rides. Akilak is a real puzzle for punters today. If he turns up anywhere near his best, he should win it but he really does need to leave behind all of his form this term.
Akilak (IRE) 16-1 (11-12) Held up behind, outpaced 4 out, soon weakened, pulled up before last, in a race won by Mister Marker (10-6) at Newcastle 3m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft in Mar, 15 ran.
Agglestone Rock 5-1 (11-4) Chased leaders in 4th until outpaced after 8th, no chance after, 4th of 5, 10l behind Rory Boy (11-1) at Warwick 2m 4yo nov chs (3) gd in Nov.
Le Roi Rouge (FR) 12-1 (11-12) Held up towards rear, pushed along approaching 9th, tailed off from 11th, 9th of 10, well behind Salut Flo (11-2) at Doncaster 2m 3f hcp chs 0-125 (3) gd in Mar.
Cast Iron Casey (IRE) 7-2 (11-6) Held up in touch, outpaced 4 out, ridden and stayed on flat, gaining on winner towards finish, 3rd of 6, 1 1/4l behind Quito Du Tresor (11-2) at Ayr 2m 4f hcp chs 0-125 (3) gd in Mar.
Camden George (IRE) 9-2fav (10-10) Held up behind on inside, headway 10th, chased leader when hit 3 out, lost 2nd next, kept on same pace, 3rd of 10, 9l behind Lease Lend (11-9) at Haydock 2m 5f hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Mar.
Award Winner 5-2fav (10-13) Held up in touch, headway to track leaders when mistake 4 out, ridden to lead last, stayed on well flat, won at Carlisle 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Mar beating King Fontaine (11-1) by 3 1/2l, 9 ran.
Jimmy Bond 2-1fav (11-12) Held up in touch, under pressure 4 out, chased leaders next, hard ridden to challenge approaching last, kept on same pace, 3rd of 6, 4l behind Cash On Friday (10-2) at Carlisle 2m 4f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Mar.
Hold The Bid (IRE) 7-1 (11-3) Held up towards rear, blundered 2nd, headway 4 out, weakened 2 out, 5th of 13, 19l behind Bill's Echo (11-6) at Bangor 3m hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in Oct '08.
Dawn Ride (IRE) 15-2 (11-9) Keen, held up in last place when fell 7th, in a race won by Seize (11-3) at Ayr 3m 3f hcp ch 0-110 (4) gd in Mar, 4 ran.