Make it Montaly in November

Ian Ogg analyses the last 10 renewals of Saturday's Betfred November Handicap at Doncaster and picks out the key statistics.

Montaly (l) can reward each-way support in the November Handicap

The Betfred November Handicap hasn't been a happy hunting ground for favourite backers which is perhaps no surprise given that it comes at the end of a long season with the ground often contrasting to most of the preceding months.

That isn't the case this time and the race's ante-post favourite, Higher Power, has already fallen foul of the rattling fast conditions. Whether the underfoot conditions make any difference to the fate of the market leader this time around remains to be seen but it hasn't actually been too bad a race for those towards the top of the market.

Last year's winner, Litigant, was something of a freak result with no other winner rated higher than 99 and it may pay to take on those towards the higher echelons of the handicap.

There has been on winner rated lower than 90 either and normally I would suggest opposing those runners too but with new favourite Wrangler lurking on 87, that's clearly a dangerous game to play. William Haggas' lightly raced gelding caught the eye at Doncaster last time and appeals as one who could easily rate a good deal higher in time but the predicted fast ground will ask a new question of him.

William Hunter is also relatively unexposed but lacks the requisite form in a class 2 handicap while most of the others at that end of the handicap have been around the block once or twice.

Age has had little bearing on the outcome although four and five-year-olds have accounted for 70% of the winners. John Gosden, who has sent out twice saddled he winner in this period, is responsible for leading three-year-old Cape Cova who should relish the ground but it remains to be seen how he fronts up to blinkers for the first time.

It is no surprise to see the headgear fitted given he has been described as 'lazy' and 'lethargic' by his jockeys but that trait may well have enabled him to stay one step ahead of the handicapper.

Dashing Star is exposed in comparison but has been placed on both visits to Town Moor, including in this race two years ago and he has each-way claims again following an encouraging comeback.

What About Carlo, Not So Sleepy and Erik The Red have to prove themselves over the trip but that is of no concern to Sir Chauvelin who has been freshened up since the Ebor but he is 13lbs higher than when beating Fabricate in May.

Mirsaale has won over two miles and Mistiroc was placed in last year's renewal but Montaly appeals as the horse to take on the market leaders with.

Andrew Balding's five-year-old has slightly more miles on the clock than a typical winner but has been knocking on the door in staying handicaps all season. Fifth in the Ascot Stakes, third to Cesarewitch winner Sweet Selection at Newbury and beaten a head by Intense Tango in the mud at Haydock are strong pieces of form and it's easy to excuse his run in a Group One in France where a change of tactics accompanied the step up in class.

He is 5lbs higher than on Merseyside and a whole 13lbs higher than when beaten half a length by Wrangler in May 2014 but he has shown that he can handle quick ground (even if he would prefer a little cut).

He doesn't always find as much as looks likely as a race record of 17-3-4-1 attests but Balding sent out an arguably similar type in Communicator to finish fourth and fifth in this race and this son of Yeats appeals as having the abiltiy to fare better than his stablemate. Montaly rates the each-way pick.

  • Winners have been aged three, four (4), five (3), six and seven.
  • Winners have carried between 8-7 and 9-10 with seven between 8-7 and 8-13.
  • Winners have been rated between 90 and 106 with nine between 90 and 99.
  • Winners have been priced between 5/1 and 20/1 with seven at 10/1 or lower.
  • Only one favourite has been successful.
  • Nine winners have been drawn in stall nine or higher.
  • Six winners finished in the first four on their preceding start with two successful.
  • Eight winners had won during the current season.
  • Seven winners had had no more than 15 career starts.
  • Eight winners had won a class three handicap or above.
  • All of the winners had either been placed in or won a class 2 handicap.
  • Nine winners had won over 11 furlongs or beyond.

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