Catching Pigeons column with all the weekend gossip and selections

Now Children gets the vote in the November Handicap as our gallops watcher rounds up the fancied weekend runners.

Now Children – 3.15 Doncaster

49-0OR: 97D

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Now Children can see off the challenge of Royal Line, Buzz and My Lord And Master to win the November Handicap at Doncaster on Saturday.

Clive Cox has had his problems with the four-year-old this season, but he has done little wrong since returning from a summer break and has the important advantage of being a fresh horse for the last big handicap of the turf season.

A winner at Wolverhampton in February, he then finished third at the York May meeting, before his promising second to a Temple Church at Newbury in September. This race appeared on his horizon after he won well at Goodwood on his latest start, and connections have been pleased with his progress since.

He looks open to further improvement and the forecast easing of the ground will suit.

Now Children will relish the forecast rain

Now Children will relish the forecast rain

Speed King – 12.20 Doncaster

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Speed King is bred to go a bit and is fancied to make his presence felt in the Download The Marthonbet App Maiden Stakes.

A son of Kingman out of the speedy Blue Siren, he hails from a stable in good form with its two-year-olds, and is just preferred to the more experienced Purbeck Hills, Blue Shinji and Total Commitment, who all shaped well on their respective debut efforts at Newmarket, Redcar and Kempton.

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Liberata Bella – 12.55 Doncaster

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A chance is worth taking on George Scott’s filly Liberata Bella in division two the six furlong maiden on Town Moor. She was 100/1 and only beat four home on her debut at Kempton but the vibes from the yard are positive enough and it wouldn’t be a great surprise to see her leave that initial effort well behind.

Anasheed – 1.30 Doncaster

38-13OR: –D

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Anasheed looks one of the more unexposed runners in the Listed Marathonbet British EBF Gillies Fillies Stakes, and she is expected to take a hand in the finish by the Owen Burrows’ camp.

A son of Frankel out of the pattern-class mare Hathrah, she followed a debut second with a decisive win at Chelmsford just under two months ago.

Although she has not raced since, she has been working very nicely in her preparation for this hefty step up in grade, and looks ripe for the challenge.

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Laugh A Minute – 2.05 Doncaster

39-3OR: 109CD

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Roger Varian has the team in fine fettle and was able to put two-dozen horses through their paces on the Limekilns during the week.

The Newmarket gallop is normally written off at this time of the year but headquarters is looking resplendent in the glow of autumn leaves and plenty of horses are holding their condition well.

Laugh A Minute is among them and she is strongly fancied to return to winning ways in the Listed Wentworth Stakes under ‘Doncaster king’ Andrea Atzeni.

Laugh A Minute

Laugh A Minute is tipped to land Listed honours

Jean Valjean – 3.50 Doncaster

Jean Valjean is thought to be potentially ahead of the assessor for the Marathonbet Live Casino Nursery Handicap.

The son of Bated Breath was disappointing when last of four on his most recent outing at Epsom in August but had showed some promise on his second start when fourth at Leicester.

A mark of 71 doesn’t look obviously lenient on the face of it but Richard Spencer knows the time of day with his two-year-olds and the expectation is for the colt to be competitive.

Dorella – 6.00 Chelmsford

38-0OR: 79

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Eve Johnson Houghton has a good record at Chelmsford and it may pay to take a chance with Dorella in the Bet ToteTrifecta Galleywood Handicap.

She has proved a consistent performer over shorter distances and only just missed over 10 furlongs on her return from a two-month absence at Newbury last month.

She has an extra half mile to travel here, but she has stamina in her pedigree and, despite being just out of the handicap, can make the most of her lightweight here.

Eve Johnson Houghton stands with her Queen Anne hero Accidental Agent

It’s been a memorable year for trainer Eve Johnson Houghton

Bags Groove – 2.25 Wincanton

711-2OR: 145D

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Bags Groove seems at his most effective this time of year and he can follow up his recent win at Uttoxeter in the Grade Two Jockey Club Ownership Rising Stars Novices’ Chase at Wincanton.

Harry Fry found what looked at the time the toughest novice of the autumn season so far at Ffos Las last month, but he jumped his rivals silly and came home a very ready winner.

He looks ready for the step up in grade and if handles these tricky fences in the same manner as those at the Welsh course, he will take plenty of beating.

Bags Groove

Bags Groove in action

Brigade Of Guards – 12.40 Wincanton

410-12OR: –

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Brigade Of Guards can make a winning debut over timber in the opening National Hunt Novices Hurdle qualifier at Wincanton.

A promising fifth in a hot bumper at Kempton on his debut, he hated the soft ground next time at Newbury. The surface should suit him much better here, and his work suggests he has improved during the Summer.

We Have A Dream – 3.00 Wincanton

411-3OR: 156

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Nicky Henderson will have one eye on the weather with We Have A Dream and Verdana Blue heading for the Unibet Elite Hurdle, and one may come out if conditions are either too fast or too slow, given the possibility of heavy overnight rain.

We Have A Dream will enjoy the easier surface more than Verdana, and he has to be the pick, after his brilliant first season at Seven Barrows. He won all five of his outings, including two Grade Ones, and the thought at this stage of the season is that he may be up to Champion class.

His build-up this autumn has gone well despite the very dry weather in the Lambourn area, and he looks fit enough to do himself justice for what looks a cracking race, with, not only Verdana Blue in opposition, but Harry Fry’s highly rated If The Cap Fits as well.

However, it may be that he may just need the race a little more than the Henderson pair.

Sumkindofking – 3.35 Wincanton

710-13OR: 131

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Sumkindofking is not the biggest, but makes up for his lack of size with toughness, and he can reverse recent course form with Bigbadjohn in the Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase.

Noel Fehily takes over from amateur Noel George over this slightly shorter trip and he holds a solid each-way chance.

Jockey Noel Fehily

Jockey Noel Fehily is in top form

Misty Whisky – 3.55 Aintree

410-7OR: –

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Misty Whisky merits serious consideration in the Becher Meeting 8th December National Hunt Flat Race.

Harry Fry will be keen to win a race with this half-sister to his very talented performer Air Horse One, who tackles We Have A Dream earlier in the afternoon.

Her preparatory work has been pleasing her trainer, and it is interesting to note her brother won on his debut in an Exeter bumper during the 2015 season.

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