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Thursday Tips

Jack Mitchell
Image: Jack Mitchell

Copper And Five can get the Yorkshire team off to a flying start on home turf with victory in the opening race of the 2022 William Hill Racing League at Doncaster.

The format of the competition has been tweaked since the inaugural running last year, with 14 sponsored teams trimmed to seven regional squads. Ireland, London and The South, Scotland, The East, The North and Wales and The West are all in the mix, but it is Leonna Mayor's Yorkshire squad who are fancied to strike the first blow.

Copper And Five, trained by Ruth Carr and ridden by Joanna Mason, won over Doncaster straight mile last summer before adding Ripon and Redcar wins to his CV before the end of the campaign. The six-year-old has failed to add to his tally in six starts so far this term, but that has at least led to a slight ease in the weights.

He was not disgraced in finishing third on his most recent appearance at Redcar and the handicapper's decision to subsequently drop his rating to 81 - 2lb lower than his last winning mark - looks lenient. Another previous course winner, the Charlie Fellowes-trained Fresh Hope, is definitely worth an interest in race two. The daughter of New Approach struck gold by a short head on Town Moor in May before finishing sixth - beaten less than six lengths - in the Sandringham Stakes at Royal Ascot.

She bounced back to winning ways a shade cosily at Leicester three weeks ago and can defy a 2lb rise in the hands of Hayley Turner and provide The East with an early winner. In the seventh and final race, meanwhile, punters are advised to put their faith bottom weight Pledge Of Honour, who represents Dean Ivory, Nicola Currie and London and The South.

The six-year-old has already struck gold three times this season, most recently at Sandown, and can continue his progression with another win. Flylikeaneagle looks poised to complete his hat-trick in the Havana Club Handicap at Ayr. Lucinda Russell's inmate is a stone higher in the weights than when winning here at the start of July, having since finished second and won twice.

His latest verdict at Nottingham last week suggested he remains very much on the upgrade and he will take some stopping under a 5lb penalty for that win. Caramelised should go well in the feature event at Brighton - the #21,000 Star Sports Bet Brighton Challenge Cup Handicap.

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The 122-rated hurdler opened his Flat account in some style at Bath in June and looks fairly treated off a 4lb higher mark if he can put a slightly disappointing return to the jumping game behind him. Nottingham punters are advised to side with Bath scorer Polly Pott, who makes her handicap debut in the Racing TV Extra Nursery, while Bruno's Gold should prove hard to beat in the opening Corinthian Amateur Jockeys' Handicap at Sandown.

The three-year-old won by a neck on his first start since being gelded at Ayr last month and can follow up in Esher, with Brodie Hampson a positive jockey booking. On a busy day racing also takes place at Yarmouth, where disappointingly there are no more than six runners in any of the seven races.

The best bet on the card could Capla Blue, who bids for back-to-back course and distance wins in the Follow @attheraces On Twitter Handicap under Hollie Doyle.

SELECTIONS: AYR: 5.53 King Charles, 6.23 Banner Road, 6.53 Poet's Magic, 7.28 Cobra Kai, 7.58 Flylikeaneagle, 8.32 Marcello Si.

BRIGHTON: 1.50 Made Of Lir, 2.20 Inspirited, 2.50 Wisper, 3.20 Caramelised, 3.50 Rivas Rob Roy, 4.20 Voodoo Ray, 4.55 Fangorn.

DONCASTER: 5.40 COPPER AND FIVE (NAP), 6.10 Fresh Hope, 6.40 X J Rascal, 7.10 Silent Flame, 7.40 Spring Bloom, 8.10 Animato, 8.40 Pledge Of Honour.

LEOPARDSTOWN: 4.45 Plankton, 5.15 Royal Tribute, 5.45 Giselles Ausie, 6.15 Gear Up, 6.45 Chilled Out, 7.20 High Altitude, 7.50 Smaoineamh Sile, 8.25 Derrinlaur.

NOTTINGHAM: 1.00 Resilient Power, 1.30 Polly Pott, 2.00 Holocene, 2.30 Gastronomy, 3.00 Wonderful Thing, 3.30 Chichen Itza, 4.00 Bibulous.

SANDOWN: 5.36 Bruno's Gold, 6.06 Bonny Angel, 6.36 Desert Order, 7.15 Frantastic, 7.45 Marlay Park, 8.18 Snapcracklepop.

SLIGO: 5.00 Knocknagappagh, 5.30 Garcon Doux, 6.00 Our Bobby, 6.30 Golden Sandbanks, 7.05 Folio, 7.35 Arthur's Baby, 8.05 Double Pink.

YARMOUTH: 1.40 Rogue Storm, 2.10 Bresson, 2.40 Royal Parade, 3.10 Silver Bubble, 3.40 Capla Blue, 4.10 Media Guest, 4.40 Anglo Saxson. DOUBLE: Copper And Five and Fresh Hope.

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