Doncaster Cup Betting Tips: Sheikhzayedroad Value to Regain Crown

The 2018 Doncaster Cup betting tips on offer at Betting.org say popular veteran Sheikhzayedroad is worth a wager to win the feature 2m 2f Group 2 race again on Friday, 14 September. Thomas Hobson is feared most as he boasts a similar record at Town Moor and thus the pick of Willie Mullins’ trio. Algometer also represents David Simcock, the trainer of Sheikhzayedroad and is one to consider each-way as he’s unexposed as a stayer. Our 2018 Doncaster Cup betting tips preview has more on all these horses’ chances.

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Odds
7/2
Selection
Sheikhzayedroad
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Odds
5/2
Danger
Thomas Hobson
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Odds
5/1
E/W
Algometer
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Sheikhzayedroad value to recapture Doncaster Cup

In-form trainer David Simcock has landed the feature Group 2 on day three of Doncaster’s St Leger Festival, the 2m 2f Doncaster Cup, before courtesy of Sheikhzayedroad. This popular veteran holds every chance of regaining his crown from 2016 in this year’s renewal on Friday as the race looks easier on paper than when third 12 months ago.

Although now a nine-year-old, this son of Dubawi still retains plenty of ability as he demonstrated at Meydan in the Middle East back in March. He was nearest at the finish and beaten just a length by leading French stayer Vazirabad in the Dubai World Cup.

Given that the winner then chased home the British Isles’ best endurance Flat horse Stradivarius in the Ascot Gold Cup, that form has to be respected. Sheikhzayedroad was given the perfect run two years ago by regular rider Martin Harley when getting up on the line to deny Quest For More by a nose.

That proved no fluke as he then confirmed the form next time up in the Long Distance Cup when dropping back to 2m on British Champions Day at Ascot. While Sheikhzayedroad wasn’t quite as good last season, he still finished 2 1/2 lengths in front of his main market rival Thomas Hobson in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup at York’s Ebor Festival and was then just beaten a head into third when defending his crown here 12 months ago.

As sixth to Stradivarus in the 2m 4f Gold Cup this term and more than three lengths ahead of Max Dynamite off level weights, he has nothing to fear from that re-opposing rival. Sheikhzayedroad has solid claims despite his advancing years of going in one more time, if able to repeat his Dubai Gold Cup run from the spring.

He is rated 3lb superior to Thomas Hobson on official ratings and only stablemate Algometer, who is yet to be blooded over this trip, is on a higher mark. Taking all that, plus his handler’s 36 per cent strike rate coming into the St Leger Festival,  into account, Sheikhzayedroad looks well worth a wager for a second success in this stayers’ event.

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Thomas Hobson the obvious danger

Top Irish handler Willie Mullins is triple-handed in this year’s renewal and went close last time with the aforementioned Thomas Hobson, who is the clear pick of the trio and heads the Doncaster Cup betting. Now aged eight, this gelding has been a useful dual-purpose servant of owners Rich and Susannah Ricci and is hugely respected given connections.

They clearly are launching a very serious bid for this race as all three of Mullins’ horses carry their pink with green spots silks. In Thomas Hobson, they have a fine hurdler rated 150 at his peak who made an enterprising return to the Flat last year when landing the 3m 4f Ascot Stakes in ready fashion.

After being held-up by Ryan Moore, he was switched left, ridden and quickened to lead before the final furlong. Thomas Hobson then stayed on strongly and stormed clear to score by six lengths, with connections so bullish that they turned him out again just four days later for the Queen Alexandra Stakes – also at Royal Ascot – where he was second.

Given the hard stayers’ handicap he had contested at the same meeting, there was absolutely no disgrace in being beaten 1 1/4 lengths by Oriental Fox over an extended 2m 5f. Thomas Hobson may have been a bit below par in the Lonsdale next time up, but did just get the better of Sheikhzayedroad when keeping on after being headed by Desert Skyline in the Doncaster Cup last year.

That put him spot on for a crack at the race that stops a nation, the Melbourne Cup in Australia where he was sixth. This too wasn’t a bad run Down Under for Thomas Hobson and he was definitely in need of the run when back in action in the Queen Alexandra this year.

Mullins then put him in the Irish St Leger trial where he was only fifth, but beaten just 2 1/2 lengths by Flag Of Honour who is a warm favourite for that Classic contest at The Curragh. As Thomas Hobson finished eight lengths in front of stable companion Renetti off level weights, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t confirm the form here.

That just leaves him with his other stablemate Max Dynamite, who was in front of him in the Melbourne Cup, to worry about. Thomas Hobson hasn’t experienced the same downturn in form as that one, so looks the main threat to Sheikhzayedroad here.

Moore, who presumably has the pick of Mullins’ trio, remains in the saddle and that’s a big plus because he has won this race on three occasions since 2009 – albeit never for this trainer. It’s Thomas Hobson who will thus give Sheikhzayedroad most to think about and so is also included among our 2018 Doncaster Cup betting tips.

Algometer an each-way bet if getting trip

Coming out on top on ratings is Algometer, Simcock’s other runner, but this is his first try at this distance. Having shaped as though a possible stayer when a narrow runner-up in France, however, he is the tentative each-way suggestion in a renewal which is not as strong as previous years.

The five-year-old has had just three runs beyond 1m 4f in his career to date, so is unexposed over the relatively extreme trip of the Doncaster Cup. Algometer also has a 50 per cent win and place ratio from his 14 starts under rules that have earned him a mark of 112.

A chief contributory factor to that rating was his penultimate outing when encountering trouble in-running but sticking to the task well as a three-quarters of a length runner-up to Marmelo in a Longchamp Group 2. Given how things panned out at a key stage of the race, Algometer did really well to get so close to the winner, who is a possible British raider for the Melbourne Cup.

The only slight concern is the grey didn’t build on this effort last time out when beaten 8 1/2 lengths by Hamada in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury. There were no excuses this time for Algometer, but connections are having a crack at this and mean business because in-form jockey Oisin Murphy takes the ride here.

This demands more than when eased in grade but, granted better luck in-running and if he proves he can stay, a repeat of his performance in France puts Algometer in the mix. He is therefore a solid each-way among our 2018 Doncaster Cup betting tips.

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