Thursday tips for Doncaster: Zambella and Moon Hunter should prove hard to beat

Zambella is likely to take some stopping in her bid for back-to-back victories in the bet365 Yorkshire Silver Vase Mares’ Chase at Doncaster, while Moon Hunter should prove hard to beat.

The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained seven-year-old was a 15-length winner on Town Moor 12 months ago - one of six wins at Listed level she has secured thus far.

She was beaten on her seasonal reappearance over three miles at Market Rasen in November, but got back on the winning trail over her favoured distance of two and a half miles at Carlisle on her latest outing.

Zambella might not have it all her own way, with Pink Legend and Annie Mc both worthy rivals, but she is expected to get the job done.

Moon Hunter should prove hard to beat in the bet365 British EBF 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle.

A point-to-point winner in the spring, the Pether's Moon gelding made a successful debut under Rules for Henry Daly in a novice hurdle at Wetherby last month.

The form of that race looks pretty solid, with the runner-up Hitching Jacking going one better since and third and fourth both subsequently placed.

Moon Hunter may well be capable of defying a penalty before stepping up in grade.

Datsalrightgino looks the answer to the bet365 Novices' Limited Handicap Chase.

Jamie Snowden's charge gave the high-class Boothill a real run for his money on his fencing bow at Newton Abbot in October, so it was no great surprise to see him win impressively next time at Chepstow.

He again had to make do with minor honours when third at Newbury a month ago, but that was a solid effort, especially when you consider that back in fifth that day was Balco Coastal, who fairly bolted up at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Running from the same mark of 138, Datsalrightgino looks a solid bet.

Emitom can snap a lengthy losing streak in the Watch The Replay At Racing Tv Handicap Hurdle at Kelso.

The Warren Greatrex-trained eight-year-old was rated in the 150s in his pomp, with victory in the Grade Two Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock and a runner-up finish to Champ in a Grade One at Aintree two of his best efforts.

For whatever reason he does not appear to be the force he once was, but he is rated accordingly, with the handicapper giving him every chance off his current perch of 127.

He was placed in a couple of decent races last season before the wheels fell off slightly, while there was encouragement to be taken from his comeback run at Lingfield last month - his first competitive start since early April.

His sliding mark allows him to get into this lower grade and he can make the long trek north pay off.

It is not too difficult to make a case for Donny Boy in the Visit Kelso In 2023 Handicap Chase.

The six-year-old won a bumper and a novice hurdle for Nick Alexander last season before coming up short against the top-class Jonbon in a Haydock Grade Two.

He made his chasing bow at Carlisle in late October and was not disgraced in finishing fifth in what looked a particularly competitive affair.

Dropped a couple of pounds since, Donny Boy should be competitive.

All-weather fare comes from Southwell, where Twilight Madness bids to complete a four-timer in the Betuk's Acc Club £35 Free Bet Handicap.

Simon Hodgson's colt won for the first time in over a year at Newcastle in November and has not looked back, registering successive wins in the space of five days over this course and distance.

He carries a 5lb penalty for the latter of those victories nine days ago, but was well on top at the line that day and should prove up to the task if the busy spell does not catch up with him.

The top-class action continues on the fourth and final day of Leopardstown's Christmas Festival, with State Man expected to enhance his Champion Hurdle claims with victory in the Matheson Hurdle.

Last season's County Hurdle winner made an impressive return when landing last month's Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown, readily accounting for stablemate Sharjah.

The latter may make more of a race of it as he bids for a fifth successive victory in this contest, while the presence of Vauban adds further intrigue, but State Man is expected to come out on top and emerge as perhaps the biggest threat to the brilliant Constitution Hill.

You can check out the racecards, results and live odds in the Planet Sport racing live centre


DONCASTER: 12.10 Moon Hunter, 12.45 Datsalrightgino, 1.20 Arclight, 1.55 Walking On Air, 2.40 Gesskille, 3.10 ZAMBELLA (NAP), 3.40 Trolley Boy.

KELSO: 11.53 Camp Belan, 12.28 Emitom, 1.03 Donny Boy, 1.38 Brayhill, 2.13 Imperial Merlin, 2.48 Fortescue Wood, 3.20 Missed Tee.

LEOPARDSTOWN: 12.00 Seddon, 12.35 Search For Glory, 1.10 Shewearsitwell, 1.45 Amirite, 2.20 State Man, 2.55 Conna Cottage, 3.25 Special Cadeau.

LIMERICK: 12.20 Sir Bob, 12.55 Lizrona, 1.30 Brazil, 2.05 Benz, 2.35 Senior Chief, 3.05 Kalahari Diamond, 3.35 Bugscuffle.

SOUTHWELL: 4.00 Zealot, 4.30 Glam Puss, 5.00 Evening Story, 5.30 Weydaad, 6.00 Twilight Madness, 6.30 So Grateful, 7.00 Ok Pal, 7.30 Ireland's Eye.

DOUBLE: Zambella and Emitom.

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