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Hollie Doyle blog: No Lincoln ride but five chances at Newcastle

Hollie Doyle misses the Lincoln but has five runners at Newcastle, including her best chance Zivaniya. Plus, how she think Nashwa will shape for the Group 1 Dubai Turf.

New season starts with Nashwa in Dubai

I won’t be in action on the opening day of the new British Flat Season at Doncaster on Saturday. I’m heading to Newcastle instead for five rides on the All-Weather, but the true starting point of the year for me is in the desert next weekend.

I’ll be flying out on Wednesday to partner my Classic-winning mare NASHWA in the Group 1 Dubai Turf at Meydan on World Cup night. It’s so exciting that my boss Imad Alsagar has kept her in training for another season and this looks the ideal start.

I was in at John and Thady Gosden’s Clarehaven Stables in Newmarket on Wednesday to put her through her paces and she felt great. There’s no doubt she retains all her ability and looks fantastic.

I’ll be riding Nashwa on the track at Meydan next Thursday in readiness for the nine-furlong showpiece, which will pitch her against a star-studded field including stable companion Lord North, who bids to win the race for a remarkable fourth time.

With Aidan O’Brien’s star Luxembourg, Godolphin’s Group 1 Jebel Hatta hero Measured Time and Hong Kong’s Gold Cup winner Voyage Bubble also likely to line up, it looks like being a stellar renewal and I can’t wait to see how she acquits herself.

Hollie Doyle returns to the winner's enclosure at Newmarket on board Nashwa
Image: Doyle returns to the winner’s enclosure at Newmarket on board Nashwa

Strong chances for Palmer at Newcastle

I’m hoping for the best from two rides for Hugo Palmer at Newcastle on Saturday evening, live on Sky Sports Racing, starting with ZIVANIYA in the opening Find More Big Deals At BetUK Handicap (4.55).

He made it 13th time lucky over 2m at Kempton at the start of the month and must go well if he can build on that. He’s run well at Newcastle before but this looks a tight little handicap.

Tony Carroll’s chestnut The Craftymaster sets the standard. He’s won six races already this winter and doesn’t look like he’s finished yet! Like Southwell winner Real Terms, he must give my lad plenty of weight, though.

With a week of the All-Weather Championships to go, Tony is in with a big chance of becoming top trainer and I really hope he succeeds. He’s been a big supporter of mine for a long time now and certainly deserves the accolade.

More to come from improving filly

I link up with Hugo Palmer again in the Best Racing Odds Guaranteed At BetMGM Handicap (7.30) on the improving filly SIOBHANBROGAN.

Middleham Park Racing’s daughter of Starspangledbanner has progressed with every run so far and looked to have plenty in hand when taking a 6f novice at Wolverhampton a few weeks ago.

She’s a keen sort who will need to settle better on this straight track with Geoff Oldroyd’s unbeaten Filly One up against her, but if she does I’m expecting her opening handicap rating of 78 to be well within her range.

Absolute out to star

Archie Watson runs Apple Tree Stud’s ABSOLUTE STAR in the BetMGM: It’s Showtime Maiden Fillies’ Stakes (6.30) at Newcastle.

She’s shown a good level of ability in both starts at this track and should appreciate going up to 1m, but we’re up against some unexposed types from big stables including John and Thady Gosden’s debutant Rainbows Edge.

Archie won a Listed race with this filly’s dam Absolute Blast in 2017 so he knows the family well and hopefully her experience will count this time.

Stiff track the key for Russian Virtue

TEES DOUGE has only four opponents in the Boost Your Acca At BetMGM Handicap (7.00) but Robert Cowell’s hat-trick seeking Ziggy’s Missile could prove hard to beat.

Adrian Nicholls three-year-old has at least shown a liking for this track, finishing a close third over course and distance on his re-appearance, but needs to bounce back from a lesser effort at Southwell last time.

I always enjoy riding for Rebecca Menzies so I’m hoping RUSSIAN VIRTUE goes well in the Win £2,000,000 With BetMGM’s Golden Goals Handicap (6.00).

He didn’t seem to enjoy Wolverhampton when I rode him there in January but he’s been in winning form over hurdles since and this more demanding track should be in his favour.

Johan and Silvestre De Sousa race away from Saleymm to win the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster
Image: Johan and Silvestre De Sousa race away from Saleymm to win the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster

Big day for Silvestre at Doncaster

Former champion Silvestre De Sousa could be the man to follow on the first day of the new British Flat Season at Doncaster, live on Sky Sports Racing.

I’m expecting a bold show from his mount JOHAN in the William Hill Lincoln Handicap (3.35). He’s higher in the weights than when he won the race two years ago but Jack Channon will have him fresh and well for an ordinary renewal.

Silvestre also has strong claims in the Listed William Hill Doncaster Mile (1.20) with Roger Varian’s Charyn, who brings some classy form to the table and proved when winning a Group 2 in France that he thrives on the forecast soft ground.

The big sprint, the William Hill Cammidge Trophy (3.00), has cut up and gives William Haggas a strong chance with Montassib. He also relishes ease underfoot and can give Cieren Fallon a winning return from injury.

Watch all the action live on Sky Sports Racing.

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