The highlight of Doncaster's marathon card on Tuesday were the two divisions of the ten furlongs novice stakes. The first division went the way of the Ed Walker trained Matthew Flinders who confirmed the promise he had shown at Haydock on his racecourse bow earlier this month. His stable are in fine form ahead of English King's big day at Epsom on Saturday. The second division was won by another once raced colt, namely Al Zaraqaan, who had been well beaten on his only outing as a juvenile at Newmarket last backend. However, as William Haggas pointed out on page 83 in Ahead On The Flat, the son of Golden Horn didn't appreciate the testing conditions on the Rowley Mile. Encountering a much sounder surface at Town Moor and tackling a longer trip, he proved a different proposition staying on strongly to beat the well regarded Semser (Unraced Three Year Olds) by a length and a quarter. Despite being a half-brother to an Irish 2000 Guineas winner, Al Zaraqaan threatens to be even better over a mile and a half. He is very much one to follow in middle distance three year old handicaps this summer and beyond. The Haggas team may not have been the quickest into stride once racing resumed at the start of June but they are certainly hitting their straps now with 8 winners from their last 21 runners.
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