Megan Nicholls Racing Preview - Doncaster & Newbury

BetMGM ambassador Megan Nicholls gives her thoughts on the horse racing world, bringing her insightful opinions and first-rate knowledge exclusively to our blog every week.

This time the former jockey – now a celebrated TV pundit – previews an exciting weekend of racing at Doncaster and Newbury.

But first, she rounds up her week at the Cheltenham Festival.

Cheltenham Round Up

It was an amazing week’s racing - it was great to be there, involved, and working right in the thick of the action,and being in the parade ring.

Highlights included Sir Alex Ferguson and Harry Redknapp both having winners. I think two sporting legends from other sports having such involvement and success in our sport is very important.

In terms of equine performance, the Gold Cup was the pinnacle, but for me, exciting novice Ballyburn could be super special and I can't wait to see what route he takes. He might go down the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup path and it would be exciting if he does.

There was great success with the BetMGM County Hurdle - Absurde winning with quite a phenomenal performance. To see him running in Australia and Royal Ascot and then coming over and winning at the festival was pretty special.

Saturday Racing

Doncaster 2.25 – Spring Mile

Thunder Roar (7/1) absolutely loves heavy ground.

He is drawn in one but with Jamie Spencer on, he will drop in and switch to come up the middle, picking his way through, which is probably ideal, as you will need a finisher.

He had a prep run, where he ran nicely at Southall to set him up for this. So I think Thunder Roar will win.

At a bigger price, Magic Memories (12/1) for Gary Moore, who has form on slower ground.

Gary can get them ready and I thought this horse is a nice each way price.

He is drawn higher, can edge towards the middle and is around 12/1.

Megan’s Selection: Thunder Roar WIN; Magic Memories E/W

Newbury 2.40 – Handicap Chase

I’m going to go Solo (6/1), here.

He’s a talented horse on his day, he’s just a little bit unreliable, but when he’s on a going day, he’s very talented.

He goes well fresh and nice ground is a positive so there is plenty going for him, while 5 lbs off his back will certainly help him.

I think he has a massive run in him at Newbury. As a rule, he jumps very well and if he gets into a nice rhythm towards the front-end of the field, he might just be hard to pass.

He’s very talented on the right day and this has been the aim for a little while now.

Megan’s Selection: Solo WIN

Doncaster 3.35 – [The Main Lincoln] (/sports#racing/event/1020617091)

I am going with The Gatekeeper (10/1).

He is a horse that absolutely loves the slow ground, is very consistent, and the big field suits.

Charlie Johnston will have him absolutely ready, and Joe Fanning knows him and gets on with him very well.

He's very track versatile, but the fact the ground is softening is a positive. He does tend to be ridden fairly forward, but Joe knows the fractions inside and out, so we'll go with The Gatekeeper in the Main Lincoln.

Megan’s Selection: Thunder Roar WIN

Newbury 3.15 – Mares' Novices' Hurdle

I’m going to go Smiling Getaway (13/2) here, who didn’t run too badly at Sandown last time in very testing conditions.

It is a handicap, she’s not on as lenient a mark as she could possibly be and she’s up against one or two others who may be improvers - but she is fairly solid, straightforward and consistent.

A slightly better surface and a flat track are two positives for her and will only improve her chances.

Megan’s selection – Smiling Getaway WIN

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Odds correct at time of publication but subject to fluctuation

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