Flat racing comes to a close

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  • Kieren Fallon is in an unassailable lead in the jockey’s championship as the flat racing season draws to its conculsion

    Kieren Fallon can celebrate winning back his jockeys’ championship crown from Kevin Darley with a victory on Mesmeric in the Tote Scoop6 November Handicap, on the final day of the flat season at Doncaster on Saturday.

    The turf campaign finally bows out with a whimper rather than a bang and Mesmeric, who showed himself in top form by storming home at Newmarket last month, could cap the occasion for Fallon on an otherwise low-key card.

    Fallon, who goes into the last meeting with an unassailable lead, has now been champion in four of the last five seasons. He lost out to Darley in 2000 as a result of missing the second half of the season through a serious shoulder injury.

    Mesmeric, trained by Ed Dunlop who has also enjoyed a memorable season, beat subsequent winner Scorned at Newmarket and victory on Saturday could signal a step-up to Group company in 2002.

    Darley partners Golden Wells for Mark Johnston, another trainer with his horses enjoying a purple patch and it would come as no surprise were the two title protagonists to fight out the finish of the last big race of the season.

    Plenty of clues for the coming months of jumping should be on show at Wincanton which features the Badger Brewery Chase.

    Paul Nicholls relies on his exciting young chaser Montifault, second to Carbury Cross in a classy novice chase at Ayr on Scottish National day. Big things are expected from Montifault this winter and he could start in style.

    Possible Champion Hurdle aspirants are on show in the K J Pike & Sons Elite Hurdle. Trainers Paul Webber, with Ulundi, and Malcolm Jefferson, with Dibea Times, have their long range sights set on Istabraq’s hurdling crown in March.

    Paul Nicholls’s exciting novice of last season, Azertyuiop carries top weight in this limited handicap and if he can cope with this opposition his target could be the Champion Hurdle as well.

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