Lah Ti Dar remaining in the St Leger mix for Saturday was a pleasant surprise or not depending if you have already ploughed into one of the other runners for the final Classic of the season. Surely she has the best credentials and her York victory was really special. A nervy yet thrilling Saturday awaits connections at Doncaster as their Classic protagonist Too Darn Hot is due to run 35mins before in the Champagne Stakes, a race trainer John Gosden has never won. At present also sitting in the line up is Dark Vision, Quorto and Louis Treize, fingers tightly crossed they all stand their ground.
Before that though there is much to look forward to at Town Moor as the Doncaster St Leger Meeting gets under way on Wednesday, there is cut in the ground as at the time of writing the going description is Good to Soft, yet I suspect there is further rain on the way. That shouldn’t inconvenience Global Applause in the Listed Scarborough Stakes. On debut for trainer Robert Cowell he trounced rivals at Sandown, one of those was the filly Intense Romance who franked the form by winning easily at Haydock last Saturday. Global Applause runs at 3pm.
For entertainment value the Leger Legends race will be well worth watching, its very existence raises awareness and assists in raising valuable funds for worthy charities headed up by the Injured Jockeys Fund. And a few of our heroes have taken some nasty falls lately, Phillip Makin, Ben Curtis and PJ McDonald on the flat and Bryony Frost is still recuperating from the jumps code.
Who is going to win this fantastic contest over the straight mile? Initially I’d keep a weather watch and be sure the horse picked can cope with conditions. ITV and Attheraces, Luke Harvey has a great mount in Ventura Gold who won on the soft over further at Lingfield last time. The ex-jump jockey is such a popular figure a massive roar from the crowd of encouragement and celebration would ensue should he land the prize. Otherwise it might be worth looking to Century City for Ian Williams and Ted Durcan, last seen winning at Wolverhampton he is still on a mark 9lb below his best, this all happens at 3.35.
Doncaster isn’t the only meeting on Wednesday as there is action at Carlisle which is already soft. Hopefully there will be no non-runners in the 4.15 as this tasty handicap offers up the potential of each-way first four places over the six furlong trip. Apprentice jockey Faye McManoman has been a revelation and at this course in particular she has a 38% strike rate five wins from 13 rides. She is going to be on the 22 race maiden Henrietta’s Dream. The filly ran her best race this time last year on Good to Soft at Redcar and could be value to nick a place, as for those seeking the gold medal Muatadel (NAP) comes to mind as wind back the clock 12months and he was running at Doncaster finishing third off a mark of 79 in a better race, he now races off a mark 10lb lower and last time out was a close up second over 7f so he will be strong in the closing stages.
Acrux didn’t get any sort of run on the beach at Laytown last week and may be better testing his skills at Kempton. He has some pretty good form especially his third to Withernsea at Beverley. He proved he can still be competitive off a mark of 75 and Nicola Currie takes a valuable 3lb out of the saddle.
Hugo Palmer currently has his team in flying form, 11 winners in the last fortnight at a strike rate of 35% it is hard to ignore any of his runners. Morning Skye has taking a while to warm to the task but at the same time in the early part of the season he had a few stern examinations on ground which now becomes evident he did not like. His turf record is 0 from 7, while he is unbeaten on both starts on the all-weather. He was race for his short-head success at Lingfield last time but I sense there is still more to come and Josephine Gordon’s record on him is 1261.
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