We’ve teamed up with BetVictor to preview the day’s racing.
Day three of Doncaster’s St Leger meeting kicks-off with The Flying Scotsman Stakes won famously by Frankel in 2010 and won by some useful colts in subsequent years. Godolphin won the listed contest with Be Ready in 2013 and connections should follow-up with Aqabah (1.20) under James Doyle.
The colt looked potentially very smart when making a winning debut at Ascot in the spring, and has held his form well in higher grade thereafter. Based on his fourth in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot he will be hard to beat and can hopefully oblige for favourite backers in the opener.
Charlie Appleby has enjoyed a terrific season with his juveniles and Ghaiyyah (4.05) looks the ideal type to complete doubles for the boys and blue and jockey James Doyle. The colt cost connections €1,100,000 as a foal and, being a Dubawi half-sister to Group 1 winning filly Zhukova, looks sure to handle the likely testing conditions more than most.
I’m a big fan of Pirouette (1.50) who should go well in the Group 3 Sceptre Stakes under regular partner Robert Winston. The selection has improved at a rate of knots since winning the BetVictor Million Pound Goal Classified Stakes last May, winning a Doncaster handicap from a mark of 80 on her next start and ending the season rated 103 after placing at listed level at both Haydock and Newmarket. She has bettered that this term, placing in a further pair of listed races, and after gaining a deserved success last month at Dusseldorf is a confident selection to reward each-way support for the in-form yard of Hughie Morrison.
The drying ground will aid the chances of Heartache (2.25) who is a confident selection to land the Flying Childers under Ryan Moore.
The Queen Mary winner looked different class at Royal Ascot and would have surely followed-up in the Prix Robert Papin were it not for pulling a muscle last time out in France. She pulverised a strong field in the Queen Mary and a replication of that form should see her beat Karl Burke’s recent Prix Morny runner-up Havana Grey.
The other Group 2 on the card is the Doncaster Cup with a field of nine declared for the stamina-sapping contest over two and a quarter miles. Montaly carries a 3lb penalty last month’s success in the Yorkshire Cup, and had the trio of Sheikhzayedroad, High Jinx and Thomas Hobson when getting up late to deny Dartmouth by the narrowest of margins.
He is respected for trainer Andrew Balding however, a chance is taken on David Elsworth’s Desert Skyline (3.35) in receipt of 15lb.
The selection is unexposed at staying distances and relished the step up to two miles when third behind Stradivarius and Big Orange in the Group 1 Goodwood Cup at last month’s Glorious meeting. He bettered that when second to Hughie Morrison’s well-backed favourite Marmelo last time out at Deauville and can reward each-way support at 9/2 with BetVictor.
Ten different trainers have won the last ten renewals of the Mallard Handicap and I expect that trend to continue with Seamour (3.00) expected to go one better than his excellent runner-up effort 12 months ago.
Brian Ellison’s stable star bumped into subsequent group winner Wall of Fire at last year’s meeting but is now 2lb lower in the weights and has the assistance of Adam Kirby in the plate. He will go on any ground and should make amends from recent disappointments in both the Northumberland Plate and The Ebor.
Simon Crisford has a terrific record at the track, winning with five of his 15 runners at the South Yorkshire track since taking out a licence in 2015, and should land the finale with Lawless Secret (5.10). The well-bred filly made a winning debut last month at Windsor and, despite winning at odds of 80/1, the form has proved it to be no fluke.
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