We Begin todays Channel 4 coverage at Doncaster with the At the Races sponsored Champagne Stakes. A Group 2 for 2 year olds ran over 7 furlongs.
At the head of the betting is Estidhkaar trained by Richard Hannon and ridden by Paul Hannagan. With 2 wins from his 3 starts this colt by Dark Angel is well entered up and will be looking grab his second Group win after a comfortable victory when beating subsequent Solario Stakes winner Aktabantay. Estidhkaar took up the running 3 furlongs out showing some signs of the greenness that was apparent when winning his maiden on his 2nd start. Deserved favourite here this half-brother to Toormore will be very hard to beat and is our first selection of the day.
Belardo for Roger Varian aims to give Andrea Atzeni his 3rd winner of the St Leger meeting. Another horse that comes into this race with some very strong form, winning last time in a listed race showing that day his close proximity to unbeaten July stakes and Richmond stakes winner Iveawood was no fluke. On that form he should not be far away.
Glenalmond will benefit from the extra furlong after staying on well when finding trouble around a furlong from home. He is taken as the main danger to the selection
Both War Envoy and Room Key have good claims, and in such a competitive race Room Key could cause an upset after being hampered when finishing well behind top class 2 year old Highland Reel
Aces winner of his only start had subsequent winner Skate in behind. That form looks weak compared to the rest of this field.
For the second live race of the day, we travel to Chester for their 14:20. A Class 3 Handicap ran over an extended 7 furlongs
Storm king will be the selection here, perfectly drawn if able to break well and lead. Andrew Elliot rode him when winning last time out over this extended 7 furlongs, having dropped to a good mark when finishing second at Doncaster the time before the extra 100 yards looks to be the key. Previously he had been competing in better races, off higher marks, over further distances. The progress he has shown since dropping back to 7 furlongs should continue here.
Gatepost for Richard Fahey can once agai have a say at a track his owner loves to send his winners. Second here to a well handicapped winner ion Friday, if he’s allowed to take his chance here he could provide punters with a great each way bet.
Mabait is drawn terribly but has dropped to a very winnable mark and if he’s able to overcome certain traffic problems and find some cover he could run a big race
Mezzotint for Stuart Williams is another who has not got home over a mile and this niche distance could see him gain his 6th career win.
It’s back to Doncaster for our third selection the Portland Handicap. A Class 2 Contest ran over an extended 5 furlongs
Head of the market is Intrinsic for Robert Cowell. Winner of the Stewards Cup at Goodwood 2 starts ago he disappointed last time out when being sent off the 3/1 second favourite and finishing tailed off. Hes the win Selection here as that run can be forgiven and I feel Richard Hughes will want to make amends for not filling punters pockets in the listed event at Newmarket in today’s easier contest over a slightly shorter distance.
The each way selection will be Go Far comes here on the back of a treble and looks to complete his four-timer on a track he has won on previously. The slight drop in trip should be fine and Jockey Martin Harley has an excellent strike rate for Alan Bailey
Muthmir for William Haggas is relatively unexposed and has shown a good level of form this year and would not be a surprise winner of a competitive looking event
Out Do for David O’Meara should not be discounted and is one to watch in the betting. Jockey Danny Tudhope is a great judge of pace and rarely does this combination leave the money behind
At bigger prices Love Island can run well in re-applied cheek pieces, he has not worn them in recent starts, but has worn for past victories.
For the race of the day we again travel to Chester and look at the 1mile 4 furlong listed event.
Pinzolo heads the betting for Godolphin and trainer Charlie Appleby. No match for the winner last time he had to settle for a well beaten second in a similar contest at Windsor. He folded pretty tamely when pressed that day and maybe since being firmly beaten in two better races previously he has lost the gritty determination he showed when winning his maiden.
Sennockian star for Mark Johnston has questions to answer here and is not one id have faith in at what looks to be relatively short odds for his achievements to date.
Energia Fribby is the unknown factor. A recruit to the Botti stable from Brazil where he has competed at their highest level, how that form will transfer to the UK is a complete unknown and if strong in the betting she is sure to go close. The fact that a Meydan campaign looks highly likely and a win here would not be unsurmountable for a shrewd Trainer makes her the tentative selection here
Of the rest Whispering Warrior looks to have a good chance if last times defeat is put down to the awkward start. The David Simcock trained gelding could run into the frame here.
It’s back to Doncaster for our last 2 races and firstly we will look at the OLBG sponsored Park Stakes. A Group 2 contest ran over 7 furlongs.
Aljamaaheer heads the betting for Roger Varian. Unable to get his head in front in Group 1 contests the drop in class is sought in order to find the first win of the campaign. He was far from disgraced when beaten less than two lengths by Sole Power two runs ago. Then next time by a greater distance by the same highly prized sprinter. Today’s level is well within his compass and will be competing for the win come the final half furlong or so. That said the short odds here make me feel there must be a etter value selection, and that selection will be cable bay. Beaten last time out in a listed event when having her first start of the season, she was hampered early on and pushed wide to a position she did not recover from.
Previous form entitles her to respect here, knocking on the door in Group races at the end of last year’s campaign better was expected on reappearance and with that run under her belt today’s race could be an ideal opportunity to gain that elusive black type.
Gregorian looks to continue some great stable form for trainer John Gosden, he certainly has a race like this in him. A 7 furlong group 3 win at Newmarket followed by a subsequent 1 ½ length third to Slade Power in a group 1 gives him claims here.
The final live race of the afternoon and we finish with Group 1 action in the Ladbrokes St Leger. Ran over 1 mile 6 furlongs the high class 3 year olds bid to win the final classic of the season.
Our final selection is Kingston hill who makes his belated reappearance after finishing fourth in the Coral Eclipse in July. He ran that day on ground that was on the firm side of good, ground which he has declined to race on since. With the ground forecast to be on the soft side of good that should see the Roger Varian trained Derby runner up return to winning ways now reunited with regular jockey Andrea Atzeni.
There is no doubting the form of the derby run and as long as the ground doesn’t become too quick Kingston Hill can return to the level of class form shown last autumn when taking two Group 1 races last autumn.
Kings Fete for Ryan Moore has shown steady improvement this season but is facing a big ask to win his first group start in this race.
Of the Sir Michael Stoute trained duo Snow Sky os the preference of retained jockey James Doyle. He comes here on the back of a valiant effort behind the highly rated postponed, although I feel he will want quicker ground than is forecast. Although anything faster than good will bring him into the picture.
Windshear could appreciate some cut in the ground, having looked unlucky when squeezed back before making a challenge late on, the extra distance could also bring further improvement and the Richard Hannon trained colt is very much a danger to the selection.
At bigger prices Hartnell could easily benefit from the drop in trip and if given an easy lead could cause an upset