The ITV cameras are at Doncaster for the second day of the St Leger Festival and the card opens with a valuable fillies’ nursery over six-and-a-half furlongs. It is a wide-open affair, but I feel Company Minx (2.10) will appreciate the additional half a furlong having got going too late when runner up at Windsor last time. The each way selection is 8/1 at BetVictor who are betting 4 places on this 15-runner handicap. Top-weight Stylistique – 6/1 market leader – who remains a maiden after three starts looks a big danger for Roger Varian.
Sole 4-year-old Enbihaar (2.40) is penalised 3lbs for winning the Gp 2 Lillie Langtry Stakes at Goodwood last time, but such was the ease of her success that she is hard to oppose in the Park Hill Stakes against seven three-year-old fillies.
The selection – trained by John Gosden – was held up out the back last time, having raced prominently previously this term, and she was a revelation coming through with a wet sail. If in the same mood she will be tough to beat although she is only 5/4 at BetVictor.
Frankie Dettori was aboard Dame Melliot when the filly won a Gp 2 at Deauville on heavy ground and this lightly-raced filly who has won three of her four starts looks the danger although she has stamina to prove.
Harpocretes (3.15) was caught close home in the Acomb Stakes at York last time and this slight drop back in trip ought to suit Aidan O’Brien’s colt one of three Ballydoyle representatives in the field for the valuable Sales’ race. That was the juvenile’s first run with blinkers applied and if the headgear works the oracle a second time he will be tough to pass. The selection is 11/2 with BetVictor and is another each way – 4 places – recommendation.
Joseph O’Brien’s filly Unforgetable finished second at Leopardstown last time in a Group 3 contest and I would be surprised if she went off as big as the 10/1 available at the time of writing with BetVictor.
Cloak Of Spirits was visually very impressive at Ascot on debut over 7f, but I wasn’t convinced she was crying out for a step up to the mile of the May Hill Stakes. The vote goes to Boomer (3.45) representing Tom Dascombe who scored at Goodwood last time over 7f despite pulling too hard and, arguably, not handling the bend too well. If more amenable to restraint she will be tough to beat and is another each way selection at 5/1 with BetVictor.
Good Birthday (4.55) was only raised 3lbs for scoring at Beverley last time when he was value for more than the winning margin of half-a-length. Oisin Murphy takes over in the saddle this afternoon. Connections believe Davydenko will improve for the step up to 10f for the first time, but he will have to against Andrew Balding progressive three-year-old who needs to win to have a chance of getting a run in the Cambridgeshire next month.
At Epsom I hope to see The Dancing Poet make the 10f Handicap a true test which I feel might assist Knowing (2.50) whose jockey seemed more interested in keeping in Luke Morris on Albanita than winning his race at Yarmouth last time. George Wood keeps the ride on James Fanshawe’s three-year-old.
C’Est No Mour (3.25) beat Allegiant in the Amateur Riders’ Derby on Bank Holiday Monday but has little in hand on the second at the revised terms. That said I thought the winner got to the front perhaps a little too soon last time and I hope he can follow up in the Jump Jockey’s Derby. Dual Grand National winning jockey Leighton Aspell takes the ride this afternoon.
The Lamplighter (5.05) is 7lbs higher than when scoring at Goodwood last time under Cieren Fallon who didn’t claim on that occasion as it was an apprentice event. George Baker has his string in goof form and Fallon can take off 5lbs this afternoon. He gets the vote in a competitive finale.
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