The ITV (4) cameras will be at Doncaster this afternoon for the second day of the St Leger meeting and the ground, at the time of writing, was described as good to soft (soft in places) ahead of the opening day although there is no further rain forecast between now and the final classic of the season on Saturday.
There are two Group 2 contests this afternoon beginning with the May Hill Stakes over a mile for 2-year-old fillies. Peach Tree (2.25) was no match for stablemate Just So Wonderful at the Curragh earlier in the month, but the latter is BetVictor’s 5/2 favourite for the Gp 1 Moyglare Stakes this weekend and I’m not convinced the home fillies are in the same class as that impressive winner. The selection is 5/1 with BetVictor and is an each way selection.
The once-raced Dubai Beauty heads the market at 10/3 with BetVictor but she and the runner up (Posted) ran near to the stands’ rails on debut and the runner up let the form down when finishing last of eight – albeit not beaten too far – in Group 3 class at Goodwood last month.
I am disappointed to see David Egan not in the plate for Pilaster (3.00) in the Park Hill Stakes given the young jockey has ridden the filly to win her all three starts so far this season including the Lilly Langtry Stakes at Goodwood last time.
Roger Varian’s filly carries a 3lbs penalty for that narrow success, but the runner up (Maid Up) has subsequently dotted up and connections have decided to supplement her for the Leger at the weekend.
Andrea Atzeni takes over in the plate this afternoon and I expect a big run from this daughter of Nathaniel who is 7/4 with BetVictor to make it four out of four this term.
In the opener I feel Lady Cosette (1.50) might be well-treated off her opening mark having finished runner up back at 6f at Windsor last time. Jeremy Noseda won the corresponding race three years ago and the Newmarket handler fits his filly with a first-time visor this afternoon. The selection is 11/2 at BetVictor and can reward each way support with William Buick again in the saddle.
I hope to see a big run from Louis Treize (3.35) in the valuable Sales’ race over the six-and-a-half-furlong trip. The selection was a facile winner at Newcastle on his second start having shaped with promise on debut at Doncaster back in July. The selection is 13/2 with BetVictor who are betting 1/5th odds first four home.
Richard Hannon’s Aim Power (9/2 with BetVictor) and Rathbone (14/1) are two more to consider in a very competitive 22-runner field.
There is a decent Beginners’ Chase at Listowel where Pallaskenry is likely to be inconvenienced by the forecast heavy ground and preference is for Itsallguesswork (4.55) who represents Gordon Elliot and Davy Russell. The selection only has a maiden hurdle win to his name, and is another who would prefer better ground, but he travelled well for a long time at Galway on his penultimate start and looked ready for a step up to three miles when runner up last time.
Shanning (5.25) drops back to the minimum trip having looked a non-stayer over the best part of three miles at Galway last month from a 2lbs lower mark. The mare had previously won a novice hurdle over this trip and she has just 10st 7lbs to carry in this valuable hurdle.
The Owen Burrows yard were out of sorts when Muraahin (4.30) disappointed at Salisbury last time but the yard had a welcome winner at Leicester earlier in the week and Jim Crowley takes the mount in the Novice event. The filly Chrisellaine is fitted with a first-time hood returning from a 12-month break but must carry a 7lbs penalty for Charlie Hills.
Landue (5.35) escapes a penalty for winning an apprentice handicap over C&D earlier in the month and I will be disappointed if Marcus Tregoning’s 3-y-old cannot land his hat-trick with Finley Marsh good value for his 5lbs claim. He is drawn out on the wing in stall ten, but he looks ahead of the handicapper at present.