Final day of the St Leger meeting and our ante post bet Leading Light will hopefully manage to win the final classic of the season. I have listed the bet below but it is not an additional bet, I had thought of putting in an extra bet as cover which was based upon over 20 years of trends for the St Leger but decided against it. You can read why in the analysis.
Pether's Moon was defeated by the slow pace of the race which played into the hands of Cambourne and ended up third. High Jinx added to the run of seconds after Times Up stole a lead in the final couple of furlongs. Sir Reginald ended our losing run and puts us ahead for the meeting which just shows you how things can change quickly especially with the odds we play at.
Nick tells me that over 50% of the last 80 races we have played in have finished first or second. The number of seconds is frustrating I know, but the wheels of fortune are bound to swing back our way, hopefully starting with Sir Reginald.
We may have a couple of selections for Sunday from Longchamp if I can establish accurate prices for the selections.
2.40 Doncaster Ladbrokes Portland Handicap (CLASS 2)
I was originally going to put up last years winner Doc Hay to win here, but it is very hard to win these big handicaps back to back. Although I am pretty sure that he will place as he looks to be coming back to form at the right time.
El Viento won well for us last time but has gone up considerably in the weights and this is a more difficult race but he is at least in decent form.
Steps is a frustrating horse, as he is undoubtedly talented, but just has difficulty winning races which makes him a horse I won;t select plus he is coupled with a poor draw. High draws have dominated in sprints here and especially in this race.
Confessional won nicely last time, but got the run of a poor race and he is unlikely to get that chance here especially after a six pounds rise and a poor draw.
Bogart is not drawn above 15 which is a negative, but it looked to me that he is back to his best and that makes him pretty close to Group class. He has won off a higher mark and could actually make all to win this. He would have been the sole selection here if drawn high but I have put a safety net in place with a high drawn horse.
Barnet Fair has been tipped by me before and he can be a bit frustrating, but his recent form is good and he has a perfect draw. He is far too big a price to be ignored and can use the rail to keep him straight.
3.15 Doncaster OLBG Park Stakes (Group 2) (CLASS 1)
Caspar Netscher lost narrowly for us at Goodwood but then disappointed at Newbury and he seems to be regressing. He is perhaps better suited to overseas racing where the pace is slower and the race is decided in the final furlong.
Pastoral Player’s rating is based on his past performances and he is probably just below this level and is held by both Aljamaaheer and Lockwood.
Aljamaaheer is the market leader and has a good chance to win here but there is zero value at his probable price. He could be vulnerable to an improver such as Gregorian or Viztoria.
Gregorian lost to Aljamaaheer earlier this season but has improved since then and appears to still have some scope to improve; however like Aljamaaheer he provides no value. If the race is run at a slow pace it could play into his hands similar to Camborne on Friday.
Viztoria gets a filly’s allowance and her 6th in the 1000 Guineas on ground which was too quick for her reads well. She has placed in a Group 2 already and can get her head in front here if kept handy in the final two furlongs. Wayne Lordan is a top jockey with a decent strike rate when riding 3 year olds in the UK.
3.50 Doncaster Ladbrokes St Leger Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1)
I mentioned in my preamble that I had actually thought of putting out a cover bet which was Cap O’Rushes each way. The reason for that was that both he and the filly Talent are the only two horses which met the majority of the key race trends, which won twenty of the last twenty two St Legers. However fillies have a poor win record so I discounted Talent and Cap O’Rushes ran as if he had a problem last time. However I am personally going to put both in a combination forecast with Leading Light.
Galileo Rock at this stage is a doubtful runner due to the rain softened ground but should he show up he certainly has place prospects and should stay on breeding.
Libertarian was runner up in the Epsom Derby before running very poorly in the Irish Derby and I am not convinced that he will stay in a true run race. I think the Ballydoyle runners will make sure that there is not a muddling pace as Leading Light stays all day and won’t want a slow run race.
Foundry probably lacks experience to win this but is sure to give a good account if he handles the ground but he looks like he has a fast ground action after watching his run against Telescope.
Leading Light is a definite stayer having won over 2 furlongs further and is unbeaten this season. Joseph O’Brien would have had the pick of the Ballydoyle runners and has stuck with our selection which is a positive. My only concern about him is his lack of a recent run as he will stay and handle the ground. Leading Light will not be proofed as he is an ante post bet.
4.25 Doncaster Napoleons Casinos And Restaurants Handicap (CLASS 2)
Charles Camoin won a similar race to this last time but over two furlongs less and if this is a true run race he may struggle to stay. His only race over today’s distance he was very disappointing, however he is a horse I am keeping an eye on for next season.
Bishop Roko does stay and goes well for James Doyle, but he has to give our selection eight pounds despite being rated 1 pound lower. The weight difference is likely to put paid to his chances although he may run into a place.
Voodoo Prince is highly thought of and is beautifuly bred but probably will be better over shorter. He has disappointed to date with only a couple of wins at Class 3 level and needs to show a lot of improvement to take this.
The absolute master of weight allowance races is Mark Johnston and he runs Mister Impatience here who looked very good earlier in the season. Since winning in a Class 2 race here a in March but since then he has mainly run against his fellow three year olds in higher class races. He will find this company a lot easier especially with the weight for age allowance. He could make all and will not lack for fitness as all Mark Johnston’s always strip fit.