SPRINTERS have been hogging the limelight during this year’s Flat season.
Mecca’s Angel, Profitable and Quiet Reflection have all proven themselves to be world class competitors in their discipline.
There’s been a bit more uncertainty with the stayers, though, and that leads us on to Friday’s Doncaster Cup (3.40pm).
Order Of St George can prove his class in Sunday’s Irish St Leger, but the main staying races in the UK this campaign have been shared around.
Prior to last month’s Lonsdale Cup win, Quest For More had been fairly disappointing this season. It was a really impressive display on the Knavesmire, but it wasn’t the deepest of races and he’s not a superstar.
Although he always has to be respected in this kind of event, I’m happy to take him on. Friday’s contest is very competitive and it’s about time that MIZZOU landed a big prize.
Luca Cumani’s five-year-old has won half of his 10 career starts, yet none have been above Group Three level. That could be about to change on Friday afternoon if he can replicate the form of his second to Order Of St George in this year’s Ascot Gold Cup.
The five-year-old has won the last two editions of Ascot’s Sagaro Stakes, but he’s clearly been fragile to train and his trainer is a master at nursing his horses to peak on the day.
Cumani said that he didn’t want to rush Mizzou back for York and it looks like he’s had his eye on this prize for quite some time.
The son of Galileo is the best stayer on these shores on his day and he’s worth supporting at 9/4 with Betway. Clondaw Warrior came very close to winning this race 12 months ago and he’s a truly remarkable nine-year-old.
Just six weeks ago he was winning the hugely valuable Galway Hurdle and he’s since finished second in the American St Leger at Arlington.
He’s certainly racking up the air miles, but I’m not convinced that Friday’s race has been the plan and Mizzou looks a more solid contender.
Clever Cookie and Curbyourenthusiasm have both been slightly disappointing in recent weeks and I’m happy to leave them alone.
Sir Mark Prescott’s progressive three-year-old St Michel is harder to ignore and he looks a live contender for next month’s Cesarewitch.
However, this is a tough race against the older stayers. He’s one to watch for the future.
Richard Fahey landed a double on the opening day of this meeting and I fancy him to scoop the lucky last (5.25pm).
NUNO TRISTAN was disappointing in the Great St Wilfrid, but that display was sandwiched between a third to Hoof It at Goodwood and a fourth from a bad draw in the seven-furlong handicap at the same track a fortnight ago.
This 6 ½ furlong trip is perfect and with the yard in flying form he’s going to be hard to beat. Brian Ellison has had a good campaign and his Northgate Lad looks the biggest threat to my selection.
His last two starts have been on the all-weather, but he is still on a workable mark and could do better.
Betway ambassador Silvestre De Sousa rides Shore Step, who has won over course and distance.
However, Mick Channon’s inmate has been pretty poor this season and will need to rediscover his old form to take a hand here.
Mizzou 3.40pm Doncaster
Nuno Tristan 5.25pm Doncaster