Three of the last eight winners of the Racing Post Trophy have gone on to land the Epsom Derby the following season and connections of current ante-post favourite ST NICHOLAS ABBEY will be hoping he can follow in the hoof-prints of High Chaparral, Motivator and Authorized. The stable have already won this race on four occasions and this son of Montjeu can make it win number five.
I’m always keen to step in and support an O’Brien trained runner when the Ballydoyle maestro opts to run only one in a race and it is significant that he opted to withdraw his three other potential runners at yesterday’s declaration stage. St Nicholas Abbey has proved his ability to handle heavy ground and if the heavens do open, he’ll be best equipped to handle the potential easy going. He is reportedly pretty high up in the pecking order at home and will start a lot shorter than the current 9/4 if conditions do continue to ease.
I marginally prefer him to Elusive Pimpernel who wouldn’t mind a little bit of rain, but would struggle if the ground became soft. Yes, the 9/2 available with Boylesports looks decent each-way value, but he may get run off his feet again early and trade even bigger on Betdaq in-running. Al Zir and Coordinated Cut both come with huge reputations, but should struggle to get past St Nicholas Abbey.
MIA’S BOY makes plenty of appeal in the 4.40pm contest back over a strongly run seven furlongs. The five-year-old goes really well at Doncaster with form figures of 154 from his only three visits to the track. He will relish the forecasted rain and looks a decent each-way proposition in what doesn’t look the strongest of contests. He ran really well at Wolverhampton last time behind Gitano Hernando and showed that he is running back into form after two disappointing displays at York and Goodwood.
Over at Newbury tomorrow and John Gosden saddles a very nice two-year-old in the opener called SIR PITT. The son of Tiger Hill didn’t have the best of journeys up to Newcastle for his racecourse debut and ran quite well considering when a running-on fifth. He’ll know more about the job in hand tomorrow and should go close. The same can be said for the Sir Michael Stoute trained BLISSFUL MOMENT who looks sure to improve from his first outing in the 4.20pm contest. He finished with a rattle that day and should take all the beating tomorrow.
Finally, for those of you that cannot wait until tomorrow, look out for ORIENTAL CAT on his debut in this afternoon’s 1.15pm at Newbury. He has Tamaathul to beat, but is pretty useful and won’t be far away.
ORIENTAL CAT e/w 1.15pm Doncaster (Today)
SIR PITT 1.30pm Newbury (Tomorrow)
ST NICHOLAS ABBEY 3.30pm Doncaster (Tomorrow)
BLISSFUL MOMENT 4.20pm Newbury (Tomorrow)
MIA’S BOY e/w 4.40pm Doncaster (Tomorrow)