The Ladbrokes St Leger (3.20pm), the world’s oldest classic, is tomorrow’s highlight and Frankie Dettori will be trying to win the race for a sixth time. He was second on favourite Kite Wood in last year’s renewal, just beaten by stablemate Mastery, but he looks to have an even better chance this time around.
REWILDING was a hugely impressive winner of the Great Voltigeur at York on his last outing, with many of tomorrow’s rivals left trailing in his wake. He appears to be the ideal St Leger type, as he not only has the required mix of speed and stamina, but also that stamp of class.
He absolutely hated the contours of Epsom in the Derby, but still ran on well to finish third behind Workforce and will much prefer this flat track. Connections have already said that if he wins comfortably he will be targeted at the Arc which shows how much they think of him.
Aidan O’Brien has a decent record in the race, but it’s hard to see Midas Touch or Joshua Tree having the speed to trouble him. Snow Fairy was a brilliant winner of both the English and Irish Oaks and she gets a handy weight allowance being a filly. However, there has to be a major stamina doubt with her and no filly has won the Leger since User Friendly in 1992.
Dandino and Arctic Cosmos are decent enough yardsticks, but they don’t look good enough. If the heavens open tonight, then Ted Spread would have an each-way squeak, but the selection has to be Rewilding at 6/4 with Paddy Power. However, it is worth pointing out that he doesn’t always travel brilliantly early on in his races, so he might hit a bigger price in-running on Betdaq.
The Doncaster crowds love nothing more than a Dettori flying dismount and they may not have to wait long if SAAMIDD wins the opening Champagne Stakes (2.10pm) as I expect him to. He created a really good impression when winning a warm looking Newbury maiden by seven lengths and he has reportedly come out of that race really well. Approve and Waiter’s Dream are the dangers, but the Godolphin runner could be a little bit special and he is my best bet of the day.
The Portland Handicap (2.45pm) is as fiercely competitive as always and whoever wins may attempt to pull off a quick double in the Ayr Gold Cup next weekend. JUDGE ‘N JURY always runs in these big sprint handicaps and although he hasn’t won for over a year he looks to be coming back to form. He loves Doncaster and his last run at the Curragh behind Astrophysical Jet was better than it looked, as he was squeezed for room up against the stands rail.
For those of you that can’t wait until tomorrow don’t miss GENERAL SYNOD in the 3.25pm at Sandown this afternoon. The Queen’s horse ran a stormer on debut at Newbury behind a John Gosden hotpot and he should be able to shed his maiden tag here before attempting a crack at the Racing Post Trophy next month.
Finally, Sir Mark Prescott’s yard is absolutely flying at the moment and his MOTRICE has an excellent each-way chance in this afternoon’s Doncaster Cup (2.40pm). This three-year-old filly is hugely progressive having finished third to Eastern Aria in a Group 3 at Glorious Goodwood and only has to carry 7st12lbs this afternoon. Her master trainer won this race with a similar type, Alleluia, in 2001 and history could well repeat itself.
MOTRICE e/w 2.40pm Doncaster (today)
GENERAL SYNOD 3.25pm Sandown (today)
SAAMIDD 2.10pm Doncaster (tomorrow)
JUDGE ‘N JURY e/w 2.45pm Doncaster (tomorrow)
REWILDING 3.20pm Doncaster (tomorrow)