IT IS not the same as York but nearby Doncaster has its own charms, particularly during the four-day William Hill St Leger Festival.
The highlight of the meeting, the world’s oldest Classic on Saturday, could have a big impact on the destination of the trainers’ title with John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien battling it out.
We’ll look at that race in detail tomorrow, but Gosden could add a few more pounds to the kitty this afternoon with Enbihaar in the Group Two DFS Park Hill Stakes (2.40pm).
Jim Crowley’s mount has won three of her four starts this campaign, including a dominant display in the Group Two Lillie Langtry Stakes at Glorious Goodwood last month.
She should take the world of beating, but it’s not going to be an easy task to concede 10lbs to Ed Vaughan’s Dame Malliot so it’s just a race to be watched for me.
A better bet is CLOAK OF SPIRITS at 5/2 with Coral in the Group Two William Hill May Hill Stakes (3.45pm), with the king of Town Moor, Andrea Atzeni, in the saddle.
Richard Hannon’s daughter of Invincible Spirit produced an outstanding performance on debut at Ascot back in July where she looked a star in the making.
An entry in next month’s Group One Fillies’ Mile indicates what Hannon thinks of her and she can book her place in that with a win here.
The biggest danger could well be Mark Johnston’s West End Girl who won the Group Three Sweet Solera Stakes at Newmarket on her last start.
That was a good effort after her previously unlucky run at Sandown and I would fear her more than Passion who will have to step up on her Cork maiden success.
With so much prize money on offer for the Weatherbys Racing Bank £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes (3.15pm), it is no surprise to see O’Brien fire three bullets at the pot.
His main hope appears to be market leader Harpocrates who looked to have last month’s Acomb Stakes at his mercy with a furlong to run before being reeled in late on by Valdermoro.
The first-time blinkers seemed to work the oracle that day and the slight drop back in trip is bound to help too.
Pistoletto will find this a lot easier than the Gimcrack, but it is harder to make a case for King Neptune.
However, I am going to take on the Ballydoyle trio with the in-form Keith Dalgleish’s GLASVEGAS who hasn’t been seen since finishing third in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The son of Zebedee was arguably unlucky not to beat O’Brien’s Southern Hills that day when denied daylight at a crucial point.
He sneaks in here at the foot of the weights off just 8st 6lbs and looks to be crying out for this sort of trip.
With those at the top of the weights giving him 10lbs, he looks a great each-way bet at 7/1.
While on the subject of those potentially leniently treated because of their relatively cheap purchase price, it may also pay to take a small each-way chance on SKONTONOVSKI at 33/1.
There aren’t many better trainers of a juvenile around than Richard Spencer and this son of Harbour Watch shaped well last time suggesting a drop back to this trip would help.
Admittedly, he is in much deeper waters here, but he is worth taking a chance on for his shrewd connections.
There is also a bet to be had after the ITV cameras have been turned off, as I like the look of SAVALAS in the Silk Series Lady Riders’ Handicap (4.20pm) at 14/1.
This race is for pro-am female jockeys, so it has to be of interest that the in-form Kevin Ryan has booked Josephine Gordon, as well as reaching for a first-time visor.
The key to this four-year-old is six furlongs on quick ground which he’ll get here and he looks very well-handicapped off a mark of 88.
Glasvegas e/w 3.15pm Doncaster
Skontonovski e/w 3.15pm Doncaster
Cloak Of Spirits 3.45pm Doncaster
Savalas e/w 4.20pm Doncaster