Doncaster leads the way with the second day of the St Leger Festival with afternoon cards from Chepstow and Epsom. The evening meeting is on the Tapeta at Wolverhampton. These are my best bets for racing on Thursday – PJ –
Doncaster Tips –
5.35 – Doncaster – The ground look sure to be perfect for day two of this famous meeting and as long as there is no jar we should get a big run out of the former group class sprinter DOC HAY. The former Portland winner has fallen from grace in the last 18 months with his handicap mark having declined from 100 down to 87. However, he had a confidence boosting success in a claimer last time out at Beverley where he seemed to enjoy himself at the head of affairs and will relish the likely fast pace on tap here.
Richard Fahey’s Regiment is certainly capable of going well for the classic generation having been given a very easy time in the closing stages of a hot three-year-old handicap at York last time out.
The progressive Shore Step will need the ground to dry out substantially to follow up his impressive success at Ascot last time out, but the likes of old Tagula Night and fellow youngster PENNINE WARRIOR also have claims. The last named is finally fulfilling the promise he showed at the beginning of his two-year-old campaign and could have a real shot at these up against the stands’ side rail from stall number 20 and is worth a saver.
Epsom Tips –
3.35 – Epsom – I thought that old SNOW BAY ran a cracking race at Thirsk last time out and down to a rating of 72 and on a track that favours front-runners he could go pretty close here.
On his previous run at Goodwood he has every chance of reversing form with the top weight Aqua Ardens and at the very worst I would make him a back to lay here.King of Macedon was terribly unlucky the last time he visited the Surrey track and has a real chance on that piece of form and I am prepared to write off his tailed off run at Beverley last time out as it was just too bad to be true.
Of the remainder, Weekendatbernies is respected on his handicap debut win over course and distance in July and is only 1lb higher here, while the lightly raced Pactolus has dropped to a very attractive mark with the possibility of more to come.
Wolverhampton Tips –
8.00 – Wolverhampton – Now that he has returned to winning form, METHAALY may be worth sticking with in this low grade handicap especially as he races off the same mark for his apprentice success at Bath last week. The veteran should get the wholesale gallop that he needs through the race and may fire through in the closing stages to see off the likes of the lightly raced Reaffirmed (should enjoy the step back up to six furlongs) and the in-form top weights Rise To Glory and Armelle.
9.00 – Wolverhampton – Now could be the time to strike with STRAWBERRY MARTINI following three maiden runs and a promising first handicap outing at Windsor in July.
On that occasion the daughter of Mount Nelson stayed on in eye-catching fashion when three and three quarter lengths fourth of nine behind Sleeper after coming under the cosh fully half a mile from home.
This bigger field should yield a faster pace which will suit the disappointing Sir Mark Prescott charge Mountain Kingdom while I think that Men Don’t Cry is the best of those at the top end of the handicap, while Daaree would be interesting if positive in the market place.
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