Final day of the Doncaster St Leger meeting today and 3.35 is the time for the famous race, first run in 1776, when the USA was still a colony (just).
10 colts and one filly are due to contest this Group 1 event and it is a highly competitive affair, with at least half a dozen in with a chance.
Shading favouritism at 7-2 is the Aiden O’Brien trained Capri, not seen since defeating the mighty Cracksman in the Irish Derby back in early July. Missed his York target after a dodgy scope and it’s a lot to ask even his esteemed trainer to produce his charge at his absolute peak, especially trying a new distance and for these reasons he is passed over for betting purposes.
Crystal Ocean and Coronet are the next two in the market, but we think both will come up just short of what is required to win this, so let’s move on to the fourth fav and recommend an each way bet on Defoe at 7-1.
Unbeaten in four runs this season, ‘Jermaine’ began his 3-y-o life winning a Newbury handicap off a mark of 88 and what a certainty he must have been that day. Since then, another handicap was pouched off 98, a Listed event was swallowed up and finally the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury fell to this smooth travelling, rapidly improving son of Dalakhani. The extra furlong he will face today can only be a plus and, with Roger Varian exuding confidence, a run for our hard-earned is just about guaranteed.
Two other Group races grace this excellent card, the first, at 2.25 being the Alan Wood Plumbing And Heating Park Stakes, over 7f. After wondering what a plumber’s hourly rate is, to be sponsoring a Group 2 race at Donny, our reliable pin has landed on Martin Meade’s runner Acclaim as the likely winner.
A Group 2 winner on his last run as a 3-y-o, Acclaim has taken time to get back to that level this season, but has recaptured his mojo during August and finished a close second in the Group 1 Prix Maurice De Gheest at Deauville just over a month ago. That race was half a furlong shorter than today’s and the colt would probably have won with the extra 110 yards. No fears about the softer going or the trip make this a decent bet at 5-2.
The 2-y-os take centre stage at 3.00 in the Group 2 Howcroft Industrial Supplies Champagne Stakes and leading the market is the unbeaten Godolphin owned Mythical Magic at 9-4. An easy Ascot maiden win was followed by a comfortable Listed success at Deauville, both on similar ground to that which he will encounter this afternoon. Frankly, this looks by far the best form on offer and, although not exciting, the 3-1 should be taken in a win bet.
On the off-chance that you need to get out of trouble after the three races covered above, then don’t hesitate to lash into Sinfonietta e/w at 4-1 in the 4.45.
You heard it here first.
Defoe 3.35 e/w @ 13-2
Acclaim 2.25 win @ 11-4
Mythical Magic 3.00 win @ 9-4
Sinfonietta 4.45 e/w @ 4-1