David Bowie day today, the 3rd day of the Doncaster St Leger Festival, which has the bet365 Doncaster Cup Stakes as its centrepiece at 3.15.
Most of the seven strong field have yet to prove themselves over this two and a quarter mile trip, but the one runner that is guaranteed to get every yard is The Grand Visir, which was Aladdin‘s title, in case you were wondering about the headline.
Ian Wlliams‘ 6-y-o was last seen staying on strongly at the end of two and a half miles at Goodwood at the end of July, off a mark of 104, which puts it in with every chance in this race. There should just about be enough juice in the ground and with Big Jim on board, this looks the value bet at 9-1.
Telly coverage starts with the bet365 Mallard Handicap over 14 furlongs with a ‘dead eight’ field.
Favourite is the somewhat enigmatic (long word for ‘dodge’) Alfaatik, which surprised connections by winning at York after 15 months off the track. Up 5lbs and upped in trip, 7-4 looks too short and we’ll go for Apparate instead.
Roger Varian‘s 4-y-o won two of his 6 starts as a 3-y-o and showed a really good attitude on his return to action before running out of steam over today’s trip at Ascot. Said to be purring at home, this Dubawi colt will do for us, each way, at 6-1.
The bet365 Handicap at 2.10 is just about the most interesting race on the card, as there are grounds for thinking that Ghalyoon is a handicap snip.
Marcus Tregoning‘s 5-y-o has had just 4 runs in its life, two last season when it ran in Novice events giving lumps of weight to some ultra progressive 3-y-os. A second to Nazeef (now rated 114) was followed by a victory over Posted (now rated 105) in July 2019, after which the horse was not seen again until reappearing on August 15th on this course.
Running off a mark of 87, Ghalyoon was unlucky not to win, going down by a neck after suffering interference late on and, off just one lb higher and assuming all is well, we suggest going ‘all in’.
For a safety net, we also recommend a bet on Tranchee, which quickened nicely clear of its field at Haddock last time, only to be nailed at the death. Today’s slight drop in trip looks a good move.
The Bombardier Flying Childers Stakes at 2.40 has a filly at the head of the market, notwithstanding the statistic that not one of the fairer sex has won this race in the past 20 years. Sacred from the William Haggas operation is the horse in question, but 11-8 is no fun, so we will really buck the trend by opting for an each way bet on the other filly(!), the Oirishtrained Frenetic. Ger Lyons‘s flier carried a penalty at the Curragh last time out and still beat the boys, so she just might be good enough.
Last race covered is the bet365 Flying Scotsman Stakes and we are going to leave this to the favourite One Ruler.
Charlie Appleby has a high opinion of this beautifully bred colt, which made mincemeat of useful opposition at Sandown last time out and should take the leap to Listed Class in its impressive stride. A win bet at 13-8 please.
Back tomorrow for a glance at the eponymous race.
The Grand Visir 3.15 Doncaster 1pt e/w @ 9-1 (2 places)
Apparate 1.40 Doncaster 1pt e/w @ 6-1
Ghalyoon 2.10 Doncaster 6pts win @ 11-4
Tranchee 2.10 Doncaster 1pt e/w @ 6-1
Frenetic 2.40 Doncaster 1pt e/w @ 5-1
One Ruler 3.45 Doncaster 4pts win @ 13-8