ST LEGER FESTIVAL (SATURDAY)

13:50 - bet365 Champagne Stakes

The opening contest on ITV sees the youngsters take centre stage in this two year old Group 2 race. Although it may seem a tad unfair to their rivals I can only view this as a two horse race with fellow course and distance winners Albasheer and Chindit the most likely to maintain their unbeaten records. Based solely on their maiden runs I’d argue that Albasheer has the better form but Chindit has subsequently gone on to win a listed event at Ascot. It’s such a fifty fifty so, although it’s not something I’d normally do, I’m actually going to suggest going for the reverse forecast because I cannot see past the duo but neither can I split them.

Undoubtedly “Sod’s Law” will prevail and one of the other five runners will romp home instead but I’d be surprised if the winner didn’t hail from those two.

ALBASHEER / CHINDIT (REV FC)

14:25 - bet365 Portland Handicap

A cavalry charge awaits in this illustrious sprint handicap where A Momentofmadness has a solid record. He’s tackled this contest on three separate occasions and has bagged success and a second both of which came with more weight on his back. A third at Goodwood earlier in the year saw him return to something like his best and he should be primed for this race. Would be shocked if he didn’t make the frame.

Another runner with decent course form is Wentworth Falls who seems criminally overpriced at around 20/1. He’s produced solid performances in this race without entering the winners enclosure but has grabbed third off the same handicap mark. An outsider who looks to be a forgotten horse that punters should latch onto.

A MOMENTOFMADNESS (E/W)

WENTWORTH FALLS (E/W)

15:00 - bet365 Park Stakes

Some familiar faces such as Limato and One Master line up to take on their younger rivals in the likes of Molatham and Wichita. A mouth watering clash in which you could easily make a case for the majority of these however it’s the five year old Breathtaking Look that could be a bit of a sleeper in the lineup. A winner at Group 3 level including here at Doncaster, is unbeaten at the course and a decent second behind Dream Of Dreams two starts back looks like very good form. Yes she’s finished behind a few of these previously but rarely runs a poor race and if some of the more well fancied protagonists falter it wouldn’t be crazy to see her pick up the pieces.

BREATHTAKING LOOK (E/W)

15:35 - Pertemps St Leger Stakes

The fifth and final classic of the season is the showpiece event of the entire four day meeting at Doncaster as we see a relatively strong lineup in this years St Leger renewal.

The fairytale would be witnessing the William Muir trained Pyledriver finish with his head in front. After a very convincing success at York in the Great Voltigeur showed his previous form was no fluke and he became a lively contender but I hate to be a party pooper yet I fear his inconsistency may be his undoing and isn’t my idea of the winner.

English King was well fancied for the Epsom Derby but has failed to deliver in his last two outings so it seems that the UK’s best chance of training the winner falls at the feet of Hukum. A solid winner of the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes but it’s hard to work out how good that race is and although he’s beaten all before him this year this looks a marked step up.

This years Leger looks set to head across the Irish Sea with Galileo Chrome and Santiago the ones that catch my eye. Joseph O’Brien managed to grab a winner at the Yorkshire venue on Thursday and his charge Galileo Gold aims to make it four wins in a row. Having only competed at listed level at his best he’s going to need to make a marked step up but can finish in the mix.

All this being said however it seems it’s going to be O’Brien senior who takes the spoils in the form of Santiago. Frankie Dettori is booked to ride the Irish Derby and Queens Vase winner who wasn’t miles behind in the Goodwood Cup. A drop in trip and up against his fellow three year olds should make this an easier task and it’s hard to see anything but a Ballydoyle success.

SANTIAGO (WIN)




written by Rory Paddock

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