ST LEGER FESTIVAL (WEDNESDAY)

13:40 - bet365 Nursery Handicap

A tricky contest to kick off today’s live ITV action with a case to be made for the majority of the nine entrants. Both Mayaas and Ataser meat once again after clashing at York where Ataser came out on top. A reversal in form wouldn’t be out of the question and both hold solid claims but the Richard Fahey yard are in solid form and the Yorkshire based trainer sends Gumdrop. A winner at the third time of asking at Chester. He should handle this softer ground and although he needs to step up once again shouldn’t be far away.

GUMDROP (WIN)

14:10 - bet365 Scarborough Stakes

A mix of sprinting stalwarts and young pretenders are set to enter the stalls for this listed contest. Dakota Gold is more than capable at this level with a victory in a listed contest two starts back. More than competent on his day but hasn’t got the best record here at Doncaster.

One runner who does have very good course form is seven year old Tarboosh. Trainer Paul Midgley has a decent record with his runners here at the course and although Tarboosh will need to produce his best to compete in this class if course form was anything to go off he’d have a very strong chance.

It’s interesting to note that top-class jockey Frankie Dettori rides for Irish trainer Johnny Murtagh and despite Frankie having a very lengthy career he’s only ever ridden for Murtagh on four occasions but sadly none of them have produced success.

Two year old Acklam Express aims to make it four wins in a row after victories at Hamilton, Goodwood and York. This is a marked step up in class and although he could be a future superstar he still has plenty of questions to answer.

The horse that gets the nod is a course and distance winner who’s unbeaten here at Doncaster. A third behind Battaash in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes earlier this year is by far the best form on offer and is enough to side with Moss Gill.

MOSS GILL (WIN)

14:40 - Mondialiste Leger Legends Classified Stakes

A massive cavalry charge awaits in the fourth race on the card and there’s a duo that could go well at big prices.

The first of the two is the only course and distance victor lining up and Hammer Gun has a strong course record with two wins and two places from eight starts here. He’s now a few pound lower than his last winning mark and 17lbs lower than his highest winning mark. Although he’d prefer the ground to be a tad firmer he shouldn’t be ignored.

Tommy G started the season with high expectations and has seemingly disappointed in most of his outings this term however he steps up to a mile for the first time and I’m hoping it could bring about a change of fortune. Now down in to Class 5 company and with a decent course record to boot it’d be foolish to dismiss his chances.

HAMMER GUN (E/W)

TOMMY G (E/W)

15:15 - bet365 Sceptre Fillies’ Stakes (Group 3)

Trainer Charlie Appleby has his horses going very well of late and Althiqa has been ultra consistent this season. A close second in a Group 3 race at Deauville last time should be enough to see her produce a repeat performance and go close once again.

Foxtrot Lady finished fifth in this race last year but now has the honour of being teamed up with Frankie Dettori. The yard of Andrew Balding are going well of late and she’s more than capable of picking up place money at a big price.

ALTHIQA (E/W)

FOXTROT LADY (E/W)

15:45 - Each Way Extra At bet365 Handicap

As mentioned earlier trainer Andrew Balding has his horses flying and former course and distance winner Pivoine has a great each way claim. He’s unbeaten here at Doncaster, sits 4lbs lower than his last winning mark and should handle the softer ground.

At a bigger price Rise Hall deserves a mention based on a few factors. This son of Frankel represents an owner who has had many a major handicap winner at Yorkshire based courses such as this. Also trainer Martyn Meade has a very good record at Doncaster and the fact that jockey Paul Mulrennan is also very advantageous. He needs to show more now at this level but is handicapped well and can go better than expected.

PIVOINE (E/W)

RISE HALL (E/W)




written by Rory Paddock