15:35 Doncaster – St Leger
September sees the racing action return to Doncaster for the fifth and final Classic of the flat season – The St Leger Stakes. It is the oldest of the five Classic races, having been first run in 1776 and is the final leg of the Triple Crown (after the 2000 Guineas and The Derby).
With the virus earlier in the season now firmly behind them, the Aidan O’Brien stable have been firing in the winners so it is no surprise to see Kew Gardens towards tthe head of the market. A previous Group 1 winner having won the Grand Prix Paris at Longchamp in July, he also showed he has the stamina for this sort of trip when putting in a commanding performance to win the Queens Vase by over four lengths from stablemate Southern France. He was last seen finishing a reasonable third in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York (won by Old Persian) last month and this actually bodes well for the St Leger as nine of the last twenty-two St Leger winners finished in the first four of the Great Voltigeur before winning here.
That said, fillies have an excellent record in this race and news that the unbeaten John Gosden runner Lah Ti Dah is going to take her chance here means that we now have a mouth-watering clash on our hands. A six-length maiden winner on mainly soft ground, she then stepped straight up to Listed level and won the Pretty Polly by over three lengths on genuine fast ground, before a set-back meant she missed some big races over the summer. Returning at York last month, she won the Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes by an incredible ten lengths and with trainer and jockey having excellent records in this race she would have to be considered in with a fantastic chance of gaining a first Group 1 victory today.
Maid Up has won four of her last five, including a Group 3 race at Goodwood last time out, and was only a short-head away from victory in the Group 2 Lillie Langtree Stakes (won by Pilaster) prior to that. With her stable in such good form she is deserving of a mention and could sneak a place if continuing to improve, while Charlie Appleby runs Old Persian and Loxley who both arrive in excellent form and have recent Group 2 victories to their names and also have an each way shout in a fascinating St Leger renewal.
LAH TI DAH (WIN) – NAP
13:50 Doncaster – Holmeswood (WIN)
14:05 Chester – Ravenous (E/W)
14:25 Doncaster – Breton Rock (WIN)
14:40 Chester – Hochfield (WIN)
15:00 Doncaster – Too Darn Hot (WIN)