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13:45 Doncaster

A cracking renewal of the Portland although the heavy downpour on Friday could play a significant part come Saturday and any further rain could make this a fairly tough test. Weather predictions to one side, only three of the last dozen winners of this have returned at single figure odds and during that run, only one winner was housed in a single figure stall. Five year olds are another interesting angle for the statisticians as seven from that age have bracket have successfully scored using the same twelve year scale.

Pace looks unlikely to be an issue as plenty have shown their best form when leading or forcing things, Copper Knight must be considered as a result although despite his recent strong showing of form, he faces plenty of competition with the likes of Justanotherbottle, Premier Power and Mr Wagyu, amongst others who like to play at being the hare. Gun to head however, Copper Knight looks the most trustworthy of the pace angles at present and respect is afforded.

Hurricane Ivor looks likely to be suited by the slight step up in trip if his performance at York last time is anything to go by. Bumped at the start and hampered during the run that day, he fairly rattled home and off these terms, he really ought to be finishing ahead of the aforementioned Copper Knight. Despite the obvious advantages for the William Haggas trained market leader, anything quicker than good ground would pose a serious question and his welter burden would require a significant career best to be overcome.

Jawwaal has won twice here from two course visits this season and is an intriguing challenger given the make up of this race. Usually held up, he never really got into the race at Haydock last week although that almost certainly looked a run to keep him ticking over. His mark of ninety-nine demands he show a little more although with so much pace to aim at, it is very easy to see why he has been heavily backed and he is handed the vote.

Count D'orsay has completely lost his way of late, his mark has dropped as a result though and he has begun to slip down the weights. Confidently selecting him here appears a rather thankless task although he does tick plenty of boxes on the trends and any further rain would enhance his chances if he decided to consent.

Venturous has been rather overlooked in the betting for this, much was the same when he caused a rather large upset when scoring at York two starts back. Officially rated higher on the All Weather, there is every chance he could yet match that on turf and the strong early pace really ought to bring him into the equation. Hailing from a yard firing at present, there is every chance he will go close and David Barron trained the winner of this race back in 2010.

Boundless Power got no sort of run when desperately unlucky at Windsor last time, he has attracted strong market support during the build up and respect must be afforded to one so unexposed despite the iffy-looking draw.

Digital is only three and likely has much more to offer than a few of these, Kevin Ryan can do little wrong at present and a three year old won a recent renewal.

Mondammej finally get his head in front last time after a string of good efforts, he could follow up though our vote shall be split between Jawwaal and Ventuous in what looks a fantastic renewal.



(Chris Connolly) 14:00 Chester

Invite was last seen finishing fifth in the Italian Oaks for Marco Botti. She’s now with the high, flying Andrew Balding and makes her first start today. She has a good weight but this is a hard debut race.

Alignak was victorious in this race last year and has some pretty solid form. Moreover, he’s proven he can win first time out. However, he’s going to have to overcome a year long deficit off the track, which could be the deciding factor.

Alounak has always been a smart performer and has been back on the ball in his last few runs. He’s the chosen mount of David Probert and with fitness and current form on his side, he seems the one to beat.


(Kieran McHugh) 14:20 Doncaster

A very small field for this Group 2 but a quality field. After suffering a poor year with his three-year-old’s John Gosden has been flying with his juveniles. He has the short priced favourite in Reach For The Moon. He has won his last two including a Group three last time out. He sets the standard but is priced accordingly.

Lusail has won four of his five races including Group twos the last twice. He carries a 3lb penalty for winning those Group two’s which were over six furlongs but did win over this trip at Newmarket. His form is better than the favourites but this trip and the penalty may catch him out today.

Roger Varian is also having a good year with his juveniles and runs Bayside Boy here. He is a very interesting contender here; he’s only had two runs but beat Kind by a bigger distance than Lusail had previously. He was then beaten by just a head by the well regarded Masekela. He holds the same fancy entries as the two market leaders but as this is his first Group race, he seems to be going under the radar. He is open to any amount of improvement.

Twilight Jet is outclassed but will collect some nice prize money for finishing fourth.

Bayside Boy is open to plenty of improvement and can win at the expense of some shorter priced rivals. He offers some value here.


(Steve Marriott)

14:35 Chester

The Homeserve Handicap is a hotly contested 1 mile 6 furlong handicap race where currently 9 head to post. The going is soft at the time of writing.

The current market leader is, the Dr Koukash owned, Mancini who has recently started to show some signs that he may be able to refind some of the potential of his early career form again. He seemed a very consistent, young horse before finding the transition to handicapping very tough. He came 2nd last time out just behind the likeable Solent Gateway. For a horse that's quite inconsistent though, I'm happy to try and take him on and that comes in the way of Nuits St Georges.

I believe that this race is tailor made for Nuits St Georges. The ground will suit, the trip will suit and David Menuisier is taking the long trip up from Sussex to Chester for this race. He was pulled out of the Mallard handicap at Doncaster on Friday after being entered for both races and will now run here. David Menuisier has a fantastic stable of middle to longer distance horses and I believe Nuits St Georges is primed for this race. He's currently (at the time of writing) a very backable 5/1 if you wanted to play each way and SkyBet are even offering 4 places. But I'm backing him to win.


(Charlie Sharp)

15:00 Doncaster

With nine of the last ten winners of this race prevailing at odds of 9/2 or less it seems prudent to look towards those at the head of the market for the most likely winner, so we will begin with the early favourite Laneqash who was only beaten a head over course and distance at this meeting last season and put in an eye-catching run when second to Sacred in the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes at Newbury last month. His only disappointing performance to date came in testing ground so he wouldn't want too much rain between now and the off but all in all he looks to hold a favourites chance.

It's interesting that despite the above stat about the odds, only one of the last ten winners actually won on their last run before taking the spoils in this race, so on that basis alone Danyah could be up against it. That said, stats are sometimes there to be broken and with Owen Burrows' runner we have a prior course and distance winner who has won on ground from good-to-firm through to soft and showed good battling qualities when winning at Ascot when last seen so looks to be the percentage call with no concerns over conditions and both trip and course form all in his favour.

D'Bai was a close second in this race in 2018 but disappointed last time out so the ever consistent Glorious Journey looks the stable first-string, while Oh This Is Us has a decent record at the course and gets on well with Tom Marquand although may find this trip on the short side nowadays.

DANYAH (WIN) (Dean Kilbryde) 15:35 Doncaster

Britain’s oldest classic the St Leger is the feature event at Doncaster.

Hurricane Lane quite rightly heads the market. He has improved all season and his lifetime record currently stands at five wins from six starts. His one defeat in the Derby where he lost a shoe and possibly didn’t handle the unique quirks of Epsom.

There has to be a question asked about his stamina stepping up in trip, but in his latest two starts particularly the Irish Derby, his stamina won him the race. Also with some recent rainfall which undoubtedly suits the horse it’s very difficult to pick any holes in his chances.

Mojo Star is a very talented horse. He has every right to play a part in this contest having finished a place in front of today’s favourite in the Derby, but as mentioned earlier Hurricane Lane had some excuses that day and comprehensively reversed that form at the Curragh.

Trying to find an each way angle here is not easy as there is very little between the rest of the field.

Scope is my idea of a value each way option. He beat Mojo Star in the mud on his two year old debut and that performance combined with his pedigree screams stamina. Based on the fact some rain has hopefully gotten into the ground and a step up in trip may bring about enough improvement for him to run into a place at huge odds.

SCOPE (E/W) (Matt Polley)

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