The St Leger is the feature of Saturday racing. The oldest classic is not quite the force of old but it always provides a thrill and the support card looks really entertaining. We think it could be a great days punting. So enjoy the delights of Town Moor and the Roodee on More 4.
2:00 DON At The Races Champagne Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings) Cl1
Just the six runners in a race that has produced the likes of Toronado, Outstrip, Emotionless and Poets Voice. The name Hannon has taken the spoils 3 times and Saeed Bin Suroor twice. The latter brings the favourite to the contest with Thunder Snow who looks capable of winning this race after a good 2nd in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood and the former fancies the chances of Majeste who was a good winner at Newbury but has to improve again to win a race of this quality. Rivet was impressive for William Haggas at York and comes in to the reckoning. His trainer really likes him and big things are expected. Given good ground he is the selection. Tommy Taylor has done nothing wrong but this might be a bridge too far.
2 units e/w Rivet
2:15 CHS Handicap Cl3 7f122y
Chester handicaps are notoriously difficult with both course and distance form being imperative as is a good draw. Fortunately we have been racing in Chester for quite some years. Alejandro fulfils that criteria and will be well backed to win again at Chester but he may have to give best to stable mate Steel Train who is also well drawn and looks to be coming to the boil at the right time for this race. The Irish raider, Plough Boy is threatening and has been brought over to mop up this prize money but he doesn’t look in top form just yet. You ignore Johnston and Norton at your peril and they team up with Haley Bop who was a good 2nd the time before last but disappointed recently. Steel Train is the selection
1 unit e/w Steel Train
The Portland is one of those races that you have either always done well with or never. It just seems to favour certain horses and we think we can find four within this large field who fit the criteria. The first is Related for Paul Midgley. Second last time out at Chelmsford over 6f which is just a bit far as was the quick 6f at Goodwood where he ran his best. This 5.5f should be ideal and his stable are firing again now. Captain Colby wont have been missed by many . Unexposed and a good third at York over this trip last time out. His placed effort behind Alpha Delphini earlier in the season looks even better now. Mukaynis is our lively outsider. Chester didn’t suit but this straight trip is ideal for Kevin Ryans runner and finally we haven’t given up on Olivia Fallow who might be the only horse to get put up for finishing 6th.
1 unit e/w Captain Colby | 1 unit e/w Related
2:50 CHS Stand Cup (Listed Race) Cl1 1m4f66y
Foundation’s Group 3 form at Haydock earlier this year brings the best ratings to this race and John Gosden will be confident that this son of Zoffany will be good enough to win a listed contest. Yorkidding has tried listed company twice without success but you could argue her recent run at that level in Germany was as good as anything she has done and with no rain the firmer ground will help her cause. Desert Encounter has about 8lbs to find to win this race and whilst that’s possible it’s not likely. Ralph Beckett has been all conquering this year and his filly Mountain Bell is an improver. Can she improve a stone from her Lingfield performance back in May. He has certainly given her time to grow and she may prove to the biggest danger to the favourite. In the absence of having seen this filly and how much she may have matured we will side with the favourite.
4 units win Foundation
Breton Rock is the proven 7f horse at this level and this specialist distance sees regular winners run well. He may well have had better days though. Richard Pankhurst was back to his promising best when winning last time out in what was a very good race and his chances are well respected. The Happy Prince ran his best race last Sunday in Ireland but he has had a lot of chances and he shouldn’t be good enough. Adaay has disappointed this year but at his best he is better than almost all of these. The big question in this race is working out if the Gosden horse can run as well again, or even improve for his last run. If he does he wins.
2 units e/w Richard Pankhurst
3:45 DON St Leger Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (Entires Colts & Fillies) Cl1 1m6f132y
Idaho is rightly the short priced favourite for this race. He was just behind the Derby winner in Ireland and then it took a little while to wind up at York but he was well on top at the end suggesting this trip is ideal. The Aiden Obrien horse will take some beating. The Gosden camp fancy the chances of Muntahaa and he had a warm up run over just short of this trip when winning at Chester recently after a strong run at Ascot in the King Edward. He and Ventura Storm are all that stand between an O’Brien 1,2,3 and we still wouldn’t bet against it. It doesnt look the strongest race but at an irrelevant trip this race has ceased to be a jewel in the triple crown and for that reason it is a good betting race for us.
5 units win Idaho.