The focus is firmly on the two-year-olds on the opening day of the Doncaster Lege meeting, where ITV are bringing us the May Hill, Carrie Red Nursey and Weatherby’s £300,000 Stakes.
Carrie Red Nursery
Stylistique has yet to win a race but comes in here rated five-pounds superior to his closest rival. Roger Varian’s charge wasn’t beaten far in fourth when last seen in the Group 3 Prestige Stakes and must go close.
Kevin Ryan’s yard has hit top form of late and is represented by recent winner Galadriel, who only won a small event at Beverley but was thought good enough to run in the Albany earlier in the year and there could be more to come.
Company Mix showed the benefit of his debut when winning at the second time of asking but came up short at Windsor and I think may struggle in this better company.
Oisin takes the ride on Ed Vaughan’s Ultra Violet who was impressive on debut and then ran far too free when a beaten favourite in the Sweet Solera. She’s not straightforward but the trip should suit and has definite ability.
Selection: Ultra Violet – E/W
Park Hill Stakes
Four-year-olds have taken the last three renewals of this Group 2 contest with the likes of Simple Verse, Wild Coco and God Given all recent winners. I think it’ll go the way of a four-year-old once again in the shape of Enbihaar. The lightly-raced filly has won three of her four starts this season and was a very easy winner of the Lillie Langtry last time out. I find it hard to see anything beating her.
The most likely danger should come from Dame Malliot who was a Group 2 winner at France in August, following an easy victory of a listed race at HQ. She looks like a nice filly for the future but may come up short here.
I found it hard to see any other horse winning but there is the dead-eight runners so there is value in looking for a horse to fill the frame. The one I like at a price is Delphinia who wasn’t beaten far in the Oaks earlier in the season and should show the benefit of a comeback run at Cork last month.
Weatherby’s Bank £300,000 Stakes
Twenty-two runners go to post for this valuable contest and our best hope may be to close your eyes and pick a horse but for those of you who like a more detailed selection, let’s try and pick the race apart.
The top-rated in the race unsurprisingly hails from Ballydoyle and it’s Harpocrates who’s seen plenty of racing this season having finished fifth in the Chesham and most recently he was only just pipped in the Acomb. This represents strong form and he’s a worthy favourite.
Another with claims from Aidan O’Brien’s is Pistoletto, twice a winner earlier in the season and ran respectably in the Gimcrack most recently. He’s been deserted by Ryan but how often does one of Aidan’s outsiders win?
Repartee has been held in high-regard by Kevin Ryan and highlighted his ability with a fine third behind Threat in the Gimcrack on just his third start. The extra yardage will help and must enter calculations.
The once-raced King’s Lynn is an interesting contender for Andrew Balding and Oisin Murphy. The royal hombred was largely unfancied on debut but only went down by a short-head at Windsor. It’s taking that connections come here and he could outrun his odds.
Selection: King’s Lynn – E/W
May Hill Stakes
This looks like a very competitive renewal of the May Hill, a race won by Laurens and Fleeting in the past two seasons. There has been sustained support for Cloak of Spirits in recent days and I can see why given how well she won on debut at York.
Another last time out winner is Passion who took an ordinary-looking Cork maiden at the second time of asking and will need to step up if she’s to feature.
Boomer won a shade cosily in the Prestige Stakes at Goodwood and that form could get a boost earlier in the card. She is a very likeable filly and should run well once again.
The top-rated in the race is West End Girl who won the Sweet Solera in good style when last seen. That’s the strongest form on offer and is another who’ll run well.
Selection: Boomer – E/W