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Andrew Balding: Doncaster St Leger Festival 12 09 19

11 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Andrew Balding: Doncaster St Leger Festival 12 09 19

The Betway ambassador previews all seven races on the second day of the Doncaster St Leger Festival, including his four runners.

It was great fun running the Great North Run on Sunday and I was delighted to get a personal best of two hours and nine minutes. There is a fabulous atmosphere up there and it’s quite refreshing to see with everything that is going on in our country at the moment. It shows the best of us and humanity.

As I’ve said before, Bodie Hodges is a charity very close to my heart and it was lovely to raise money for them again.

Here Comes When is such a great horse

Here Comes When has been a fantastic servant for us and we felt it was the right thing to do to retire him after his run at Haydock. We just felt the fire wasn’t really there anymore.

It’s hard to run at elite level at his age – you either have to be top-weight in the big handicaps or run in races like the one at Haydock. He’s nine now and age has just caught up with him. The Hays didn’t want anything to happen to him and he will now have a long and happy retirement.

You don’t get many horses like him, he won over £900,000 in prize money, winning some big handicaps and Group races. The highlight would have to be the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood a couple of years ago, that was a day we’ll never forget. He was a wonderful horse to train.

Excited about the future for Ranch Hand

It was really good to see Ranch Hand win the opening 1m6f handicap. He’s developed all year and improved from his run in the Bahrain Trophy. I hope that he can develop into a high class stayer next season.

He’s in the Cesarewitch and we’ll have to take a look at that. The 4lb penalty he gets for the Haydock win should see him sneak in at the bottom of the weights.

It’s not often you get three-year-olds who can get into the race and the weight for age is a big draw over that extreme distance. It’s certainly tempting and we’ll decide in the next 10 days. If he doesn’t run there, we’ll find another race for him before the end of the season.

Doncaster’s St Leger meeting is always a fun few days in Yorkshire. We’re looking forward to running Dashing Willoughby in the big one on Saturday. He stays well and is versatile ground-wise so I’d like to think he has a very good each-way chance.


We don’t have a runner in the fillies’ nursery and it looks typically competitive. Ed Vaughan’s Ultra Violet thumped our Game And Set on debut and our filly has won since.

Admittedly, Ultra Violet has been disappointing since then but she gets to run in a nursery off a mark of 88 and I’m pretty sure Ed thinks she’s much better than that.


On ratings, the Park Hill looks between Enbihaar and Dame Malliot. Enbihaar was very impressive when winning the Lilly Langtry at Glorious Goodwood and she is going to be hard to beat.

Dame Malliot also won well at Deauville last time, although this will be the quickest ground she has faced. It should be an interesting race to watch.


We run two in the sales race. King’s Lynn  lacks experience but he has worked to a decent level at home and showed distinct promise when beaten a short-head at Windsor on debut.

He has the ability to run well in a race like this, while his low weight is an obvious help. I’m not sure about the draw in stall one as it doesn’t give us many options, but I hope he has a fair each-way chance in a very valuable race.

When Comes Here  has been disappointing so we’re trying blinkers in the hope they can spark some improvement. He also has a nice low weight and he’s certainly got the talent to run a decent race.


The May Hill should be a great race and I would probably side with Boomer who beat Shadn at Goodwood last month. I loved the look of her that day and think she’ll be well suited by another furlong.

Richard Hannon’s Cloak Of Spirits was very good on debut at Ascot when Game And Set was third and West End Girl did it well in the Sweet Solera last time.


I don’t really have much of a view in the Lady Riders Pro-Am, but Stuart Williams’ horses are in good form so you’d have to respect Hart Stopper with Megan Nicholls in the saddle.

I also think Savalas could be interesting in a first-time visor for Kevin Ryan. He has booked Josephine Gordon and the horse has some decent to his name in the past.


We’ll have to see if Good Birthday  takes his chance, as he won’t be running if it’s too fast. If the ground is safe, I think we’ve got a well-handicapped horse who won over course and distance on his seasonal reappearance.

Sir Michael Stoute’s Davydenko looks the obvious danger. He’s been in very good form this term and won well at Newmarket last month.


Dutch Treat  has been disappointing in two starts this year but she’s had an interrupted campaign. She has been behind the bridle in her races but I’ve been pleased with her at home and she ran pretty well in the May Hill over course and distance last year.

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