Andrew Balding: I've got three runners in action on Thursday
The Betway ambassador gives an update on his plans for the final Classic of the season and runs through his entries at the St Leger Festival and Kempton.
It’s another big week with great racing at Doncaster all week, culminating in the St Leger on Saturday.
We’re planning on running Berkshire Rocco in the final classic of the year, and I feel he’s the slight forgotten horse in the race. He ran a really nice trial in the Great Voltigeur, which was coming back off a break and Andrea Atzeni has been booked to ride. I think he’s well-equipped to run a huge race.
Imperial Force was really disappointing at Haydock last time with no obvious reason as to why. It left us scratching our heads.
He has always worked well at home, but that wasn’t his running. He is in good form and this looks a nice opportunity for him.
Kashi has to put a couple of bad runs behind him. We have long expected that a slower surface on the turf would be something he’d appreciate.
He has a bit to find on ratings, but he works well at home and stays well. It's fingers crossed he can come back to the form he showed on his debut, taking second at Kempton.
Sidereal should be really competitive. I’ve been pleased with him since his success at Salisbury last time and I do think Chelmsford should suit him well.
Foxtrot Lady has been very consistent this year and she’s a horse that is as effective over seven furlongs as she is over a mile.
She will certainly appreciate the drying conditions in her race (15:15).
She ran well in the same race last year and she could be a lively outsider as she appears in good form at home.
Bounce The Blues (15:15) is a new recruit who won a listed race in Ireland last time out.
From what I’ve seen, I think she’ll want a little give in the ground. We’ll take another look at the ground closer to the time, but she wouldn’t want it too firm.
Pivoine (15:45) is one who’s had a frustrating year, but he remains in great form at home and this drying ground will suit him well.
He’s well drawn and should be suited to Doncaster – he was a winner there on his only run at the course a few years ago.
Despite things not going right for him this season, he is coming down in the ratings and hasn’t lost any ability.
Good Birthday (13:55) is trying something different.
While he didn’t run a bad race at Sandown last time out, he has had a largely disappointing season. He continues to work well at home, but I had far bigger expectations for him this year.
These things happen and with some horses that are gelded, they do take longer to come back to themselves, and perhaps that’s a factor.
Hold Fast is another horse who hasn’t progressed the way I thought she would, especially from her first success at Kempton in June.
Her work has been good of late and she’ll appreciate this smaller field, so I just hope she can have some luck in running and can then acquit herself well.
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