Best bets for day one of the St Leger Festival
Our man at the course Alan Alger talks you through his best bets for all of Wednesday's races at Doncaster.
It’s a low-key start to the 2017 St Leger Festival, with ITV’s cameras not scheduled to turn up at Doncaster until the Group class action commences on day two.
Day one still has a very competitive look to it, though, and these are my best value bets...
2.20 – Conditions Stakes
DEMONS ROCK should make it five straight wins as he faces just three rivals in this six-furlong curtain-raiser.
He’s a strong price at and has the form in the book to extend his sequence of victories.
2.50 – Nursery Handicap
The Hannon two-year-olds are running to their usual consistency of around one win for every seven runners - a record the stable have maintained for a number of seasons with either Richard Senior or Richard Junior at the helm.
RUM RUNNER won on his third start for the stable and now takes on a Nursery carrying a fair weight.
His win at Sandown last time out featured cut in the ground and he should handle the soft conditions here.
3.20 – Scarbrough Stakes
This five-furlong dash has just six runners scheduled to go to post, although it’s still a tricky puzzle.
THESME was second in this race last season and she can go one better here.
I was on her at York last-time out where she scooped a valuable third in a Class 2 handicap over an extra half a furlong.
She was caught in front that day, but this slightly reduced trip and better terms will help.
3.50 – Leger Legends Classified Stakes
As these ‘legendary’ jockeys go to post for this race it’s vital to back a horse that has a competent rider that hasn’t been out of the game for too long.
The last two winners were ridden by a classic winning 23-year-old and a recently retired 20-time champion jockey.
It would be nice to see Adrian Nicholls win this on FIRE PALACE and, sentimentality aside, I think he has a good chance on Robert Eddery’s filly.
4.20 – 7f Handicap
A tight handicap where hopefully eight runners will remain in the race so three places can be paid.
PILLAR OF SOCIETY has had a busy and mostly successful campaign over a mile trip this season.
Coming back to seven furlongs won’t harm his chances and he represents the best each-way bet of the day at a double-figure price of .
4.50 – Conditions Stakes
MOUNT LOGAN might need the ground to dry a little bit before going to post in this sixth race on day one.
But as long as the rain stays away he can pick up the reward for a consistent campaign where he has been knocking on the door.
Andrea Atzeni gets on well with him and has been on board for three of his six career victories.
5.20 – 5f Handicap
FOXTROT KNIGHT has been fourth on each of his last three starts and looks handicapped to at least make the frame here at double-figure odds.
He’s a four-time winner at this distance and can gain a long overdue win here at a nice price of .