Best bets for day two of the St Leger Festival
Our man at the course Alan Alger talks you through his top tips for all of Thursday's races at Doncaster.
Yesterday’s tips had it all. A few disastrous runs, some of which (Demons Rock) were too bad to be true, a couple of each-way shots that hit the bar, a decent winner and one nice place.
We aren’t in bad shape after one day on Town Moor, but we can certainly do a lot better today.
Here are my best bets for day two of the St Leger Festival, including four live ITV races...
1.20 – Lady Riders’ Handicap
RELATED looks a big price in this Silk Series contest, with the very capable Hollie Doyle in the saddle.
At first glance you might say that Paul Midgley’s seven-year-old doesn’t handle cut in the ground, but we should balance that assessment given a lot of his wide-margin defeats in those conditions were in far better races.
For that reason we are getting a value price for a good each-way bet.
Four of his six career wins have come when he has been 8/1 or bigger in the betting, two of which were during this current season.
1.50 – Nursery Handicap
This is a high-quality contest within the Nursery handicap programme but it has attracted a small field, possibly due to a reduced pool of eligible juvenile fillies.
The six scheduled to go to post are closely matched on form.
SHE’S DIFFERENT stayed on well when winning at Hamilton last month and she’s clearly a different horse with some cut in the ground.
I’ll take a chance on her here.
2.25 – May Hill Stakes (Group 2)
Slightly classier two-year-old fillies are on show in race three.
This Group 2 contest over a mile will bring early stamina issues into play and something evident from yesterday’s card was that some horses got left behind in the conditions.
These could be well strung out by the finish, so we need a filly able to gallop strongly and stay.
LAURENS looks to fit the bill here with a stamina-laden pedigree and noises from her trainer suggesting she will handle some cut.
3.00 – Park Hill Stakes (Group 2)
Another Group 2 contest and this one takes place over the St Leger trip where, again, we need to look for a horse that can stay.
DUBKA was only narrowly beaten over this trip in the Lilly Langtry at Glorious Goodwood.
She found a little bit of trouble in running that day, something that has been a problem in a few races during her career so far.
Ryan Moore will be well aware of that and I expect him to gain a long-overdue second victory on Sir Michael Stoute’s four-year-old. It’s 440 days since he last won on her.
3.35 – 2-Y-O Stakes
An extremely valuable race for horses in the first season of their careers where 22 juveniles are scheduled to go to post.
The draw here will be all-important, with only two of the last ten winners being drawn lower than stall 10 – and one of those was the impressive Wootton Bassett, who went on to be a Group 1 winner.
So we can deduce that unless a horse is extremely classy then a low draw is a no-no.
The likely market-leaders are drawn in stalls 9 and 10, so we can probably still consider them able to run well.
The latter, GREAT PROSPECTOR has been subject to great reports from trainer Richard Fahey and he can take this on his fourth outing.
4.05 – 1m2f Handicap
A four-runner field and they are all tight in both the handicap and the betting.
Any one of these could start as favourite if there was to be sustained market support throughout the day, but my selection is AL NEKSH .
4.35 – Fillies' Handicap
Another small field, but this one features a clear favourite.
What A Home is worthy of her place at the head of affairs, but I want to take a chance on CAMERONE .
Her form suggests that she will cope with her rise in the weights and the conditions of the track.
She is a good-value price for an each-way bet.