Phill Anderson's best bets for Friday include selections from Doncaster.
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The season’s final classic, the St Leger, takes centre stage at Doncaster today and it promises to be a cracking race with a tightly-knit market. There is a strong supporting card too, while there are six other meetings between the UK and Ireland. We have a selection in the big race itself plus two more on the quality undercard.
Continuous to keep going forward
The betting market for the Group 1 Betfred St Leger has fluctuated in the last few days with the news that Frankie Dettori has rejected the long-time market leader Gregory in favour of his stablemate at the Gosdens, Arrest.
The rain that fell on the track earlier in the week, turning the ground soft, was the reason for the change and it will certainly suit the Chester Vase winner well, given how impressive he was that day in a bog on the Roodee.
However, conditions have dried out in the last two days and it may not be soft enough for Dettori’s choice. The aforementioned Gregory certainly isn’t out of it. He is proven over the trip, given he won the Queen’s Vase, while the improving Royal runner Desert Hero is respected too.
Preference is for the Great Voltiguer Stakes winner CONTINUOUS , trained by Aidan O’Brien. He benefitted from a strong pace that day, held up well in rear before running past tiring rivals, including Gregory, but he won by a wide margin and posted a good time too.
That was a career-best from a colt who was reportedly slow to come to hand earlier in the season but looks to be blossoming at the right time and the way he finished suggested that this trip won’t be beyond him. He won on soft ground in France as a 2yo, so that shouldn’t be a problem either.
He can give his legendary trainer a seventh win in the race under Ryan Moore; indeed he shares many similarities with his first, Milan, back in 2001.
Call Me Ginger for a repeat
Earlier on the Doncaster card in the fiendishly competitive Betred Portland Handicap over an extended 5f, there is a host of strong candidates. Last year’s demoted ‘winner’ Chipstead looks a big contender again but he is 11lb higher in the weights this time around and that might be enough to stop him.
The ground will be similar to last year’s conditions and will hold no fears for Jim Goldie’s runner under the same rider, 5lb claimer Amy Waugh. Betway are giving 1/5 the odds for 7 places, so he looks like an each-way bet to nothing.
Spycatcher to revel in conditions
He was just denied over a bit shorter in the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville last time but stays this trip fine and the yard couldn’t be in better form, so he is a confident choice. There are ground concerns for his main rivals Audience and Sandrine.
CALL ME GINGER @ 7/1 (Doncaster 14:25)
SPYCATCHER @ 6/4 (Doncaster 15:00)