Saturday’s TV races
One of the most competitive fields for many years will go to post for the St Leger, the final Classic of the season at Doncaster on Saturday, and Frankie Dettori’s decision to reject Stradivarius, the Goodwood Cup winner, in favour of Coronet has added another twist to an already wide-open betting market.
It opens an opportunity for backers too, as Stradivarius (3.35) has now drifted to a very attractive price indeed. There was no fluke at all about his Goodwood defeat of the admirable Big Orange, he has class as well as deep reserves of stamina, and a top-notch pilot in James Doyle.
Crystal Ocean and the Aidan O’Brien-trained Capri also have solid credentials but their odds reflect their chance, and Stradivarius, one of only two previous Group One winners in the field, is the clear value bet now at around 8-1.
Doncaster 1.50 Trainer Dean Ivory took the Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood with the hardy Lancelot Du Lac and is double-handed as he tries to land another of the season’s top sprint handicaps. Lancelot Du Lac and Frankie Dettori should make a bold bid from stall two but preference this time is for Stake Acclaim. The five-year-old finished third at Windsor last time in a race that has produced four subsequent winners already and Stake Acclaim can underline the strength of that form again today.
Chester 2.05 Viscount Loftus was not up to Group Two standard in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot but ran out a convincing winner when returned to lesser company at Pontefract last time. He should prove very difficult to peg back this afternoon from his good draw near the rail.
Chester 2.40 Duretto has clearly not been an easy horse to train but he put up one of the best performances of his career to finish third in the Ormonde Stakes at the big May meeting here and will appreciate the ease in the ground following the recent rain. Across The Stars would be a big player on his best form but his win in the King Edward VII at Royal Ascot last summer seems a long time ago now.
Doncaster 3.00 The race is all about potential rather than proven form and Dream Today looks worth backing to take the step up in class in his stride from his debut. The maiden race he won at York was the most valuable race of its type in the racing calendar, and the third horse home that day, Laugh A Minute, took the valuable sales race here at the Leger meeting on Thursday.
Chester 3.15 The draw has been very kind to Dan Troop, who is the form horse in the race in any case based on his seven-length win over track and trip last time out. He is 13lb higher but goes well for the 7lb-claimer Connor Murtagh and should have a clear run round the famously tight Roodeye track from the inside in box one.
Greg Woods’s Saturday’s tips
1.30 Desert Ace 2.05 Viscount Loftus 2.40 Duretto 3.15 Dan Troop 3.50 Shaya 4.25 Bahama Moon 5.00 Gabrial’s King
1.50 Stake Acclaim (nap) 2.25 Home Of The Brave 3.00 Dream Today 3.35 Stradivarius (nb) 4.10 Rhosneigr 4.45 Battered 5.55 Game Starter
1.55 Hermosa Vaquera 2.30 Our Cilla 3.05 Give And Take 3.40 Oh This Is Us 4.15 Curious Fox 4.50 Ower Fly 5.25 Hedging 6.00 Live Dangerously
2.55 Hypnotic Dancer 3.30 Dalileo 4.05 Set In Stone 4.40 Under Control 5.15 Star Of The East 5.45 Cheeni 6.15 Cosmic Sky 6.45 Jebel Tara