Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips on Saturday at Doncaster and Leopardstown. View selections below.
SNOW SKY (3.50) is taken to exploit drying conditions on Town Moor and land the Ladbrokes St Leger for Sir Michael Stoute. The Great Voltigeur at York and Goodwood’s Gordon Stakes are two of the most important and reliable St Leger trials in the calendar and Snow Sky fits the bill on both counts. He rallied bravely to land the Gordon Stakes from Windshear, then chased home Postponed at York, with a yawning gap back to third horse Odean. Favourite Kingston Hill’s second to Australia in the Investec Derby sets a high standard and he will take some beating if the Doncaster track retains some juice come Saturday afternoon. However, Postponed fired in some impressive sectionals at York, which were on a par with Australia in the Juddmonte International, so Snow Sky’s performance looks rock solid. Given John Gosden’s record in the oldest Classic, Epsom third Romsdal and progressive Forever Now are worthy of respect, with stable jockey William Buick opting for Romsdal. Of the outsiders, Mark Johnston’s Alex My Boy looks a dour stayer and could well run into a place. Like Kingston Hill, he would prefer some cut.
GREGORIAN (3.15) is taken to tee things up nicely for the Gosden/Buick combination by lifting the OLBG Park Stakes earlier on the Doncaster card. Gregorian made the frame 12 months ago behind Irish winner Viztoria and Lockwood, and has been in grand form this summer, his most recent sterling effort coming in the Betfred Hungerford Stakes at Newbury when short-headed by Breton Rock. Ideally, Gregorian would prefer ground on the soft side but this doesn’t appear the strongest Group 2 contest.
FORGOTTEN HERO (4.25) bids to repeat last year’s success in the 1m 4f handicap. Charlie Hills’ five-year-old benefited from a masterful hold-up ride from Jamie Spencer that day and Martin Harley, who has ridden Forgotten Hero once before, will be employing similar tactics off a 4lb higher mark.
The Ladbrokes Portland Handicap is a mad scurry over the extended five furlongs trip and MUTHMIR (2.40) remains a sprinter going places. William Haggas’s four-year-old is handily drawn in stall 15 and Paul Hanagan should be able to get a nice tow into the race. After picking up a competitive handicap at York, Muthmir was strongly fancied to land the 32Red Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood but after slightly missing a beat at the start from his wide draw (2), Muthmir did well to finish a close-up fifth.
Australia should mop up the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown but some bookmakers will be pricing up a ‘without the favourite’ market, with MUKHADRAM (6.50) getting the nod over The Grey Gatsby. Mukhadram has two lengths in hand of Jim Bolger’s Trading Leather on their Coral-Eclipse running at Sandown and Mukhadram ran much too free in the Juddmonte when trailing home fourth, almost six lengths adrift of The Grey Gatsby. The ground was slick at Sandown when he lifted the Coral-Eclipse and similar conditions can see him in a better light than on the Knavesmire last time.
Compare horse racing odds and bet at the best prices