Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Doncaster on Saturday. View selections below.
There is little juice in Idaho’s Ladbrokes St Leger odds but stablemate SWORD FIGHTER (3.45) represents excellent each-way value at around 12-1.
Stamina will not be an issue as Sword Fighter dug deep to land the Queen’s Vase over two miles at Royal Ascot. He probably stepped up again when running a gutsy fifth behind some battle-hardened older horses in the Goodwood Cup.
Sword Fighter chased winner Big Orange throughout and it was only in the latter stages, when also hampered close home, he dropped to fifth spot behind Pallasator, Sheikhzayeroad and Wicklow Brave. Subsequent easy Lonsdale Cup winner Quest For More was behind him in sixth, so the merit of that run is easily evaluated.
Idaho sets a high standard and holds another Aidan O’Brien rival, Houseofparliament, on their Betway Great Voltigeur run at York. Idaho made dual Derby winner Harzand pull out the stops at Epsom and the Curragh, and if his stamina lasts out, he will be difficult to beat.
William Haggas is enjoying a gold-plated run of success and his impressive York maiden winner Rivet will be all the rage for the opening At The Races Champagne Stakes.
This Group 2 contest usually throws up a very useful tool (Emotionless landed the odds in 2015) and Godolphin’s THUNDER SNOW (2.00) may upset the apple cart.
Saeed Bin Suroor has endured a season from hell but Thunder Snow may help restore some confidence in the beleaguered camp. He was almost two lengths adrift of the smart War Decree in the Qatar Vintage Stakes at Goodwood, an improvement on his sixth in the Coventry Stakes behind imperious Caravaggio. Rivet was strong at the finish on the Knavesmire but this appears a sterner test.
The Ladbrokes Portland Handicap is hard to call as usual but I’m hopeful HARRY HURRICANE (2.35) can go one better than last year when defied by Steps.
George Baker’s sprinter has twice finished on the heels of the placed horses at York and Goodwood (both events won by Boom The Groom), and stall nine may not be a bad draw if the runners form an arrowhead down the middle of the track.
There is some rain forecast for Saturday morning and that will benefit HARBOUR MASTER (4.20) in the nursery.
Jamie Osborne’s colt is on a hat-trick following a wide-margin success at Lingfield and an equally emphatic verdict over Mister Blue Sky at Sandown on a soft surface. A mark of 89 is manageable and Harbour Master can defy top weight under Jamie Spencer.
RENFREW STREET (5.25) should go well for Mark Johnston in the 1m 4f fillies’ handicap.
She travelled well under Franny Norton at Ascot last weekend, but was a bit short of room down on the rail as the field turned for home. Renfrew Street knuckled down willingly to chase home in-form
William Hunter and she had run well on her previous start in a messy race at Hamilton, finishing a close-up fourth to Multellie.
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