It the start of the St Leger Festival at Doncaster on Wednesday. Over the Irish Sea, the Listowel Festival is already underway, and next weekend it’s Irish Champions Weekend. So, plenty for us racing fans to look forward to this week.
Inside today’s column I’m looking back at the weekend action. I also have some St Leger trends to share with you. Plus, a selection from Listowel.
Ryan Lands Sprint Cup
Let’s begin at Haydock and the Group 1 Sprint Cup.
The defections of Advertise (dirty scope) & Ten Sovereigns (going) took away some of the gloss from this year’s renewal of the Sprint Cup. However, it didn’t make finding the winner any easier.
The bookies couldn’t split Hello Youmzain, Dream Of Dreams & Khaadem at the off.
Hello Youmzain, trained by Kevin Ryan, had been kept fresh for this. Last time out the 3-year-old had finished 3rd behind Advertise in the Commonwealth Cup.
He isn’t the most straight forward of horses but he’s got a great engine as he showed on Saturday. Always up in a good position, with James Doyle getting the colt into a great rhythm out in front.
At the finish he was always holding off last years winner The Tin Man who put in his best performance of the season and German raider Waldpfad who raced nearer to the stands side than the two who finished in front of him.
After a few near misses in Group 1 races, you could see how much the success meant to winning jockey James Doyle.
the three-year-olds have it
Looking at the trends for the race that I highlighted last week.
Three-year-old's have now won the Sprint Cup six times since 2019. Four-year old’s continued their dismal run in the race and they are now 0 winners from 42 runners 9 placed in the race.
Those runners returning from 46 to 90-day absence are now 7 winners from 49 runners 17 placed and those returning from a 6 to 20-day break are 1 winner from 54 runners 7 placed.
Royal Line Wins September Stakes
Over at Kempton it was the most valuable flat meeting of the year, with the highlight being the Group 3 September Stakes.
There was no Enable or Crystal Ocean in this year’s field. But last years winning trainer John Gosden landed the race for the third time with Royal Line.
The trainer has been very patient with last years November Handicap winner and the gelding repaid that patience with good a turn of foot to win the race.
The 5-year-old has entries in the Irish St Leger and the Long-Distance Cup on Champions Day. He stays 1m 4f very well and got the cover he needed. However, if he's to stay further he will have settle better.
Cieren Has Time To Study
Cieren Fallon is clearly worth his 5lb claim. As he showed in winning the Old Borough Cup on Time To Study.
Alright Sunshine had been sent off the well backed favourite. It looked like the gamble would be landed, when he took a slight lead inside the final 110yds. Sadly for his backers he hung left and that allowed Time To Study to rally and get his head in front at the finish.
Like his dad Kieran, young Fallon has a clock in his head, and if he keep’s learning he’s got big future in the game.
Great Scot! Kingscote Rides Them To Sleep Again
Not for the first time Richard Kingscote rode his rival jockeys to sleep at Haydock when landing the Group 3 Superior Mile.
Kingscote just rides Haydock better than any other jockey. You can’t give him an uncontested lead, especially in races around the bend that’s for sure.
The Tom Dascombe trained 3-year-old Great Scot made it 3 from 3 at Haydock with his win on Saturday. He’s now 4 wins from 4 runs at Haydock & Chester and 0 wins from 5 runs 1 placed elsewhere. Maybe he’s at his best when he doesn’t have travel to far away from his Cheshire base.
Ferdy Murphy RIP
Sadly trainer Ferdy Murphy lost his long battle with cancer last week at the age of 70.
He also saddled plenty of major handicap chase winners. Sibton Abbey (Hennessy Gold Cup), Granit D'Estruval (Irish Grand National), Poker De Sivola (Bet365 Gold Cup), L’Antartique (Paddy Power Gold Cup) and Hot Weld (Scottish Grand National) all spring to mind.
He also had an excellent record at the Cheltenham Festival. in 1996 he saddled a double including Paddy’s Return in the Triumph Hurdle. In total he trained ten winners at the Cheltenham Festival. His last winner at the Festival was Divers in 2011. In 2013 he left to live and train in France.
A true National Hunt training genius. He was also a nurture of jockey talent with the likes of Davy Russell & Graham Lee both riding for him with plenty of success during his training career.
William Hill St Leger
The St Leger Festival begins on Wednesday at Doncaster. The meeting culminates with final classic of the season the St Leger on Saturday.
For those of you like such things, here are some notable ten-year trends for the big race:
5/1 & under – 4 winners from 21 runners A/E 0.63 12 placed
11/2 to 14/1 – 4 winners from 41 placed A/E 0.92 13 placed
15/1 & bigger – 2 winners from 36 runners A/E 1.83 4 placed
Days Since Last Run:
1 to 30-days – 3 winners from 66 runners A/E 0.39 13 placed
31 to 60-days – 2 winners from 18 runners A/E 1.2 9 placed
61+ days – 5 winners from 13 runners A/E 2.23 7 placed
Last Time Out Placing:
1st – 4 winners from 27 runners A/E 0.69 12 placed
2nd & 3rd – 4 winners from 34 runners A/E 1.01 11 placed
4th+ – 2 winners from 37 runners A/E 1.01 6 placed
There are plenty of interesting trends. However, for me, horses returning from a 30+ day absence are performing 79% better than market expectations which is well worth noting.
3:55 – Perfect Tapatino has a likeable profile with a career record of 5 wins from 17 runs 10 placed. If you dig further and look at his record over 1m 4f, on going from good to yielding to soft, his form figures are 1121921.
Last time out he put up a near career best when winning at Gowran Park, 26-days ago. The handicapper has only raised him 2lb for that success and I don’t think the 5-year-old’s progress has finished just yet.
Until next week.