The dry and warm spell of weather is coming to an end with thundery showers forecast for today and tomorrow although Saturday could be mostly dry.
The St Leger Festival tends to be a slow burner with the quality of racing improving each day. It’s fair to say today’s seven race card is of better quality than day one.
The ITV cameras are covering five races on the second day of the St Leger meeting plus the jump jockeys Derby at Epsom. The feature races at Doncaster are the Group 2 May Hill Stakes (2.40). Where next year's 1,000 Guineas ante post favourite Inspiral will be odds on to maintain her unbeaten record. The other feature race is the Group 2 Park Hill Fillies' Stakes (3.15).
Inside today's main piece you can read my thoughts on the Doncaster races being covered by ITV.
Cazoo St Leger Festival – Day 2
1:40 – British Stallion Studs EBF ‘Carrie Red' Fillies' Nursery Handicap (Class 2) – 6 ½ f
Daiquiri Francais made all to win under a penalty at Windsor last time. It was heavy that day but prior to that she had shown her versatility ground wise by winning on good to firm at the same venue. Nursery debut off a workable mark and remains open to further progress.
Gnat Alley had shown ability in three starts in maiden/novice company and was sent off the 3/1 favourite for her nursery debut at Ripon 9-days ago. Her chance was lost at the start but she stayed on to good effect to finish 1 ½ length 4th of 10. The market support she received last time suggests she’s on a winnable mark. First start beyond 5f but should stay today’s extra 1 ½ f.
Form Of Praise needed every yard of Hamilton’s 6f to beat four rivals on her nursery debut 13-days ago. Today’s extra ½ will suit and the first time cheekpieces are applied today. Up 2lb for her Hamilton success but further progress can’t be ruled out if the headgear has the desired effect.
Dora Penny bids for a hat trick after wins at Newmarket and Wolverhampton 15-days ago. She’s going the right way and remains one to be interested in going forward.
Summer’s Day, made all to comfortably see off four rivals at Brighton 17-days ago. Nursery debut off what looks a decent enough mark and the Godolphin filly should be capable of better than she’s shown so far.
2:10 – Weatherbys Scientific £200,000 2-Y-O Stakes (GBB Race) (Class 2) – 6 ½ f
With £200,000 in guaranteed prize money. It’s not unsurprising that the race has attracted a maximum field of 22 juveniles.
Ever Given landed the big sales race at York last time and looks a worthy enough favourite to win another big pot.
System who had previously run the smart Zain Claudette to 2 ¼ length in a Group 3 at Ascot was over eight lengths behind Ever Given at York. This slightly longer trip and stiff track should suit her better.
The improving Harrow bids for a hat trick, after wins at Ffos Las and on his nursery debut at York last month. York win was over 7f and the forecast strong pace should see him doing his best work at the finish.
Jazz Club is getting better with racing and ran out a comfortable winner of a quick ground maiden at Windsor last month. Has the scope for more improvement and has to be respected in the first time blinkers.
2:40 – Cazoo May Hill Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) – 1m
Next year’s 1,000 Guineas favourite Inspiral will be odds on to maintain her unbeaten run here. The daughter of Frankel will be suited to the step up to a mile and is the one to beat. She’s still available at 12/1 for next year’s first fillies classic and she will be shorter if she wins here.
Speak overcame inexperience to make a winning racecourse debut at Kempton last month. Bred to be a better filly over middle distance as a 3-year-old (half-brother Valley Forge won 1m 6f Melrose Handicap). Scope for plenty of improvement with racing but may find the favourite too sharp here.
Prosperous Voyage has improved with each of her four starts and last time ran the potentially smart Mise En Scene to 1 ¼ lengths, when third in the Group 3 Prestige Stakes at Goodwood. Today’s mile is a positive and trainer Ralph Beckett saddled the winner of this race in 2016.
Rolling The Dice showed a nice turn of foot to win a Newbury maiden last time. Another open to improvement and capable of a big run despite a big rise in class here.
Banshee got off the mark at the fourth attempt when beating two rivals in a Yarmouth nursery 11-days ago. The first time cheekpieces she wore last time are replaced by the first-time blinkers. Stamina is assured and she goes well on fast ground.
3:15 – Hippo Pro3 Park Hill Fillies' Stakes (Group 2) – 1m 6 ½ f
Free Wind bids to give the Gosden yard a third win in the race since 2015. The 3-year-old seems to be progressing with racing and last time won a Group 3 at Deauville. The step up to 1m 6f should elicit more improvement in her.
Tribal Craft is joint top on RPR’s. However, the five-year-old needs the ground to ease significantly before post time to win this.
Urban Artist is the other joint top-rated filly. She’s another who probably will be seen to better effect when she gets her toe in.
Save A Forest fourth in the Oaks at Epsom, put in a personal best in the first time cheekpieces when winning the Listed Chalice Stakes at Newmarket. On the evidence of that run she should be suited by the step up to 1m 6f.
Yesyes finished 3 ¼ lengths behind Save A Forest at Newmarket but has since improved to win a Chester Listed race over today’s distance. That was just her fourth career start and the Chester track may not have totally suited the 3-year-old. Has the scope for more improvement and there shouldn’t be much between the pair again.
Top bumper mare Eileendover looked well suited by the step up to 1m 6f on her handicap debut at Newmarket last month.
Silence Please, a useful performer in Ireland. She put in a personal best when getting with 6 ¼ lengths of Tarnawa in a Group 3 at Leopardstown two starts back. Stays 1m 4f well and has each way claims.
3:45 – Cazoo Handicap (Class 2) – 7f
A disappointing field of just seven for this handicap. Still, it’s competitive enough and you can make some sort of case for most of the runners.
Modern News is the bookies early favourite. The gelding won a Newmarket handicap over the distance back in July. With the first two finishing nicely clear of the rest. Up 6lb but is going the right way.
Motawaajed is progressing nicely and bids for the hat trick after wins at Lingfield and over C&D last month. He had useful Dance Fever ½ length back in second here and has only been raised 2lb for that win. He showed a battling attitude to prevail last time and is open to more improvement.
Run To Freedom made it 2-7 when winning at Newmarket 12-days ago. The return to quicker ground suited him last time and he’s respected here off just 2lb higher.
Seven Brothers, a winner of a 6f handicap here in April, off today’s mark, bounced back to form when a 1 length 2nd of 9 at Goodwood (good to soft). Had Run To Freedom well back in 7th that day although the softer ground wouldn’t have suited that one. The step up to 7f seemed to suit last time and he can’t be ruled out for the inform Kevin Ryan yard.
Ataser was an improving juvenile last season winning three of his five starts, including a C&D nursery at this meeting 12 months ago. Well, beaten on his sole start this season in the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot. Questions to answer after that run but not out of this if bouncing back to last year’s best.
2:40 – Prosperous Voyage – 8/1 @ Paddy Power & Betfair Sportsbook.
Ante Post Advice:
For those of you wanting to follow me in with an ante post punt for next year’s 1,000 Guineas. Take the 12/1 available with Bet365 for next year’s first fillies classic. She will be shorter should she win today’s May Hill Stakes.
1,000 Guineas 2022
1pt win – Inspiral – 12/1 @ Bet365.
Good luck with your Thursday bets.
John Burke is the tipster behind the long standing Victor Value service you can join him here – https://victorvalue.uk