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Doncaster St Leger Festival – Day 3

Good morning all, and welcome to another episode of “What’s The Weather Going To Do Today, Then?” 

It seems almost every Punt post of mine has begun with a weather warning over the past two months and today is no exception, with the potential for showers/steady rain/thunderstorms/probably a monsoon, who knows, at Doncaster. On the assumption that the weather forecast I’m looking at is correct, I still think we’ll be looking at ground on the quick side, and it’s on that my picks today are made. ITV3 for those of you looking for it on terrestrial TV. 

1.40 – Flying Scotsman 

I’m deserting Eldrickjones now, which is probably the cue to get on him, as I think he might have already reached his limit this season and despite another perfectly solid effort when fifth in the Gimcrack, form which gives him every chance here, there’s a whole host of improvers waiting in the wings. 

Hoo Ya Mal readily won the maiden at York, usually a good race, and unsurprisingly for an Andrew Balding horse, improved plenty on his debut to do so. I’ve no doubt there’s more to come from him, but preference for me is for Marcus Tregoning’s Ribhi. Clearly little was expected on his debut at Salisbury last month, going off a 20-1 chance, but once the penny dropped with him he flew home to beat the odds-on Buoyant. The fourth won a little handicap next time out and the fifth went close in an Ascot maiden, so the form looks believable, and with more improvement to come, you’d imagine, he can take this. 

2.10 – Flying Childers

On the figures Armor is the one to beat, and although he handles fast ground fine, having won over C&D here on debut, his improved form has come with a bit of cut, so connections will probably be praying the rain has come in time for him. If it does then he’s the one to beat, bt at a bigger price I was impressed with Attagirl’s attitude when scoring at York last time out, and she was value for a bit more than the half-length winning margin suggested, having had to wait for the gaps to come. When they did, she quickened well and put her head down, and it looked like the penny was finally starting to drop with her. If that’s the case, there may well yet be more to come, and she can reward each-way support.

2.40 – Yorkshire Cup

A race that will totally revolve around Trueshan and Stradivarius and the chances of the pair of them turning up is in the lap of the weather gods, you’d imagine. Rain, we know, is needed for Trueshan to take his chance and conversely, Stradivarius probably wants it to stay away. It means, as a betting contest, that unless you’ve got some ante-post involvement and are praying one or the other drops out, it can’t be entertained. 

It was good to see signs of the old Strad at York but there’s no doubt he’s lost a bit of speed and is taking longer to go through the gears. With that, this test will suit him well and he dotted up in it two years ago, having little to beat that day. 

3.15 – Mallard Handicap

Worth pointing out that this isn’t as competitive as it once was. It’s a 0-105, but top weight Cardano is rated just 97, which almost makes it a Class 3 race rather than a 2. 

I really need to stop looking at Sevenna Star, who once upon a time I thought would win a Leger, as he’s not won for donkey’s years but a mark of 80, and Emmet Mullins training him these days….I suggest he’s probably been laid out for this and there’s been definite signs of him retaining some ability on his last two starts (claimer ridden last time, and hood goes on today) and it would hardly be the biggest shock if he took this off his low weight. In we go again…

I was at Newmarket for Lucky Deal’s race last time out and thought he looked an absolute picture beforehand (I was put on the spot by raceday announcer Steven Powell, one of the hardest working men in the industry, to judge the best-turned-out and I plumped for him. He ignored my advice and picked something else) and he duly ran his best race for a while, staying on stoutly to finish second to Indigo Times. As was pointed out by John earlier in the week, Johnston doesn’t have the best of win records this week over the years but plenty run well, and I can again see him finishing in the frame. 

If the rains did come it would bring Uber Cool into play. He wasn’t given the best of rides at Chester and did well to finish as close as he did. His form this season is stacking up very well, and he still looks on a workable mark. Watch the skies….

Today’s selection – Sevenna Star 3.15 Doncaster

Good luck with all your bets today,

David. 

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