This weekend has to be one of the most important ever in the history of European racing. There’s the St Leger at Doncaster, Irish Champions’ Weekend in Ireland and an Arc trial in France – and this blog is all over it like a rash. You hear me Paddy?
Let’s get straight to the St Leger at Doncaster and the ground has to be a worry for class act Kingston Hill, who chased home Australia in the Epsom Derby. On ratings he is miles clear, but it might be harder than the ratings suggest.
The horse to be with each-way is HARTNELL (3.50pm) – who disappointed at York last time but who is clearly better than that and stays well, having landed the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot. He’s got plenty of form with horses at shorter prices which give him every chance.
While favourite Kingston Hill is very much the horse to beat and Paddy is giving money back as a free bet if your horse finishes second or third in the final English Classic of the season.
The Portland Handicap is the big sprint race at Doncaster and all eyes will be on Goodwood winner Intrinsic. He flopped in Group company last time but looks to bounce back now in a handicap.
I like MUTHMIR (2.40pm) who was fifth behind Intrinsic at Goodwood, but has had a break since then and still looks a horse to follow. He was backed that day as if defeat was out the question, and he clearly has a big one in him.
Elsewhere on the card, the Group 2 Park Stakes is at the mercy of ALJAMAAHEER (3.15pm), who has been disappointing in some ways this season, having not won a race, but can challenge over a perfect looking 7f here and I think he’ll be hard to beat.
Finally at Doncaster, back ESTIDHKAAR (2.05pm) in the opening Group 2 Champagne Stakes – who looks one of the most exciting juvenile of the season. He bolted in from Aktabantay last time at Newmarket and that one scored at Sandown next time out. The form looks rock solid.
Take a chance on me…
At Leopardstown dual Derby and Juddmonte International winner AUSTRALIA (6.50pm) should win the Irish Champions Stakes and if you’ve backed it ante-post with Paddy he’s already paid out on it as a winner!.
But the Group One Matron Stakes for fillies is more interesting for a bet. TAPESTRY (5.45pm) drops back to a mile from a mile and a half, so the trip is clearly wrong, but the price is fine. Over a mile and a half she would be long odds on. Worth taking a chance on.
Time to go Dutch…
On Sunday at the Curragh it’s the National Stakes and Irish St Leger which interest me. Aidan O’Brien’s Gleneagles is long odds on but I’ll take a chance with DUTCH CONNECTION (4.15pm) who stayed on well at York last time and might just be capable of pulling off an upset.
Top stayer LEADING LIGHT (4.50pm) goes in the Irish Leger. While he would love a longer trip he’s not slow and I think he can outclass his rivals which include the cracking Pale Mimosa and ultra-tough Brown Panther.
So have a great weekend – it’s one of the best in the calendar and will be even better if we can nick a few quid off Paddy. Yeeehaaa!