Doncaster Day 3 Preview

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By Samantha

The feature race on the card on Day 3 of Doncaster’s St Leger meeting is the Group Two Doncaster Cup. In all fairness, it isn’t the best renewal of the race and there are no real superstars lining up. The rest of the card is intriguing though and here are my thoughts on it.

The first race is the Sceptre Stakes and Anna Nerium looks the standout as she is rated 109. This season she has been seventh in the 1000 Guineas, beaten just over six lengths, and then was beaten three quarter lengths by Wilamina in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom. She was eighth in the Coronation Stakes behind Alpha Centauri and won last time out in a group three on soft ground against the boys. Her main challenger could be Dancing Star, who met lots of trouble in running but still ended up second beaten just a neck last time out when stepped up to seven furlongs. Neither will mind any rain that comes and it’s likely that it will be between the two of them but Castle Hill Cassie may be able to land a surprise as she is ultra consistent but may not like any more rain.

Next up it’s the two year old sprinters’ turn in the Group Two Flying Childers Stakes and this looks like it contains lots of could-be-superstars. Young trainer Richard Spencer’s biggest win of his career came when Rumble Inthejungle (pictured) won the Group Three Molecomb Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. He was ahead of Soldier’s Call, who has since won a group three at Chantilly, Vintage Brut, Well Done Fox, who he also beat on debut too, and Deia Glory. The only time he was beaten when just over two lengths behind Shang Shang Shang in the Norfolk at Royal Ascot. Legends Of War is an interesting contender and is likely to be Spencer’s colt’s biggest rival in this. He won convincingly on debut but was then put into the Group Two July Stakes but struggled. Dropped in class, he then won a class four novice race, a head in front of his other two competitors. It wasn’t the strongest race and his form at group level is questionable but he did run on well for second in the Group Two Gimcrack ahead of Semoum. Shumookhi seems the pick of the fillies as she won a Listed race last time out but Gossamer Wings was second in the Queen Mary and was behind top weight in this, Indigo Balance, last time out.

The third race is the first of two races at marathon trips on the card- the William Hill Mallard Handicap. This was won by Time To Study last year and he is currently 1lbs higher than his last winning mark and 5lbs higher than when he won this on similar conditions. He has a chance but the fact that he was nineteenth of twenty in the Ebor last time puts me off. Nakeeta was ahead of him in that race and had won it the previous year. He is 3lbs higher than then so that goes against him. Ryan Moore gets the leg up on Speedo Boy for the first time for the in-form Ian Williams team. He is a 120 rated hurdler and finished fifth of six behind Apple’s Shakira in a Grade Two. He’ll be a nice dual purpose horse for the future as he goes very well in any ground. He is well regarded as he has ran well in some top races on the flat. Ian Williams’ charge will like conditions and is sure to run a good race. Ben Vrackie is the unknown quantity in the line up. It took him three attempts to win his first race and John Gosden’s Frankel colt was left a bit one paced by St Leger hope Maid Up last time out but still stays the trip and ha a chance nevertheless. Austrian School doesn’t know how to run a bad race and if they go quick and the front runners fall into the hold-up horses’ lap, Theglasgowwarrior will be right there picking up the pieces.

The feature race comes next and it is a pathetic excuse for a Group Two to say the least. Willie Mullins has three in the race- Thomas Hobson, Renneti and Max Dynamite. He has three of the top jockeys-Ryan Moore, Frankie Dettori and Andrea Atzeni, in the country riding them. The first mentioned runner hasn’t won since June 2017 and is 7lbs higher than that victory. Renneti was last seen eight lengths behind fifth placed Thomas Hobson in the Irish St Leger Trial when last. He will stay but looks the weakest Mullins chance. Max Dynamite has contested most of the top staying races this year and is my pick of the Irish challengers. Sheikhzayedroad was a head behind Thomas Hobson int his a year ago and won this the year before. He has won off higher marks than this in the past too. Saunter was eighth on his only try at this trip but he won well over a mile and five furlongs so could be an each way player and is my selection in the race. Algometer is probably the second string David Simcock horse after him but is the highest rated so warrants respect. Jukebox Jive and Lord Yeats will probably struggle.

The rest of the card contains the Flying Scotsman Stakes (Listed) and the current short priced favorite is Sangarius. A son of Kingman, he won his first start by just a neck. He may be worth apposing as Athmad is an appealing runner. He also won on debut despite running very green and he demolished them. Some have won since so he has a very good chance and I think is the one to beat.

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