Sky Sports Racing presenter John Hunt nominates the horses he will be keeping onside at this week’s Cazoo St Leger Festival at Doncaster, live on Sky Sports Racing.
1.25 Thursday – British Stallion Studs EBF “Carrie Red” Fillies’ Nursery Handicap
Day two opens with a fillies’ nursery and Speriamo is the one I want to be with.
Her latest start at Pontefract was an excellent effort, given that she was poorly drawn towards the outside of the track. However, she showed really bright, easy speed to not just contend but look the likely winner a furlong out before folding late on. The flatter track will suit her well.
I also really like the booking of Neil Callan for Charlie McBride’s inmate; they have a respectable strike rate together.
2.00 Thursday – Weatherbys Scientific £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes
Magical Sunset will take some catching in the valuable Weatherbys 2yo race in what promises to be a classy affair.
She made a striking, winning start to life at Windsor showing bright speed and durability. The horse she beat that day was Sakheer, a well-touted youngster housed at Roger Varian’s stable who simply hosed up on his second start at Haydock last week, looking a potential star in his own right.
I’m also drawn to Magical Sunsets’ pedigree; she’s by Kodiac out of Fikrah who has thrown quite a few winners including the really slick Hey Jonesy, the 2020 Wokingham winner.
Dance In The Grass
3.35 Wednesday – Japan Racing Association Sceptre Fillies’ Stakes
Magical Sunset has a few alternative entries through the week including in the May Hill entry on Wednesday but I feel that is best left to Dance In The Grass, Mark and Charlie Johnston’s unbeaten two-year-old, who is their most exciting juvenile.
Seemingly unfancied when winning on her debut at Sandown, she returned to the Esher venue and put up a really striking display to come from well off the pace to land the Listed Star Stakes from the talented Fairy Cross. That was striking visually and pleasing as the runner-up went on to win at Glorious Goodwood.
4.20 Thursday – Hilton Garden Inn Doncaster Conditions Stakes
Adayar, last year’s Derby winner makes a return to the track over a mile and a quarter in the Hilton Garden Inn Conditions Stakes and is clearly a fascinating runner but the bet for me will be a ‘lay’ bet on Bayside Boy.
He returns to the scene of his finest hour, having won the Champagne Stakes as a two-year-old but his most recent run at Goodwood set alarm bells ringing. His physical demeanour was so awkward that either he has completely gone mentally or he had some kind of physical issue; whichever way round, he didn’t look a happy horse and must be taken on.
J R Cavagin
4.55 Thursday – Doncaster Handicap
Paul Midgley has found winners hard to come by recently but his sprinters always merit respect and there is little denying that J R Cavagin is well treated in Thursday’s finale.
After initial promise, he seemed to really lose his way before stepping up again on his two summer runs here at Doncaster. Not disgraced at all over 5 and 6 furlongs, charging late at a strong gallop here could be right up his street.
Watch every day of the St Leger Festival from Doncaster live on Sky Sports Racing on September 7-10.