St Leger Festival Day 2 Tips: Who’ll land the Park Hill Stakes?

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We’re back behind closed doors on Day 2 of St Leger Festival, and while no fans will be present trackside, ITV3 will be on hand to cover the best of the action from Town Moor.

There are five fantastic races to enjoy on the second day at Doncaster, including a red-hot renewal of the Group 2 May Hill Stakes and fascinating edition of the Park Hill Stakes.

Those are our two feature contests on Thursday, and alongside the Weatherbys Racing Bank £200,000 2-Y-O Stakes (catchy, we know), it makes up our St Leger Festival Day 2 Tips.

MAY HILL STAKES, 14:10 DONCASTER, 1M

There’s not a lot to split Zabeel Queen and Indigo Girl at the top of the market, and although they both won well on debut, it’s the latter who impressed us more under a hands and heels ride at Yarmouth.  

John Gosden’s charge went away from the pack before being eased down at the line to win by 3l that day, and a similar performance here would make her hard to beat under Frankie Dettori.

She’s beautifully bred by Dubawi out of Montare, and while there’s not a lot to go on other than visual impression, the runner-up at Yarmouth was previously fourth to a subsequent two-time winner.

Main rival Zabeel Queen looked equally as impressive when bolting up at Ascot. It has to be assumed she’ll take another significant step forward, which makes this look like a two-horse race.

Outside of the main duo, Star Of Emaraaty is overpriced after springing a 66/1 shock to land the Group 3 Solera Stakes ahead of Dubai Fountain, who has also been running well in hot company.

PARK HILL STAKES, 15:15 DONCASTER, 1M 6½F

Alpinista’s withdrawal late on Wednesday afternoon makes this a wide-open renewal of the Park Hill, with Monica Sheriff and Believe In Love the two who are attracting the most attention.

The latter is going in search of the four-timer after a dominant 10l success at Newmarket which has brought her handicap mark up from 76 at the start of the campaign to 107 ahead of this.

That’s a whole heap of progression in a short space of time, although it is worth noting that the pace did collapse 3f from home in her last race at HQ, which explains the manner of her victory.

This is much tougher, and while she does receive 9lb from Monica Sheriff, it’s Roger Varian’s runner who we think could come out on top at Town Moor.

The four-year-old completed a four-timer of her own last season before being plotted up for the Ebor at York where she finished a very respectable fourth to the smart Fujaira Prince.

She encountered plenty of traffic en route to her frame finish last month which suggests it wasn’t a true measure of her ability and that she can do even better here.

The daughter of Lawman should improve for her second run of the season and we’re expecting her to be a tough nut to crack over a distance which suits her down to the ground.

WEATHERBYS RACING BANK £200,000 2-Y-O STAKES, 14:40 DONCASTER, 6½F

Each of the last six editions of this two-year-old renewal have been won by a horse drawn within four of the top or the bottom, so you’re probably looking for a low or high stall number here.

That bodes well for the popular Yazaman, who has some of the best form on offer having twice run well behind Tactical in Group 2 company before disappointing in the Gimcrack last time out.

However, the William Haggas-trained runner will be fitted with new headgear on Town Moor after blowing out last time and isn’t always straightforward, which isn’t ideal in tricky contest like this.

Instead it’s another horse in yellow and black who could take the beating, with Cairn Island looking to continue his progression after landing a double at York three weeks ago.

Kevin Ryan is a trainer who has won this race on no fewer than three occasions, and his Kodiac colt shaped as though he’d take to this like a duck to water last time out.

Line Of Departure is the other horse who we think could get involved in the finish after his Ascot Nursery win was franked by the runner-up, who landed a similarly tough contest at Doncaster on Wednesday.

THURSDAY 10TH SEPTEMBER, ITV RACING SCHEDULE

13:40 Doncaster – British Stallion Studs EBF “Carrie Red” Fillies’ Nursery Handicap

14:10 Doncaster – May Hill Stakes (Group 2)

14:40 Doncaster – Weatherbys Racing Bank £200,000 2-Y-O Stakes

15:15 Doncaster – Park Hill Fillies’ Stakes (Group 2)

15:45 Doncaster – Price Promise At bet365 Handicap

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All odds and markets correct as of date of publication

 

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Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the UEA where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper. He supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Darts and Horse Racing are among his other favourite sports.