There are five more live races on ITV3 this Friday as Day 3 of the St Leger Festival gets underway from Doncaster.
The Flying Childers and the Doncaster Cup are the two feature races on the penultimate afternoon at Town Moor, and they form the basis of our preview alongside the Mallard Handicap, which kicks off the action at 13:40.
FLYING CHILDERS STAKES, 14:40 DONCASTER, 5F
A fascinating renewal of the Flying Childers could go the way of The Lir Jet, who drops back down to 5f after two unsuccessful attempts over 6f in the Prix Robert Papin and the Phoenix Stakes at The Curragh.
Prior to that Michael Bell’s inmate showed an exceptional turn of foot to land the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot ahead of Wesley Ward and Golden Pal, with the pair finishing over 3l clear of the rest of the field.
The Qatar Racing speedster will get the assistance of the highly-rated Cieren Fallon over 5f, and with the duo perfectly drawn in stall one, we think they could prove difficult to stop in the afternoon’s feature.
Their main opposition comes in the form of Irish raider Steel Bull, who won his first two racecourse starts before finishing well down the field in the Phoenix after breaking two teeth in the stalls and blowing the start.
He should also go better for the drop back to the 5f and cannot be ruled out, likewise the same goes for Sacred who was narrowly touched off in the Lowther at York and is another who’ll appreciate the return to minimum distance.
Frenetic was runner-up to subsequent Lowther winner Miss Amulet in a Listed race at Naas and is an interesting outsider, while the lightly-raced Mohawk King who went too hard in the Gimcrack and is capable of better.
DONCASTER CUP, 15:15 DONCASTER, 2M 2F
A lot will need to be taken on trust in this one with the majority of the market principals having their first run over the extended 2m 2f distance. With that in mind, the tried-and-tested The Grand Visir could be the way to go.
Ian Williams’s charge is by no means flashy or exciting, but he is a regular over these marathon trips and won the Ascot Stakes over 2m 4f last season, which goes to prove he will stay the distance required here.
He’s performed well this campaign without getting his head in front thus far, finishing runner-up to Who Dares Wins in the Queen Alexandra before getting to within 2l of the winner at Goodwood last time despite carrying top weight.
The dual-purpose performer in a big race where there are no standout performers, even if the likeable Spanish Mission has posted good efforts over 1m 6f and 2m in hotter company than this in the recent past.
Revolver has improved to the tune of 41lb this term and goes in search of a remarkable seven-timer for Sir Michael Stoute, while Eagles By Day should also go well in this company after being beaten by Enbihaar last time.
MALLARD HANDICAP, 13:40 DONCASTER, 1M 6½F
Alfaatik was emphatic at York’s Ebor Festival and he’ll take some stopping if he’s in the same sort of form here. Connections have persevered with the four-year-old and following a gelding operation last summer he duly rewarded them with victory in the Sky Bet Handicap off a steady gallop after a 455-day break.
It has to be assumed that John Gosden’s runner will improve for that outing and with the trainer often excelling with this type of horse, there’s every chance he’ll follow-up in quick fashion and make it two from two this season.
Godolphin haven’t had the best time of it at the St Leger Festival so far but will be hoping for betting things from Volcanic Sky, who is expected to run a big race back down in trip after a solid fifth over 2½m at York.
Calculation won over course and distance last summer and would appear to be the main danger following a positive prep when runner-up at Sandown in August.
FRIDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER, ITV RACING SCHEDULE
13:40 Doncaster – Mallard Handicap
14:10 Doncaster – bet365 Handicap
14:40 Doncaster – Flying Childers Stakes (Group 2)
15:15 Doncaster – Doncaster Cup Stakes (Group 2)
15:45 Doncaster – Flying Scotsman Stakes (Listed)
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication