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2019 Doncaster St Leger Festival tips: Race-by-race selections for day three

Brian Healy 13 Sep 2019
It is day three of the Doncaster St Leger Festival on Friday (credit:Tim Goode/PA Wire/PA Images)

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections and best bets for the third day of the Doncaster St Leger Festival meeting featuring the Doncaster Cup.

The third day of the 2019 Doncaster St Leger Festival goes to post on Friday, and an eight race card on Town Moor sees the Group Two Doncaster Cup - featuring Stradivarius - and the Group Two Flying Childers Stakes both on the agenda.

2:10 - Japan Racing Association Sceptre Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies & Mares) Cl1 (3yo+) 7f

2:40 - William Hill Mallard Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-110) 1m6½f

3:10 - Magners Rose Doncaster Cup Stakes (Group 2) (British Champions Series) Cl1 (3yo+) 2m2f

3:45 - Wainwright Flying Childers Stakes (Group 2) Cl1 (2yo) 5f

4:20 - Weatherbys Global Stallions App Flying Scotsman Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 (2yo) 7f

4:55 - Gary Reid Memorial Irish EBF Maiden Stakes (Plus 10 Race) (Sire And Dam-Restricted Race) Cl3 (2yo) 7f

5:30 - Follow @WillHillRacing On Twitter Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 6½f

6:00 - Coopers Marquees Classified Stakes Cl3 (3yo+ 0-85) 1m2f

The ITV Racing cameras will be on hand again to cover the pick of Friday’s action, and Ed Chamberlain and the team will have their usual expert tips, insights and post-race analysis on four live races.

Meanwhile, Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections on Friday’s eight-race card.

2:10 - Japan Racing Association Sceptre Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies & Mares) Cl1 (3yo+) 7f


This looks wide open and a chance is taken on a return to form by MOT JUSTE (12/1, Bet365) who has failed to build on a very promising runner-up effort on her reappearance in the Nell Gwyn Stakes.

Roger Varian’s Distorted Humour filly looked a progressive juvenile, scoring at Beverley last September enroute to winning the Group Three Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket on her final outing of that campaign.

But, having chased home Qabala at Newmarket on her reappearance, she has largely struggled since and she was last seen beating only two home behind Suedois in the Supreme Stakes. 

Progress has certainly stalled, but she has possibly failed to act on the Goodwood undulations the last twice; while previous efforts saw her struggle in Group One company. This more conventional track might suit better, and in an open contest she could be worth giving another chance to at a big price.


2:40 - William Hill Mallard Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-110) 1m6½f


The thriving SAROOG (11/8, Paddy Power) could prove a tough nut to crack as he bids for a hat-trick of wins, and the Nathaniel gelding can strike again.

Simon Crisford’s charge won twice last term at Sandown and Goodwood, and following a Newbury fifth he returned to the same track on his reappearance to post a creditable fourth to Frontispiece.

However, he built on that performance with a brace of wins at Ascot and Newmarket, latterly beating Themaxwecan by just over one length despite hanging left on the run to the line which suggests he could have more in the locker.

The runner-up and fourth have both win since so the form looks pretty strong, and a subsequent 5lbs rise could prove workable so there appears every chance he can find further improvement to land the three-timer here.

3:10 - Magners Rose Doncaster Cup Stakes (Group 2) (British Champions Series) Cl1 (3yo+) 2m2f


STRADIVARIUS (4/9, Ladbrokes) is impossible to get away from, and the double ‘Stayers’ Triple Crown’ winner can add a Group Two success to his haul of Group Ones already this term.

The Sea The Stars horse has already beaten chief danger Dee Ex Bee three times in the campaign, and John Gosden’s star stayer should make it four and extend his current unbeaten sequence to ten wins.

His latest success saw him cruise to an easy success over Mark Johnston’s star in the Lonsdale Cup last month, only needing to be pushed out to score easily. Frankie Dettori was even able to take a pull on the horse, switching from the middle of the track and around horses to end up on the stands’ rail where he asserted for a comfortable win despite the one length margin.

He is likely to prove a very tough nut to crack again, and this is certainly no more difficult an assignment than he faced on the Knavesmire so it would be a shock if he were to be turned over on this occasion.

3:45 - Wainwright Flying Childers Stakes (Group 2) Cl1 (2yo) 5f


A’ALI (11/8, Ladbrokes) saw his winning run ended on the all-weather at Deauville last time out in the Group One Prix Morny; but Simon Crisford’s charge can bounce back here having struck previous wins at Ascot and on the Deauville turf previously.

Both those successes came over five furlongs and in Group Two company, with the Society Rock colt running out a ready winner of the Norfolk Stakes on softer ground and then proving quicker conditions to be no issue when beating My Love’s Passion in the Prix Robert Papin.

Possibly just stretched by six furlongs latest, he ought to appreciate this return to a stiff five furlongs and he could make amends here with a return to winning ways if the even quicker conditions - unraced on ground quicker than good - don’t prove an inconvenience to his chances.

4:20 - Weatherbys Global Stallions App Flying Scotsman Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 (2yo) 7f


MOTHALAM (9/4,Bet365) was unlucky to bump into impressive York scorer Mum’s Tipple when finding only that rival too strong on debut at Ascot in July, going down by a neck.

However, Roger Varian’s charge showed the benefit of that run to get off the mark at York next time, scoring by the same margin over Celtic Art, and the Night Of Thunder colt can improve again on the back of that success.

He appeared to appreciate the step up to seven furlongs on that occasion, staying on well to get up near the line having travelled strongly throughout the race. The runner-up has won since to give the form a boost, and while he probably needs to find some improvement stepping up in class against the likes of Visinari he can find the requisite progress to strike again.


4:55 - Gary Reid Memorial Irish EBF Maiden Stakes (Plus 10 Race) (Sire And Dam-Restricted Race) Cl3 (2yo) 7f


MAORI KNIGHT (13/8, Bet365) offered plenty to work on when finishing around five lengths’ third behind Encipher on his debut, belying odds of 25/1 in the process and hinting that there was better to come from the Camelot colt.

Richard Hughes’ charge made a bad start in that contest, veering markedly left and giving up some lengths before finishing off the race strongly as the penny dropped, and the experience gained won’t be lost on him.

The runner-up has won since to give the form something of a boost, and a Dewhurst entry suggests he’s well thought of by his handler so there ought to be more to come. Assuming he can put the experience gained in that debut to good use then it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him get off the mark at the second attempt.


5:30 - Follow @WillHillRacing On Twitter Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 6½f


Course and distance winner FLAVIUS TITUS (3/1, Paddy Power) could be worth forgiving his latest run in the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood where the Lethal Force gelding failed to beat a rival home.

Roger Varian’s charge wasn’t unfancied for that contest having been sent off at 9/1; but he weakened as if amiss on his first start in two months, and he may be best judged on earlier efforts which saw him win two of his previous three starts.

Both those successes came at Newmarket, latterly beating Louie De Palma by a neck, and he had also won at this venue over seven furlongs last June prior to some consistent performances in defeat although he failed to run up to form in a Goodwood contest last August so perhaps the Sussex track doesn’t play to his strengths.

He could be worth chancing then back at the scene of one of his previous wins, and with his earlier Newmarket form working out quite well it wouldn’t come as a big shock to see him bounce back here.

6:00 - Coopers Marquees Classified Stakes Cl3 (3yo+ 0-85) 1m2f


SANDRET (10/3, William Hill) has been a consistent sort this term, winning his first two starts in the first half of the season at Newcastle and Redcar, and he bounced back of a lesser effort at Ripon behind Caustic Love to almost get back on the scoresheet at Newmarket last month.

Ben Haslam’s charge was denied only by a nose on that occasion behind Romola, and the Zebedee gelding was beaten on the nod. However, he could find some improvement stepping up in trip here and there is plenty of stamina on his dam’s side so may appreciate the stiffer test where he can find another jolt of progress to get back on the scoresheet despite a 5lbs rise in the weights.

Three-year olds boast a decent return in the race, and he is one of a trio of runners from that age group; while he possibly needs more he can get competitive despite some doubts over his stamina.


2019 DONCASTER ST LEGER FESTIVAL TIPS - DAY THREE SELECTIONS


2:10 - MOT JUSTE (12/1, Bet365)

2:40 - SAROOG (11/8, Paddy Power)

3:10 - STRADIVARIUS (4/9, Ladbrokes)

3:45 - A’ALI (11/8, Ladbrokes)

4:20 - MOTHALAM (9/4, Bet365)

4:55 - MAORI KNIGHT (13/8, Bet365)

5:30 - FLAVIUS TITUS (3/1, Paddy Power)

6:00 - SANDRET (10/3, William Hill)


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2019 Doncaster St Leger Festival tips: Race-by-race selections for day three

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections and best bets for the third day of the Doncaster St Leger Festival meeting featuring the Doncaster Cup.

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