Watch the weather

Watch the weather

Back for two races at Doncaster today including the Leger and then over to Leopardstown for the Irish Champion Stakes. After the strong winds yesterday at Doncaster the forecast is more benign. However there is there a possibility of rain and the clerk of the course has not ruled out the possibility of the ground easing from the current good conditions.

At Leopardstown the going is on the softer side of Good.

 2.00 Doncaster Champagne Stakes (Group 2)

Six to post for this 7f event for the 2y.o. boys.

Thunder Snow sets the form standard on his second in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood.

He looks sure to go close, although the Saeed bin Suroor stable remain relatively quiet and that is a cause for concern.

Rivet impressed when winning at York. Rivet looks sure to step up significantly on that bare form and is in the ‘could be anything’ category. Partnered by Andrea Atzeni; the young Italian has already ridden five winners at this meeting so far.

2/1 joint favs on my provisional tissue.




3.45 Doncaster St Leger Stakes (Group 1)


A.P. O’Brien has three of the nine entered here. His Great Voltigeur winner Idaho being the strong market leader.

With the heavy rain having missed Doncaster Idaho deserves to be at short odds. He sets a high standard with the prospect of further improvement on this step up to 14f.

Muntahaa is progressing with racing but faces a very tough task in improving past Idaho.

The market has it about right. I go:

Idaho  4/5

Muntahaa  5/1

10/1 bar




6.45 Leopardstown Irish Champion Stakes (Group 1)

Here we have the Oaks winner taking on the Derby winner.

I favour Minding to come out on top against the highest class opposition.

Harzand may find the drop back to 10f a problem, the Arc being his target.

I price them as follows:

Minding   5/2

Harzand   7/2

10/1 bar



It is a day of high quality where the layers have had ample time to get their markets right for the main contenders. An angle in may be a change in the conditions at Doncaster and a sharp weather eye is advised.

Yalta conference

Yalta conference

We head to Doncaster for two races this afternoon. The going is Good and a dry sunny day is forecast. I will be firming up my prices a little later once I have spoken to a number of contacts at the course.

1.55: The opening race is a Group 3 confined to fillies and mares.

With Lumiere having disappointed on latest start and Same Jurisdiction having her first start since arriving from South Africa, this is a difficult race to price with total confidence.

However Nemoralia was impressive at York. She sets a high standard and deserves to be at short odds.

With various doubts concerning the others runners Spangled can figure at big odds. Currently available at 16/1 with quite a few firms.

I provisionally price as follows:

Nemoralia evens

Lumiere    9/2

Spangled  8/1




2.30: A 5f Group 2 with local trainer Mark Johnston holding two strong entries with The Last Lion and Yalta.

What to make of Yalta is the big question here. His impressive win in the Molecomb at Goodwood two starts ago would make him difficult to beat here.

However he finished last at York on his latest start, being beaten before half  way.

Excuses concerning the draw and a more competitive race have been put forward for that York reverse. To my eye it looked a possible physical issue. A return to that Goodwood form would set a good standard.

For me, Tis Marvellous and Afandem are the dangers in this highly competitive sprint.

I presently  make Yalta, Tis Marvellous and Afandem 4/1 co favs.




Another very good week in the making with three winners from four bets only so far this week. Special terms for the 2016/17 main jumps campaign are now available. They include a discount on standard rates plus the remainder of this month free. See the website for full details of membership opportunities and to get your free information pack:




Reference Day

Reference Day

Scrappy looking afternoon of racing with little of discernible value to go at.

Difficult to accurately price up the key races at Doncaster. More a card for future reference.

At Huntingdon there are two races of interest. The 2.40 doesn’t look as clear cut as the betting suggests and there are plenty here with chances.

The 3.15 is a real conundrum. None of the five come into this inspiring confidence. At The Top makes her chasing debut after not really doing a lot over hurdles. However, she has the make of a chaser. Wouldn’t want to take anything under 13/8.

Djakadam impressed on latest outing when winning the John Durkan Memorial
Djakadam impressed on latest outing when winning the John Durkan Memorial

Tomorrow is an entirely different matter with last year’s Gold Cup runner-up Djakadam being Willie Mullins’ only runner at Cheltenham. Paul Townend is dispatched to Doncaster to ride his three runners there.

Back tomorrow morning with a full preview.