THIS WEEK we have a nice four day festival at Doncaster culminating in the famous St Leger on Saturday afternoon. The preceding days aren't as high quality as you might get at other festivals like Royal Ascot or Glorious Goodwood but there is some good racing and I think I have a few decent value shouts for Wednesday. I also have one at Carlisle that I think is worth backing.
There are three recent maiden winners in this race and Lazuli and Lampang are likely to vie for favouritism but I think that it might be worth taking them on with MISTY GREY who has already proven to be a consistent horse this season and has an official rating of 99. Despite the decent starts that his three opponents today have made there is no guarantee that they will end up reaching that sort of rating so Misty Grey's price seems more than fair to me.
The maiden win from MODERN BRITISH ART last time out was decent and he looks like one who is capable of further improvement from a mark like this and looks a decent each way bet to me. Hariboux was the other one that appealed but he has to give Modern British Art 10lb in the handicap (after two wins on the bounce) and is a shorter price.
The big names dominate the market with Tis Marvellous, Equilateral and El Astronaute all well known and well-loved sprinters. The value bet might well rest with QUEENS GIFT though who is an improving four year old filly who has won over course and distance this season. Unfortunately there are only 7 runners so the each way option isn't appealing but I am going to have a small win bet on her at the current odds to cause an upset.
This legends race for charity is a great idea as retired jockeys are rolled out to compete again in a compelling race. I would tread carefully here with your bets because the fitness of these jockeys has to be taken on trust and it will be slightly unusual for the horses to be carrying the extra weight that is allocated today across the board. I am going to have a small each way interest in WHATWOULDYOUKNOW ridden by the lesser-known Glaswegian jockey Derek McGaffin. He is unlikely to attract the sentimental money that Kieran Fallon and the like will get but his mount will enjoy the extra emphasis on stamina and is overpriced given this season's performances. He appears to be an improving horse in a race with lots of exposed types and with the extra place terms on offer we can hopefully take advantage.
I am hopping up to Carlisle for one race where I am confident that HARVEY DENT can continue on his upward curve and must surely go close in this race with conditions to suit. He can currently be backed at 3-1 with Paddy Power and Betfair and I would have made him more like 7-4 or 2-1.
This is a cracking 20-runner handicap to finish the afternoon. I liked the look of a few at big prices including Afandem, Hawaam and Whataguy but DARK SHADOW is the one that represents the best value in my view. Five furlongs is his game and he has now dropped to a competitive mark after two runs over six furlongs. The first time blinkers could be another positive element and with some firms paying 5 places he looks well worth backing at 16-1.
Good luck to all and enjoy the racing!
10:45 Stratford - Race: 1
11:00 Wincanton - Race: 1
11:15 Stratford - Race: 2