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Two runner-ups from yesterday's selections, with Millions Memories getting caught in the final 50 yards, which was agonising to watch. Despite that, we were still in profit on the day if you backed him EW. Today is the start of the Doncaster St Leger festival, so hopefully we can pick up some winners.
The horses towards the head of the market will be the ones most talked about, and rightly so, as they are the horses with the best form, but this race has a bad record for horses vying for favourtism. In the last ten years no favourite has won this race, and other than 2011 and 2018 (11/4 & 7/2) the lowest odds to win this race was 8/1. With that being said, I am going to be siding with the trend, and back an outsider, which is SUNSET BAY.
On paper, there likely to be a strong pace. Just Beautiful, Highfield Princess and Undertheboardwalk (only raced once) have been seen to best effect when running from the front, so there is a chance that they could take each other on for the lead. If that is the case then it could set it up for a closer. Sunset Bay appeared to be a horse who was in need of a strong gallop when she finished 2nd lto. She was held-up at Newbury, and was staying on strongly, which signaled that a strongly run 7f would be straight up her street.
On the bare form of things, she will need to improve a fair amount to win this race, but like we've seen in many renewals of this race, not always the most predictable horse will win. In 6 of the last 10 renewals, horses at double figure odds have won, including 25/1, 22/1 and 20/1 winners. Sunset Bay is 92 rated, which means she would be getting 18lbs off the favourite if this was a handicap, which goes to show the level of improvement which is needed. However, the form behind Aratus lto would appear to be better than a mark of 92. Aratus was well on top that day, but he got first run on her, and she was catching him all the way to the line. That horse was given an RPR of 106, and he has since won again.
Ed Walker has a decent record at this track with 3yo's, which equals 7 wins from 35 runners (20% SR). There are a couple of bookies who are offering 4 places, and he could be a good EW play.
It's weird to see how Arecibo is a favourite for this race, as he is a horse who is very difficult to win with. I've fallen into the trap of backing him a couple of times when he was trained by David O'Meara, but back then he was a handicapper. Since moving over to Robert Cowell, he seems a totally different beast and is very capable at Class 1 levels. However, a race of this nature on a flat 5f with not many runners he might not reach them, as he is a hold up horse. KHAADEM is my selection for this race, and this might be a perfect race for him.
Once upon a time there was a big hype around this horse as he won the Goodwood Stewards' Cup off a mark of 107, and he did it with ease. People thought he could be one of next big things for sprinting, but it hasn't worked out, and I think that's down to the fact that he needs rattling fast ground, and he's simply not a Group 1 horse.
This is definitely more his level, and if he runs like his run lto I think he could be hard to beat. That statement might sound ridiculous for many as he was 5th of 9 and was 3 lengths behind the winner. However, this is on a flatter track and is 1f shorter, and if you watch the race, he has plenty of speed and the first time blinkers lit him up like a Christmas tree, which will suit him over this trip. He could be taken on for the lead, but I hope Jim Crowley just lets him roll out in front and lets him get into a rhythm.
Other than Arecibo, I think it would be disappointing if any of the others won this, and that's including Tarboosh who won this race last year. Tarboosh is a steady sprinter, but it would be poor if he won this at the age of 8, based on the form he has shown this year.
A horse who simply loves Doncaster is WENTWORTH FALLS, and if there was ever a time for him to bounce back with a win, it would be this track.
This horse has ran at this track nine times in total, which has seen him record two wins and has ran well on seven of his total runs. His form at this track reads 144325100, so if you can forgive him for the final two runs at this track, he has a good chance. He is not getting any younger, and at the age of 9, it has seen his handicap mark fall to 81, which makes him well-handicapped based on his old pieces of form which saw him win off marks in the high 80s and low 90s.
Wentworth Falls is a horse who stays well over 6f, which was on show when he was staying on strongly in his most recent run over 6f at Newmarket. This drop back in trip is a slight concern, but to counter the 0.5f difference, there are a couple of noticeable horses who run from the front, which should mean it will be ran at a good pace. Due to his running style, there is a possibility that he will be blocked when trying to weave through the crowd, so luck in running will be needed.
The form of his most recent race is decent, as the winner is clearly in good form as he landed his second straight win when he won that race, and he has since gone on to finish 2nd in his next race. It was encouraging to see a bounce back to from for the selection, as it showed that there was still ability, and I think this race would've been the plan for him, as he simply loves this track.
Trainer Geoffrey Harker is 3/17 for horses 4yo+ at Doncaster, which yields a profit of +25.25 to £1 level stakes.