DAY one at Doncaster's St Leger festival and EQUILATERAL (3.00) returns to calmer waters on the back of a couple of no-shows in Group 1 and Group 2 company.
Charlie Hills has an embarrassment of riches in the sprinting department and Equilateral boasts an excellent CV at Doncaster, conceding 12lb and handing out an eight lengths thrashing to Foxtrot Lady in a Novice Stakes over course and distance last May. The four-year-old kicked off the current campaign with a solid third to Invincible Army and Major Jumbo in the Unibet Cammidge Trophy at the Lincoln meeting (11-4 favourite that day) before running Mabs Cross to a neck in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket. He goes well fresh and returns from a 52-day absence on the fast ground he relishes.
Tis Marvellous finished just behind him in the Cammidge Trophy and has been in grand form for Clive Cox. He must go well along with penalised El Astronaute.
LAMPANG (1.50) made an eye-catching winning debut for Tim Easterby at Carlisle 15 days ago carrying the very familiar King Power Racing colours.
Runner-up Panic Room dotted up by more than three lengths at Haydock last week and Lampang looks a horse with a future. He also held an entry in the ‘Flying Scotsman’ but has been diverted to this festival curtain-raiser. Godolphin’s Lazuli and the Tom Dascombe-trained Brad The Brief both won on debut, while Misty Grey has plenty of solid form at a good level to make up an interesting contest.
Roger Varian has found the ideal race for course and distance winner WILLIE JOHN (4.45) and with a dry weather forecast he should get his favoured fast track.
It is probably safe to put a line through Willie John’s last outing in the Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot when soft ground made life tough but he split a useful pair in Elarqam and Thundering Blue in a Listed contest at Goodwood in May (good to firm). The four-year-old won a Novice Stakes over course and distance by five lengths last August and wasn’t beaten far by Red Verdon back on Town Moor at the end of March when the 1m 4f trip proved too taxing.
Loxley will be a tough nut to crack if fully wound up after a lengthy absence but the Godolphin runner is trading at short odds.
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