The world’s oldest Classic race takes place on Saturday when Doncaster stages the Ladbrokes St Leger. First run in 1776 the race has been won by some great horses, though sadly rarely by any trained in Yorkshire. Tim Easterby’s Bollin Eric in 2002 has been the only winner from these parts in the last 40 years.
We are light on Yorkshire runners again this year with possibly Hartnell from Mark Johnson’s Middleham yard being our best chance of success. Derby runner-up Kingston Hill will start a warm favourite but there are doubts about his stamina and ability to handle fast ground so he is worth taking on. I fancy Sir Michael Stoute to win the race with either Snow Sky or King’s Fete. Ryan Moore could end up on Kings Fete who is 16/1 and looks a cracking each-way bet.
David O’Meara did this column a favour when his G Force won the big race last Saturday and I fancy his yard to win the Portland Handicap. He has yet to finalise running plans but whatever stable jockey Danny Tudhope picks will do for me, which hopefully will be his Great St Wilfred winner, Out Do.
Middleham trainer Karl Burke has a good bunch of two-year-olds with his Glenalmond and Toocoolforschool both running blinders at the York Ebor meeting. Both have been entered for the Group Two Champagne Stakes at Doncaster and I gather that Tudhope has been booked to ride Glenalmond. He was unlucky in running when fourth in the Gimcrack and will appreciate the extra furlong on Saturday.
My nap of the entire four-day Doncaster meeting runs on Thursday.
Bragging won a handicap in facile fashion at the Ebor meeting and went into many notebooks as a filly to follow, including mine!
She runs in the Group Three Sceptre Stakes and should be able to handle the rise in class.
Thirsk’s 2014 season comes to a conclusion with a seven-race programme next Tuesday. The awards for top trainer and jockey during the season at Thirsk will be presented. Richard Fahey and Paul Mulrennan lead their respective categories.