Nocturnal a fair price at 7/1
Ben Linfoot seeks out the value on day one of the St Leger meeting at Doncaster.
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2pts win Nocturnal Affair in 15.05 Doncaster at 7/1 (General).
The St Leger meeting gets off to a pretty low-key start on Wednesday but I do think there is the potential for an upset in the feature contest, the Listed Scarborough Stakes.
Sole Power is the market leader at a general 9/4 after a string of consistent efforts in top company but the fact is he's an infrequent winner who has got his head in front just once in 14 attempts since he won the Nunthorpe at 100/1 a couple of years ago.
There's plenty of pace in this race which will help him and on form he has every right to go close but I'm not sure he should be so short in a hot renewal with several capable rivals.
Chief among them is NOCTURNAL AFFAIR, a horse only 2lbs shy of Sole Power on official ratings and I'd have him much closer to the favourite in the betting.
Prices around the 7/1 mark look generous as he's a classy sprinter who first showcased his talents in this country at this very track in last year's Portland Handicap.
Since then he won a race at this level in cosy fashion at Dundalk (where he had July Cup winner Mayson back in fourth) and had a successful stint in Dubai where he got close to Sole Power on a couple of occasions.
His European campaign this year has been limited to a reappearance at Tipperary where he was second in less than ideal soft conditions before his 12th in the Nunthorpe last month.
After closely watching the video of that run he travelled into it nicely but couldn't get into it as the race developed away from him and his trainer David Marnane said he disliked both the ground and the track.
Richard Hughes allowed him to come home in his own time yet he was only beaten half-a-length by Sole Power and I think there is plenty more to come from the Irish raider.
The return to Doncaster and better ground will suit and if the usually-quick-away Noble Storm can get off to a good start on his inside he should get a nice tow into the race.
He's clearly one of the better horses in this contest and with everything in his favour he can be the one to get the better of Sole Power this time.