It's the Thought that counts
Simon Holt previews Saturday's action at Doncaster and the Curragh and fancies Thought Worthy in the St Leger.
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1pt e.w Thought Worthy in 15.40 Doncaster at 11/1 (William Hill, Sporting Bet 1/4 odds 1,2,3).
1pt e.w Steps in 15.00 Doncaster at 20/1 (Boylesports, William Hill 1/4 odds 1,2,3).
1pt win Toronado in 14.25 Doncaster at 11/4 (General).
1pt win Aiken in 18.05 Curragh at 6/1 (Stan James, William Hill).
It's the day of the final Classic of the season, the Ladbrokes St Leger, Camelot is going for Triple Crown glory and he's a short price to complete the treble.
He remains unbeaten in five career starts but he's never been this far and on pedigree he's got a bit of a mixed bag in my book. He's by Montjeu out of a Kingmambo mare who is related to a 1m2f winner and herself was a winner over 1m1f.
There's not a lot of obvious stamina there on the dam's side but being a son of Montjeu you would think he'd get the extended 1m6f as he's bred many horses who have stayed long disatnces.
Is he a value bet? I don't think he is. The St Leger is always a really tough test and it usually pays to look for a horse that is progressing in the second half of the season.
The one I like is THOUGHT WORTHY who is a full brother to a previous Leger winner in Lucarno and I think at the odds he represents each-way value.
He won the Great Voltigeur, one of the best Leger trials, at York last time out and thought it was a falsely-run affair he was still the horse that was able to quicken up the best.
I think he'll confirm the placings with the runner-up as Main Sequence is far from certain to stay the extra distance, while Thought Worthy is almost guaranteed to.
If Camelot is going to be vulnerable, he's the obvious threat and of course his trainer John Gosden and jockey William Buick are on a St Leger treble.
Earlier on we have the Portland Handicap and it's a super renewal of the race. The interesting thing about the contest is the five-and-a-half furlong trip.
It's a very particular distance and I think it will suit a horse of Roger Varian's called STEPS.
He was staying on strongly over five furlongs in the Shergar Cup last time on Good to Firm ground and had previously won over the stiff five at Newmarket, but only really getting on top inside the closing stages.
I think five-and-a-half furlongs will suit this horse very well.
Dundonnell will be on many peoples shortlist for the Champagne Stakes after his win at York but I'm going to take him on with Richard Hannon's TORONADO.
He's unbeaten in two starts so far. On the first of them he beat a horse called One Word More, who is now rated 100 and that would suggest Toronado certainly has an equal chance to Dundonnell on ratings.
Next time out Toronado was odds-on to win at Ascot and while he wasn't overly impressive he is highly-rated at home and I think he could just topple the likely favourite.
The other Group One race this Saturday is the Irish St Leger at the Curragh in which Fame And Glory is likely to start the favourite.
On two outings this season he's been workmanlike and then disappointing and though he's a four-time course winner I just get the feeling these days that Fame And Glory is a little bit unpredictable.
I'll be opposing him with John Gosden's AIKEN who hasn't run since finishing fourth behind Sea Moon, Dunaden and Red Cadeaux in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.
That looks very strong form indeed, he's a lighty-raced horse who will continue to improve - especially at this extra distance.