Five horses to follow for Doncaster's four day St Leger Festival including Saaheq in the Portland

Saaheq (left) is an interesting possible runner in the Portland
Saaheq (left) is an interesting possible runner in the Portland

Matt Brocklebank highlights five horses not to be missed at this week's St Leger Festival at Doncaster.

LAMPANG - 1.50, Wednesday

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Tim Easterby's two-year-old debut winners are few and far between so Lampang could be considered extraordinary on that basis alone.

But his Carlisle success on August 29 is well worth another viewing as the Dandy Man colt came from a difficult spot behind a wall of horses to sprout wings on the far side rail and ultimately win going away by a length.

There was plenty of market confidence in him at the Cumbrian venue (sent off 7/2 joint-favourite) and the form already has a decent look to it with runner-up Panic Room winning by three and a quarter lengths at Haydock and the fourth, Richard Fahey's Alben Spirit, a good third at York over the weekend behind Clan Royale.

Lampang has speed to burn and, after the penny clearly dropped inside the final furlong first time out, he should be very hard to beat in the Leger Festival opener if putting that initial experience to good use on Town Moor.

ALPEN ROSE - 3.45, Thursday

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Charlie Appleby will be hoping for a big finish to the year, with only two domestic Group One wins on the board for 2019 (both of which were Blue Point) and, Ghaiyyath aside, the two-year-old division should give him the best opportunity to add to that tally.

Alpen Rose has a little way to go before she's mixing at the highest level but the huge daughter of Sea The Stars looks capable of climbing through the ranks to take up her engagement in the bet365 Fillies' Mile at Newmarket on October 11.

The Group Two William Hill May Hill Stakes on Thursday seems a very decent stepping-stone, especially given her maiden win came over this course and distance in the middle of last month.

That all-the-way success came on the back of a very promising debut second on lively ground over seven furlongs on Newmarket's July course and she has the scope to keep improving with racing.

The bare form of her Doncaster effort doesn't amount to much yet as the second and third have been disappointing since but she was good value for the length triumph as looked to idle briefly around a furlong from the finish.

That augurs well for her going forward as you'd expect her to be more professional on this occasion and William Buick takes over from Brett Doyle in the saddle - there's a lot to like about her claims.

TAMMOOZ - 6.00, Friday

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Given their track record, Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni are a team to follow on Town Moor this week and it could be worth hanging around until the last race on Friday to get stuck into Tammooz.

The son of Lawman clearly hasn't been the easiest but, following a string of creditable efforts in defeat after being gelded over the winter, he struck gold with a hard-fought victory at Windsor last month.

A 6lb rise for that head success may look a tad harsh on the face of it but he showed a good attitude to see off the 5/4 favourite, who had won previously, with 10 lengths back to the third.

The runner-up has been out again since in a much better race at Haydock (seventh on Saturday) but Tammooz looks the one to focus on as the victory should have done his confidence the world of good.

Atzeni is a master when it comes to judging races at Doncaster and while dropping back a furlong may not look absolutely ideal for the horse, I'd be more than willing to trust the rider to get things right providing he has a decent pace to aim at in this 10-furlong classified stakes.

Jockey Andrea Atzeni
Jockey Andrea Atzeni excels at Doncaster

SAAHEQ - 1.50, Saturday

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Saaheq is going to need at least 11 to drop out of the William Hill Portland Handicap to make the cut but plenty of the six-day entries ran at York last weekend so there's a chance the race could yet cut up.

Mick Appleby's horse has to be of significant interest if sneaking in at the foot of the weights as he looked unlucky not to go very close to winning at Sandown late last month.

He was denied a clear run at a key stage in the race won by Justanotherbottle and he'll be better off with the winner at the weights if they both line up this weekend.

Saaheq is still 3lb higher than when last successful but recent evidence - including a good second to Orvar on his penultimate start - gives the strong impression he's still capable of winning sprint handicaps from marks in the high-80s, if not higher.

All ground seems to come alike and the stable is obviously in good nick so while he may not be the safest antepost play (16/1 at the time of writing), he's definitely one to monitor at the declaration stage.

KINGBROOK - 4.10, Saturday

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Put a line through the bare form of Kingbrook's Acomb Stakes effort at York - he was sweating quite badly on a really warm day and appeared to pay the price for getting in such a state with a slow start.

He was subsequently a little short of room and although that alone doesn't excuse him completely, the Kingman colt did appear happy to be right up with the pace when winning at Ascot previously.

The form of his debut second at Haydock - behind Path Of Thunder and Encipher, and ahead of Boomer and Glory Maker, who have all won since - looks really strong and it could be that an initial mark of 88 underestimates Mark Johnston's runner, who is expected to relish a first crack at a mile this weekend.


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