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2019 Doncaster St Leger Festival tips - Race-by-race selections for day one of the final Classic meeting of the season

Brian Healy 10 Sep 2019
It is day one of the Doncaster St Leger Festival on Wednesday.

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections and best bets for the first day of the final Classic meeting of the season.

Wednesday’s fixture list of UK and Irish horse racing meetings includes the first of four classy days’ racing action on the flat at Doncaster as the St Leger Festival meeting gets underway.

The season’s final Classic race doesn’t take place until Saturday, but there is plenty of high-class and competitive action in the meantime on Town Moor, and a seven-race card awaits punters on day one of a fantastic four day meeting.

1:50 - British Stallion Studs EBF Conditions Stakes (Plus 10 Race) Cl2 (2yo) 6f

2:25 - Pepsi Max Nursery Handicap Cl2 (2yo) 7f

3:00 - DC Training And Development Services Scarbrough Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 (2yo+) 5f

3:35 - Mondialiste Leger Legends Classified Stakes Cl5 (3yo+ 0-70) 1m

4:10 - British EBF Premier Fillies' Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-100) 1m4f

4:45 - William Hill Leading Racecourse Bookmaker Conditions Stakes Cl2 (3yo+) 1m2f

5:20 - Parkes Bros Roofing Contractors Handicap Cl4 (3yo+ 0-85) 5f

The feature race of the first day of racing at Doncaster sees the Listed Scarbrough Stakes take centre stage, and Brian Healy gives his race-by-race thoughts on all the day one action.

1:50 - British Stallion Studs EBF Conditions Stakes (Plus 10 Race) Cl2 (2yo) 6f


Only four runners go to post for the first race of the 2019 Doncaster St Leger Festival, and LAZULI (5/4, Bet365) could be the one to side with in a very tricky opener.

Charlie Appleby’s Dubawi colt made a very strong first impression when powering to an impressive victory on his debut at Newmarket in August, always travelling strongly and readily asserting to post a near-three lengths’ victory over Hello Baileys.

The third from that race has won since, and the initial experience won’t have been lost on him, and he shaped as if he needed the experience given he ran keen and green early so he is likely capable of a good deal better with that outing under his belt.

An entry in the Middle Park Stakes suggest he is well thought of by the Godolphin team, and with the potential for significant improvement to come on the back of that first outing then he can extend his unbeaten run here.

2:25 - Pepsi Max Nursery Handicap Cl2 (2yo) 7f


ETHIC (5/1, Coral) is given another chance having failed to deliver in the Acomb Stakes at York last month, and William Haggas’ charge is surely better than he was able to show on that occasion.

The son of Dark Angel had won readily the time before when scoring over six furlongs at Salisbury in July, beating a subsequent and shaping as if he might benefit from a stiffer test. Stepped up to this trip for that York assignment, he never got involved in the contest on the Knavesmire, always racing in arrears and making little headway.

However, switching to a handicap now it might be worth forgiving him that effort in a race where he features from a potentially lenient opening mark. All may not have been well with him at York, but he wouldn’t be the first to struggle on the Knavesmire and he could post a better effort over this course which may suit him better.

It is too soon to write him off on the back of that disappointing run last time out, and he is given another chance to build on the earlier promise he had shown at Salisbury.

3:00 - DC Training And Development Services Scarbrough Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 (2yo+) 5f


TIS MARVELLOUS (7/4 Coral) is given another chance having been denied any sort of run in the Beverley Bullet recently, and Clive Cox’s charge can go close here.

The Harbour Watch gelding ha been in good heart prior to that run, finding only Cape Byron too strong in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot before running out a ready winner over Open Wide in the Heritage Handical at the same track in July.

He struck by just over two lengths on that occasion, and he was well-fancied for the Listed feature at Beverley at the end of August where he eventually finished fifth having been denied a clear run when trying to come with his challenge.

It is debatable whether he’d have won in any case, but he likely would have finished closer with a clear run and he can make a bold bid for compensation here.

3:35 - Mondialiste Leger Legends Classified Stakes Cl5 (3yo+ 0-70) 1m


DUBAI ACCLAIM (15/2, William Hill) could give Sammy Jo Bell a winning return to the saddle for old boss Richard Fahey, and the Acclamation gelding can go close on the back of some solid efforts in defeat.

Runner-up in three of his last four starts, which include going down by less than one length behind Pinnata at Leicester last month, he had also finished in the silver medal berth over course and distance back in June behind Storm Ahead.

He has yet to win on turf, but he is a dual-scorer on the all-weather, although his last win came at Newcastle last November. However, he is only 1lb higher in the weights than for his latest near-miss, and first-time cheekpieces might help to sharpen him up.

He has it in him to win a race such as this which represents a slightly easier grade than the one he contested in last time; while his last all-weather win came from a higher mark than this so he has scope to do better in the handicap.

Assuming the headgear can sharpen up his act then it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him going close here.

4:10 - British EBF Premier Fillies' Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-100) 1m4f


LITIGIOUS (5/4, Ladbrokes) shaped as if still learning her trade when meeting with defeat at Salisbury in August, but John Gosden’s charge can get back on the winning trail here.

The Lawman filly had won both previous outings at Goodwood and Chester, scoring impressively both times, and her third-place finish behind Sea Of Faith wasn’t a bad effort on what was her handicap debut although she finished well-beaten off in the end.

She is likely to prove better than she was able to show in that last outing, and given another chance on her earlier promising successes where she had looked a potentially smart prospect, she could well bounce back here with a better effort under Frankie Dettori and is taken to make amends for that poor run.

4:45 - William Hill Leading Racecourse Bookmaker Conditions Stakes Cl2 (3yo+) 1m2f


It may be worth chancing on WILLIE JOHN (5/1, Bet365) to bounce back from a lacklustre run behind Addeybb at Ascot back in June where the soft ground may have been against the son of Dansili.

Roger Varian’s charge had run well the time before on better ground behind Elarqam in the Listed Festival Stakes at Goodwood, and a reproduction of that effort could be good enough here back from a three-month break.

A juvenile winner for William Haggas, he also struck on his first outing for his current yard at this venue prior to struggling in a Group Three at Longchamp where he may have been amiss; and he possibly failed to see out twelve furlongs on his reappearance behind Red Verdon here in March.

Given how the form of that Wolferton Stakes has been working out, he could be worth chancing to post a big run here with conditions much more likely to be in his favour than at Ascot last time out, and there is a suspicion he has a big run in him despite his stop-start career to date.


5:20 - Parkes Bros Roofing Contractors Handicap Cl4 (3yo+ 0-85) 5f


WAR WHISPER (7/1, William Hill) has hit the crossbar on each of his last three outings, including when only narrowly denied behind the reopposing Han Solo Berger at Newmarket last month where Paul Midgley’s charge was beaten a neck.

The Royal Applause gelding was arguably unlucky on that occasion, squeezed up at a crucial point in the race before running on, and that form has been boosted by the fourth horse home winning subsequently.

He is 1lb better off here with his last time conquerer so there ought not to be too much between the pair again, and he could reverse the form this time around and end his run of silver medal finishes here.

2019 DONCASTER ST LEGER FESTIVAL TIPS - DAY ONE SELECTIONS


1:50 - LAZULI (5/4, Bet365)

2:25 - ETHIC (5/1, Coral)

3:00 - TIS MARVELLOUS (7/4, Coral)

3:35 - DUBAI ACCLAIM (15/2, William Hill)

4:10 - LITIGIOUS (5/4, Ladbrokes)

4:45 - WILLIE JOHN (5/1, Bet365)

5:20 - WAR WHISPER (7/1, William Hill)

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2019 Doncaster St Leger Festival tips - Race-by-race selections for day one of the final Classic meeting of the season

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections and best bets for the first day of the final Classic meeting of the season.

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