St Leger Festival 2018
Doncaster Cup (Group 2) (2m 1f 197y)
The Doncaster Cup takes place on Day Three of the St Leger Festival and it’s a contest for the stayers a Group 2 affair that’s ridden over a distance of just under two miles and two furlongs. Rich Ricci once again has a strong hand in the race with three Willie Mullins trained representatives at his disposal and these come in the form of Thomas Hobson, Max Dynamite and Renneti.
The strongest of this experienced trio looks to be Thomas Hobson who was second in this particular contest last year and is once again reunited with Ryan Moore here and can be found at the top of the betting around the 2/1 mark. Max Dynamite comes here with a bit to find and hasn’t really shown his best form this term on the level, a more than capable performer on his day and he has the services of Doncaster specialist Andrea Atzeni at his disposal here and is a general 11/1 in the betting. Renneti makes up the Ricci trio and like stablemate Max Dynamite has a bit to find on current form. He did however finish a fine second at big odds at Royal Ascot and will have to return to that kind of form if he’s to feature again here. He’s the mount of Frankie Dettori and is a general 14/1 chance in the betting.
Yet another horse who comes here with a vast of experience in the staying division throughout the years is of course David Simcock’s Sheikhzayedroad. The nine year old has contested all around the world and despite his best days perhaps somewhat behind him he still has something to offer in this sphere and could very well play a big role in what isn’t the strongest of renewals here. Martin Harley takes the ride on him and he’s a general 7/2 chance in the betting. Simcock is also represented here by Algometer, a few years younger than his vastly experienced stablemate but he also brings a decent level of experience to the table himself. His best piece of form this season looks to be a second placed effort in Group 2 company on his penultimate start at Longchamp and is certainly in with a shout in this with Oisin Murphy on board. He’s a best priced of around 5/1. Saunter for Ian Williams takes his place here and has become a solid yardstick in top handicaps as of late but will need to prove his stamina here as well as taking a step up in class. Jame Doyle takes the ride on him and can be found at around the 15/2 mark in the betting. Lord Yeates for Jedd O’Keefe will need to resume his impressive progress from last season if he’s going to feature and the field is concluded by Jukebox Jive at 50/1 for Anthony Honeyball.
A slightly below par renewal of the Doncaster Cup this year of which a case can be made for the majority of the field however i’m finding it hard to get away from THOMAS HOBSON the market leader for the Ricci’s and Willie Mullins. He went close last year in this and Ryan didn’t seem to be too pleased that he hadn’t won, I think he’s got every chance of making amends though here in as stated what is a poor renewal.
THOMAS HOBSON – (2/1)
1.50 (Class 1) (Group 3) (7f)
LAUGH ALOUD (3/1)
2.25 (Class 1) (Group 2) (5f)
SOLDIERS CALL (6/1) (E/W)
3.00 (Class 2) (Handicap) (1m 6f 115y)
BEN VRACKIE (6/1) (E/W)
3.35 (Class 1) (Group 2) (2m 2f)
THOMAS HOBSON (2/1)
4.05 (Class 1) (Listed) (7f)
COMMANDING OFFICER (14/1) (E/W) – POGO (20/1) (E/W)
4.40 (Class 3) (Maiden) (7f)
5.10 (Class 2) (Handicap) (6f 111y)
SHANGHAI GLORY (7/1) (E/W)