St Leger Festival 2021
Author: Jordan Yates
“A warm welcome to my preview for this year’s St Leger Meeting where I’ll be combining both Friday and Saturday’s action into one blog. I’ll be taking a look at all of the big races over the two days including the final classic of the season itself.
On Day 1 & 2 of the St Leger Meeting we’ve had 3 winning tips on the Facebook Story, with Modern Games (9/4), Free Wind (9/4) and Modern News (6/4) all doing the business. Free Wind was a mightily impressive winner of the Group 2 Park Hill Fillies’ Stakes. A race which we’ve done well in tipping wise throughout the years on the site.
I’ll be doing a separate blog for the Irish action on Sunday and there are now tips for the Saturday below.
As ever, enjoy!”
The first race I’m going to look at on Friday is the 1:40 which is Flying Scotsman Stakes which is a Listed race that’s contested over a distance of seven furlongs. Noble Truth will be the favourite for this, however, the one I’m siding with is Hoo Ya Mal for Oisin Murphy and Andrew Balding, who’s currently trading at around the 4/1 mark. He was last seen when winning at York’s Ebor Festival when beating a pick of mine in Dawn Of Liberation, the two pulled well clear of typically strong looking York maiden and I think he could well prove to be a nice prospect that has every chance of going very well here.
Moving onto the 2:10 next and that’s the Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes over the minimum trip of five furlongs. Armor is the current strong favourite here and rightly so on what he’s achieved so far this term. I’m going to try and take him on though with one at a bigger price and I’ve done that with Attagirl for Karl Burke and Danny Tudhope. I was actually at Haydock when she made her racecourse debut and she’s since gone on to win twice since then including a Listed event at York most recently. I think she has a lot of talent in her locker and she’s been unlucky in races she’s been beat in, there could well be a lot more to come from here and I think her current price of 7/1 represents a bit of value in this.
It’s the Doncaster Cup up next at 2:40 which is a Group 2 event that’s contested over two miles and two furlongs. I’m probably going more heart than head here, as it will be Stradivarius for me for the Gosden’s and Frankie. He’s obviously not quite the force of old as he reaches the twilight years of his career, however, he did get back into the winners enclosure the last day when he battled to get the better of Spanish Mission in the Lonsdale Cup at York. He’ll have to step up on that if he’s to beat Trueshan here but I’ll be siding with him to do just that.
The Class 2 Mallard Handicap follows at 3:15, a typically competitive affair over a mile and six and a half furlongs. I’ve taken a tentative alliance here with the Stuart Williams trained Rhythmic Intent, who’s the mount of Hayley Turner. He’s battle hardened in these kind of events and has shown that he can be competitive off his current mark, he finished a solid fifth of 15 in a hot York handicap last time and just a few starts back finished second in a similar event at Sandown. He’s also got course form having finished second in last year’s November Handicap here off just a pound lower.
I’ll kick things off on Saturday at 1:45 with the Portland Handicap which is a Class 2 event over five and a half furlongs. This is another one of those notoriously competitive affairs of which a case could be made for most of the field, I’ve side with Jawwaal here for Michael Dods and James Doyle, who’s currently trading at around the 14/1 mark. He’s drawn in 21 and high draws usually do well in this, and looking at his recent form he’s been running well off his current mark finishing fourth the last twice. He also seems to really like it around Town Moor having won twice around here already and I’ll take a chance on him running his race again.
The next race I’ll be looking at on Saturday is the 3:00 which is the Group 2 Park Stakes which is contested over seven furlongs. In this particular affair I like the chances of Laneqash for Roger Varian who Jim Crowley has chosen over Danyah. He was last seen when finishing an impressive second behind Sacred in the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes at Newbury when he returned from a lay-off. He’s also got some solid course form to his name having finished a head second to New Mandiate here last year in the Flying Scotsman. I think he holds a big chance.
Concluding the preview will of course be the concluding classic of this year’s flat season which is of course the St Leger itself which is set to take place at 3:35. For me in this, I simply can’t see past the Charlie Appleby trained Hurricane Lane who has been the hot ante-post favourite for some time. He arrives here on the back of a stellar season, having won consecutive Group 1’s in his last two outings in the form of the Grand Prix de Paris and the Irish Derby, having also being placed in the English equivalent. As a result, he’s well clear on ratings of his rivals here and if anywhere near his best he should prove very difficult to beat. If you’re looking for one as an each-way alternative to the short-priced market leader Sir Lucan could be the answer, he’s been running solid races is good company when the O’Brien stable hasn’t been particulary firing on all cylinders. He could well run into a place.