The St Leger meeting enters the penultimate day with a cracking Friday card.
We can’t take our eyes off the Group 2 Doncaster Cup (1535 BST) which throws up an excellent bet.
Desert Skyline has improved with each step up in trip this season. David Elsworth’s classy 3 year old first tried a staying trip when a close 6th in a quality renewal of the Queens Vase at Royal Ascot.
After a good run at Newmarket’s July meeting, he stepped all the way up to 2 miles when a superb 3rd in the Group 1 Goodwood Cup behind only St Leger fancy Stradivarius and Ascot Gold Cup winner Big Orange. He stayed on well that day and finished clear of today’s rivals Pallasator and Shiekhzayedroad.
He confirmed that form when a good second in a Group 2 in Deauville last time. Strict form-lines through the beaten horses gives Desert Skyline the edge on all these rivals, but that doesn’t even account for the potential for improvement in a 3yo versus a field of older horses who have long since plateaued.
Add in the saddle assistance of champion-elect Silvestre de Sousa and everything points to the youngster coming good. He is worth a maximum stake, albeit we will keep one point back for doubling with our other fancy.
Later (1635), Muntadeb looks to follow up a recent Haydock win. The Roger Fell trained sprinter has two wins and a second in three course visits, and loves a bit of soft ground. He looks to have everything in his favour.
We had tipped Dougan before he was withdrawn at Ascot last week. On some Doncaster form from last year he has a broadly equal chance with Muntadeb, but the extra half furlong here will not be to Dougan’s advantage and we prefer the course specialism of the favourite.
Desert Skyline (1535 Doncaster), 2pts win, 4/1 William Hill, Boylesports, Sky Bet
Muntadeb (1635 Doncaster), 1pt win, 11/4 generally available
Desert Skyline & Muntadeb, 1pt win double, 18/1
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