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2016 St Leger Festival tips - Race-by-race selections for Doncaster on Saturday

Racingbase Staff in UK Racing 10 Sep 2016
Adaay is fancied to bounce back to form on day four of Doncaster by winning the Group Two Park Stakes.

Brian Healy has Doncaster Saturday tips for the final day of the 2016 St Leger Festival.


The fourth and final day of the 2016 Doncaster St Leger meeting takes place on Saturday, and the season’s final Classic race headlines the afternoon’s action on Town Moor.

The final day racecard also plays host to the Group Two Park Stakes and the Group Two Champagne Stakes, as well as one of the season’s most competitive sprint contests in the shape of the Portland Handicap. It promises to be an unmissable afternoon on Town Moor for the top-class fixture, which gets underway from 2.00pm for the first of eight races.

2:00 - At The Races Champagne Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings) Cl1 7f More4
2:35 - Ladbrokes Portland (Handicap) Cl2 5f140y More4
3:10 - Saint Gobain Weber Park Stakes (Group 2) Cl1 7f More4
3:45 - Ladbrokes St Leger Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (Entires Colts & Fillies) Cl1 1m6f132y More4
4:20 - Champagne Pommery Nursery Handicap Cl2 1m
4:50 - Napoleons Casinos & Restaurants Handicap Cl2 1m
5:25 - EBF Breeders´ Series Fillies´ Handicap Cl2 1m4f
6:00 - Harriet De-Vere Powell Handicap Cl2 1m4f

The Channel 4 Racing team will have the best of the action on a Saturday broadcast that will also feature racing from Chester, with the day’s live TV horse racing being shown on their sister channel, More4.

We’ve gone through the final-day racecard of the 2016 Doncaster St Leger Festival, and we’ve got tips in every race for Saturday’s quality horse racing action on Town Moor.

2:00 - At The Races Champagne Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings) Cl1 7f More4


Rivet created a very good impression when winning at York last time, but THUNDER SNOW  brings the best form to the table, having won on debut at Leicester in May prior to running better than the bare result suggests when finishing sixth in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot behind Caravaggio.

The Helmet colt has seen that form franked several times, with the winner subsequently winning a Group One, while the runner-up has doubled up in back-to-back Group Two contests; and the Godolphin runner himself went close to gaining some winning black type when finding only War Decree too strong at Goodwood in the Vintage Stakes.

Godolphin have won this race four times since 2009, including twelve months ago with Emotionless; while the form of Saeed bin Suroor’s string has been questionable, he sets the standard on form and should give a good account with the prospect of further improvement likely.


Saeed bin Suroor can saddle Thunder  Snow to gain Doncaster success.

2:35 - Ladbrokes Portland (Handicap) Cl2 5f140y More4


This contest is typically one of the most competitive sprint handicaps of the Flat racing calendar, and the latest renewal can go the way of HUMIDOR who has looked more like his old self in recent outings.

George Baker’s useful sprinter won three times last term in handicaps, although understandably found the company too hot on his last run of the season when tackling the Prix de l’Abbaye. Not at his best for much of this season, he has shown much better form in his last two starts where he has finished fourth to Boom The Groom at Goodwood , and then runner-up behind El Astronaute at Epsom on his latest outing.

Only raised 1lb for that run, he is relatively well-treated on his best form, and the dual course-winner is well-drawn from the number one stall. A strong pace is assured, and the Camacho gelding should be finishing to good effect, and he can land this competitive contest.

3:10 - Saint Gobain Weber Park Stakes (Group 2) Cl1 7f More4


It could be worth chancing ADAAY to bounce back from a poor run last time at the Curragh, where he was a shade below his best when finishing fourth to the evergreen Gordon Lord Byron in the Minstrel Stakes.

The form of William Haggas’ stable is red-hot, and the Kodiac colt showed he was a very smart performer with a trio of wins, which included the Sandy Lane at Haydock – beating Limato – and the Hungerford Stakes, and he was far from disgraced in back-to-back Group One contests subsequently.

He hasn’t really fired on all cylinders this term, but he ran his best race when just touched off by the reopposing Breton Rock at Newmarket in attritional conditions when contesting the Criterion. That run possibly left a mark, and he has been given plenty of time to get over his Curragh foray.

First-time blinkers could help, and while he needs to step up on what he has shown thus far this season, the pick of his efforts last term give him solid claims and it wouldn’t come as a surprise if he were to return to form here.


Adaay hasn't fired this term, but the classy performer can bounce back to win the Park Stakes.

3:45 - Ladbrokes St Leger Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (Entires Colts & Fillies) Cl1 1m6f132y More4


Aidan O’Brien saddles a strong hand, with Idaho looking the likeliest winner if he sees out this additional quarter-mile, having looked strong at the finish of the Great Voltigeur at York, where had stablemate Housesofparliament behind.

Both have to prove stamina, whilst Sword Figher is proven over the distance. However, MUNTAHAA looks to have been trained for this, and John Gosden’s charge should relish this additional trip having looked to need every yard of the twelve furlongs at Ascot, prior to grinding out a win from the front at Chester next time.

The stoutly-bred Dansili colt had Housesofparliament behind when finishing into third in the King Edward VII Stakes behind across The Stars and Beacon Rock, where he was perhaps a shade unlucky not to grab the runner-up spot.  Having to cut out the running at Chester next time was a good effort by the Gosden horse despite those tactics being far from ideal; but he should get a strong pace to aim at now, and the long Doncaster straight will help him find top gear.

While he arguably needs to progress again, he looks the main danger to Idaho, and he can upset the Ballydoyle runner to hand John Gosden a fifth St Leger success.

4:20 - Champagne Pommery Nursery Handicap Cl2 1m


MATHS PRIZE is one of two runners in the race going in search of a hat-trick of wins, but Roger Charlton’s charge gets the nod to complete the three-timer.

The Royal Applause colt has shaped very well in successes at Ffos Las and Ripon, doing just enough each time but giving the impression that there was plenty left in the locker; and this rise in class could well bring out more improvement in him.

He hasn’t won either race by far, and he scored only by a half-length at Ffos Las from Naval Warfare before registering a neck-defeat of Proud Archi next time. First-time cheek-pieces are deployed now which may help to focus his energies and produce some improvement, and he can land a third win.

4:50 - Napoleons Casinos & Restaurants Handicap Cl2 1m


BANKSEA could still have a bigger performance in him, having won well at Pontefract in June, where he was value for his two lengths’ win over Darshini, and he ran well again at Newmarket next time behind Ode To Evening.

Luca Cumani’s Lawman colt arguably failed to handle Goodwood next time when disappointing behind You’re Hired; but he bounced back next time at York to push Aarcanada to less than one length, and a repeat of that effort should see him firmly in the mix here despite being raised 5lbs.

He wasn’t helped when encountering trouble-in-running, conceding first run; but he was closing on the winner and he can remain competitive off this higher mark with the prospect of improvement still a possibility given he is still relatively unexposed as a miler.


Andrea Atzeni can ride a day-four double with Banksea and Bess Of Hardwick for trainer Luca Cumani.

5:25 - EBF Breeders´ Series Fillies´ Handicap Cl2 1m4f


BESS OF HARDWICK is bred to be smart, and she looked destined for better things when scoring well on her second outing as a juvenile last term, beating Red Cardinal on the Wolverhampton all-weather surface.

Luca Cumani’s Dansili filly had earlier run subsequent Group Two winner Gretchen to just two lengths on her debut; and she shaped as if in need of the outing at Ascot on her return to action, beaten six lengths behind California.

Not at her best last time at Salisbury, where she compromised her chances with a tardy start, she is likely better than she showed there and she can take another forward step now as she bids to start fulfilling the promise that her pedigree suggests she is capable of.

6:00 - Harriet De-Vere Powell Handicap Cl2 1m4f


The finale could go to the lightly-raced FELIX MENDELSSOHN who made the frame in a pair of Listed races for David Simcock last term, but had been out of sorts in two earlier starts this season at Newmarket and Ascot when prior to running an excellent third behind Cymro at Haydock nine days ago.

The Galileo gelding finished one place behind the reopposing Stars Over The Sea, beaten a half-length behind Mark Johnston’s runner; but he encountered trouble-in-running when trying to deliver his challenge which may have cost him.

Now 1lb better off with that rival, there should be little between the pair again; however, the Galileo gets the nod on account that he could be a fresher horse having had much less racing than the Johnston runner, and he could well build on that last-time run to reverse those places now.

2016 DONCASTER ST LEGER – DAY FOUR SELECTIONS


2:00 - THUNDER SNOW 

2:35 - HUMIDOR 

3:10 - ADAAY 

3:45 - MUNTAHAA

4:20 - MATHS PRIZE 

4:50 - BANKSEA 

5:25 - BESS OF HARDWICK 

6:00 - FELIX MENDELSSOHN

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2016 St Leger Festival tips - Race-by-race selections for Doncaster on Saturday

Brian Healy has Doncaster Saturday tips for the final day of the 2016 St Leger Festival.

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