Being British I do have a habit, it is taught us all from a very early age, that only English racing matters with the five classics the be all and end all of the racing World.
Many years later I am a little bit wiser and an awful lot older and I can see that there are a long list of races around the globe of equal or more importance – but where does that leave the final classic this Saturday from Doncaster.
The breeding industry have been busy around the world trying to remove as much stamina as they can from the pedigrees with the reduction of the trip of the “French Derby” (Prix Du Jockey Club) evidence that I am not just imagining a conspiracy here. A mile and a half (2400m, Epsom Derby, Irish Derby, King George etc) is now seen by some as only for “stayers”, so what do the powers of the bloodstock world make of the mile and three-quarter St Leger I wonder.
Sadly, the fifth and final classic is seen by some as the kiss of death for a stallion’s prospects with certain unnamed folk telling me they would rather place in a Group three over a mile and a quarter than win a Group One over further.
That really is a sad state of affairs and to be fair one the racing authorities are looking too remedy with more races and bonuses over longer distances.
This season we have a field of twelve going to post, which is pretty decent, headed according to the bookmakers by John Gosden’s Lah Ti Dar, an unbeaten daughter of Dubawi out of Dar Re Mi, so bred in the purple.
Three races have seen three wins so far at up to Listed level with an eye-catching ten length canter at York in the Galtres Stales over a mile and a half and as she wasn’t stopping close home, there is every chance she will get this trip. Whether 7/4 or so is value is a different question and I don’t think it is. My money will be on Loxley each way as a place will still pay me a fraction more than taking a risk on the favourite.
I am a big fan of James Doyle who rides the son of New Approach who is getting better with every race and may have more stamina than some if this race is run at the expected furious pace with the O’Brien five surely looking to push the Gosden filly’s stamina to the very limit.
I genuinely hate opposing John Gosden horses, he is as genuine in the flesh as he appears on TV, but the heavily odds on Too Darn Hot is in a decent race for the Champagne Stakes and although he should win, I have a sneaky suspicion that Bye Bye Hong Kong may have more to offer than his odds imply from the front. I will happily sit back and watch that particular contest, though whoever wins will surely rocket to short priced favouritism for the 2019 2000 Guineas.
One more bet to consider when Eesha’s Smile has her second run in the 2.00pm at Bath after a win on her debut at Beverley by a very comfortable two and a half lengths last month. She made all that day and looks sure to get a chance to do the same again. If that is the case it is difficult to see who will catch her in this field with further improvement likely.
Have a good weekend.
Loxley Each Way 3.35pm Doncaster Saturday
Eesha’s Smile 2.00pm Bath Saturday