WHAT THE STATS SAY ABOUT THE FINAL CLASSIC: Daqman continues his countdown to Doncaster with his ABC guide to Saturday’s St Leger, in which he analyses the probable field, examining each horse against the stats for quality of past performance, breeding for the job and the right connections.
SALISBURY AND EPSOM OFF: Two meetings called off due to apparent chafer grub damage !! Salisbury was cancelled earlier today and Epsom is off on Thursday as the bugs strike back.
BALLYDOYLE COLTS IN LEGER 1-2
Key to 3.35 Doncaster St Leger, Saturday
A Previous Group winner (9 out of 12)
B Rated 110 or higher (9 out of 12)
C Sire’s stamina index 10.7 or higher (8 out of 10)
D Trained by Aidan O’Brien (5) and John Gosden (4)
E Single-figure stall (10 out of 10). Not yet known
X Stable in form
ABCDX Kew Gardens
Solid but unspectacular two-year-old, ninth in the Epsom Derby, but stepped up half a stone for the extra distance when winning the Ascot Vase (1m 6f). Followed up in the Grand Prix de Paris before staying-on third to Old Persian in the Great Voltigeur.
ABCDX Flag of Honour
Didn’t appear until last autumn but has improved a stone since then, staying on five lengths off the winner in the French Derby (not entered at Epsom) before taking the Curragh Cup and Irish Leger Trial back to back, stepped up to 1m 6f.
Didn’t appear until last autumn, showing inexperience in the Racing Post Trophy here at Doncaster. Came to prominence when second in the Bahrain Trophy to Wells Farrh Go in July and upped 10lb for back-to-back success at Deauville in August on the soft, culminating in the Group-2 Grand Prix.
ABX Old Persian
A typical Dubawi, improving from two to three. Beat Rostropovich comfortably in the Ascot Derby (King Edward V11 Stakes) but four lengths off Latrobe in the Irish Derby before winning the Great Voltigeur (Kew Gardens third).
Late developer like many Camelots, not breaking his maiden until June. Galloped past front-running Rostropovich in the Irish Derby but, sweating up badly, didn’t run his race in the York International.
ACDX The Pentagon
Tyros winner and third in the Racing Post Trophy, looked one paced in his Derby trials and at Epsom, before near-four-lengths fifth to Latrobe in the Irish Derby and more than five lengths behind Old Persian in the Great Voltigeur. Needs Leger trip but lacks gear change.
ACX Maid Up
Four wins from five starts since June, prompting a 35lb rise in the ratings, has seen this filly hiked from class-5 handicaps last year to a Group-3 win and narrow Group-2 defeat at the Leger trip in August, albeit on the undulating turns of the Goodwood track. She switches from the ‘fillies’ St Leger,’ Thursday’s Park Hill Stakes.
Beat Kew Gardens in the Leopardstown Champion Juvenile and second to Roaring Lion in the Royal Lodge, but rating has dipped this season from 112 to 106, and defeats include twice by Kew Gardens in the Queen’s Vase and the Grand Prix de Paris. Great Voltigeur sixth.
BDX Lah Ti Dar
Another Dubawi (out of Dar Re Mi). Light Spring career as a green juvenile, burst on to the Pattern scene late last month with 10-length romp (1m 4f Listed) at York, prompting Frankie Dettori to say ‘must go for the Leger!’ But the option will remain open until the last minute for her to run instead in Sunday’s Prix Vermeille.
B Dee Ex Bee
A nearly horse, placed in the Blue Riband Derby Trial, Chester Vase, Epsom Derby, Grand Prix De Paris (third to Kew Gardens) and Gordon Stakes. Five-lengths seventh to Latrobe in the Irish Derby.
CDX Guiseppe Garibaldi
Ultra-consistent, but half a stone off the best, one paced, third in the Ascot Derby and to Old Persian and then in the Bahrain Trophy to Wells Farrh Go. Twice beaten by stablemate Flag Of Honour, both times over 1m 6f
CDX Southern France
A Leger horse who gallops and stays, said Aidan O’Brien after his Queen’s Vase second to Kew Gardens. Not seen again until fourth to Flag Of Honour in the Irish St Leger Trial at the Curragh late last month.
Third in the Dante but last in the Epsom Derby and not much better in the Great Voltigeur.
Another Dubawi (out of a Hurricane Run mare), unbeaten in two races 302 days apart. Outsider for a yard having a great season.
0 Raymond Tusk
Behind Loxley at Newmarket in June, then sixth of seven in the Eclipse before winning the Glasgow Stakes
Won a maiden here at Doncaster in the Spring but beaten in handicaps the last twice, including third in the Melrose Handicap (1m 6f) at York. The fourth horse won seven lengths on Saturday.
DAQMAN HAS BEEN BUGGED
DAQMAN has been bugged. Having written previews for two races at Salisbury this afternoon DAQMAN has been beaten by the bugs. Chafer bugs to be the wiser (and I’m not) have eaten away at the Salisbury turf overnight in what must have been a feast of Biblical proportions as the course was fine yesterday.
Clerk of the course Jeremy Martin said: “We discovered some areas of loose turf on the loop section of the racecourse and further out on the outside some badger scratchings as well, so although we only think it’s affecting the loop section, we can not guarantee that the straight course is unaffected.
“We need more time to fully assess the situation and the BHA are coming to have a look today. Safety is paramount and sadly we’ve had to pull the plug on today’s meeting.
“It’s not something I’ve ever seen here before since arriving in 2001, this is the first time but it does appear to be chafer grub damage.”
And if that wasn’t grubby enough news, the same problem has caused the abandonment of Epsom on Thursday.
SUPERNAP: ALL THINGS BEING EQUILATERAL
2.00 Catterick Royal Destiny hasn’t done much wrong in two starts and can make it third time lucky in the opener. The Richard Fahey trained filly finished third at Beverley on debut and then followed up with a second at Ripon. She’s no world beater but does receive weight from the previous two runners who had their limitations exposed last time out.
Prince Elzaam is the most experienced but struggled in a York nursery last time out and Beechwood Izzy finished last of 12 at Newmarket when stepped up to Listed level having previously won at Thirsk.
No Bills ran much better than her 100/1 price tag would have suggested on debut at Beverley and should improve for that effort to be competitive in this.
3.45 Leicester 10 buys me 7 is what I like as a minimum on the SUPERBUGS (SUPERNAP surely DAQMAN?, editor) but I get a slightly better rate of exchange with Equilateral here.
The Charlie Hills trained runner should easily prove good enough for his two rivals. He’s been highly tried and given a break since finishing down the field in the Group 3 Newbury Stakes at Newbury but should be much more at home at this level. He’s pretty smart on his day as he proved when making all to win at Doncaster by eight lengths in May.
Ryan Moore looks set to employ similar front running tactics here against Line Of Reason (losing a bit of speed now) and Sarshampla (only wins have been on soft and the AW and has plenty to find on these terms).
5.45 Catterick Simon Walker is usually standing order material in these types of races but when you couple him with a horse that has a great chance over the trip the partnership is irresistible, especially when there are so many suspect stayers.
Question Of Faith struggled in a much better race at Haydock last time out when missing the break but had previously won really well over a marathon trip at Ayr.
He’s up to a career high 72 on the flat but is much preferred to BETDAQ favourite Hawridge Flyer whose only career win has come on heavy ground.
DAQMAN’S BETS (staked to win 20 points, except SUPERNAP)
BET 6.6pts win ROYAL DESTINY (2.00 Catterick)
SUPERNAP BET 20pts win EQUILATERAL (3.45 Leicester)
BET 2.9pts win QUESTION OF FAITH (5.45 Catterick)
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