The Mandarin’s Doncaster St Leger Racecard & Selections from the Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown


Vertem Nursery 1.15
Fall Of Rome
Charlie Appleby’s Fall Of Rome broke his maiden tag in a nursery race at Newmarket, and but for a tardy start back at that track, when bumped coming out of the stalls may well have notched up another win. The trainer has his string in fine order and has a big day ahead of him with Hurricane Lane a warm order favourite for the final classic of the season, so there’s plenty of pluses and a big run is on the cards

Portland Handicap 1.45
Hurricane Ivor
Hurricane Ivor is potentially smart, and looks a Group horse running in a handicap. The French import, from Fabrice Chappet’s base at Chantilly, has plenty of experience at Pattern level back on home soil, and is now in the expert hands of William Haggas at his Somerfield Lodge stables in Newmarket. Surely there’s more to come in his first season on British soil and the change in the going after Friday’s rain can only aid the cause. He’s going the right way and quite possibly can justify top weight with the excellent Tom Marquand on the reins so lots to like apart from the draw in stall 5

Champagne Stakes (Group 2) 2.20
Lusail (nap)
A small but select field for this valuable Group 2 prize where it may pay to oppose the likely favourite, Reach For The Moon. The Queen’s horse is clearly going places, after wins at Newbury and Sandown, but Lusail has seen daylight in four of his five starts, and can give trainer Richard Hannon something to cheer about after having Armor chinned on the line in Friday’s Flying Childers

Cazoo Park Stakes (Group 2) 3.00
A great race in prospect here with the two main players, Laneqash and Danyah, lining up next to each other in stalls 5 & 6, getting the preferred run on the stand side rail. John & Thady Gosden have a live contender too, in Glorious Journey, but Danyah deserves a crack at some black type so gets his chance here

Cazoo St Leger Stakes (Group 1) 3.35
Hurricane Lane (nb)
He’s been imperious in his Classic season, and only stablemate Adayar has blotted the copybook in The Derby at Epsom. Adayar went on to win the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot to prove his class, but Hurricane Lane demolished the field in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris to set him up for a shot at the oldest classic. Charlie Appleby knew he had a superb stable of two year olds last year, and they are now producing the fruits of his labours. Hurricane Lane to storm through for the big one!

Hippo Pro 3 Handicap 4.05
Roger Varian’s Camelot gelding has rapidly progressed this term, since opening his account at Yarmouth in May. Into handicap company now with what could be a lenient mark. Tim Easterby’s Dark Jedi rates the main threat and there’s a good contest in store with the unpredictable Tyson Fury (the horse, not the boxer!!) thrown into the mix

Vermantia Handicap 5.10
Royal Fleet
The final race of the St Leger Festival on Town Moor, and this looks a straight up contest between Roger Varian’s Raadobarg and Charlie Appleby’s Royal Fleet. Both need to bounce back from underwhelming performances last time out but they had each completed a hat-trick of wins before that. Clive Cox’s Dance Fever is a useful gelding but has to concede some weight to the principal pair, and they should all be thereabouts

Leopardstown Racecourse: William Murphy @ Filckr


KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes (Group 2) 1.10
John The Baptist
We’ll take a chance on Fozzy Stack’s John The Baptist, who made a bit of a surprise when winning on debut at The Curragh when sent off at 50/1. The Caravaggio gelding gets an extra furlong here and that could well bring about more improvement. Interesting, and a great each way shout

Coolmore America ‘Justify’ Matron Stakes (Group 1) 1.40
Mother Earth
She surprised a few when taking the 1,000 Guineas back in May when stablemate Santa Barbara was a hot favourite. However, the writing was on the wall when she was nearest at the finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland last November, and since then she’s proved that Guineas win was no fluke with a string of top class performances, culminating in a win in the Group 1 Prix Rothschild at Deauville last month. Pearls Galore looks the main threat but still may have something to find with the selection

Clipper Logistics Boomerang Mile (Group 2) 2.10
Maker Of Kings
Ger Lyons Zoffany gelding won here over course and distance in May in the Amethyst Stakes, before chasing home the smart Japan in the Meld Stakes back here over a furlong further. He faces up to Irish 2,000 Guineas winner, Mac Swiney here, but Jim Bolger’s colt has not been back to that sort of form in his last two runs on quicker ground so Maker Of Kings might well be the answer here

Irish Champion Stakes (Group 1) 2.45
A field of just four, but one of the best renewals of the Irish Champion Stakes you are likely to see for many a year. It will be a brave punter to go against hot favourite St Mark’s Basilica, but fortune favours the brave, and, on that note, we’ll side with Dermot Weld’s Tarnawa. She has plenty of form at this level, and can take this big prize on her way to an appearance in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe next month. One of the races of the season in store

Paddy Power Stakes (Group 3) 3.15
Thunder Kiss
Once more we’ll side with Ger Lyons for the final Pattern race on the first day of the Irish Champions weekend at Leopardstown. The four year old grey filly of Night Of Thunder has put in a string of good shifts this term, including a win in the Munster Oaks Stakes at Cork. The trainer is in good nick and jockey Colin Keane is about as good a pair of hands as you can get, huge shout

The Mandarin

Load More Related Articles