No stamina worries for Rewilding
Published 11/09/2010 | 05:00
IT won't be long until the National Hunt season is upon us and a sure sign that the Flat season is starting to wind down is St Leger day, which includes the final two Classics of the year in Britain and Ireland.
We'll start with the Doncaster St Leger (3.20), which was initiated in 1776 by Anthony St Leger, a local politician. The total prize-money nowadays is some £500,000, with the lion's share most likely to go to the 'boys in blue' at Godolphin.
It really is difficult to find any chinks in the armour of Rewilding and as such, the Tiger Hill colt is my biggest bet of the weekend, priced around 11/8.
Traditionally, the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York is used as a guide to the St Leger and Rewilding destroyed the field, some of which re-oppose today, including Midas Touch and Joshua Tree.
Rewilding is one of those reliable horses that acts on any ground, which takes away any weather worries and the only question mark is whether he'll get the 14-furlong trip.
I'm convinced he will; he was always in control at York and had plenty left in the tank as he crossed the line, making him a confident 'Betting Ring' selection today.
The Irish version (Curragh, 3.45) began in 1915 and it differs from the English race since the rule restricting it to three-year-olds was relaxed in 1983. Dermot Weld's Profound Beauty looks set to go off as favourite here but I'm going to side with the Jeremy Noseda-trained Sans Frontieres, to be ridden by Olivier Peslier.
Connections rate the Galileo colt highly and a tilt at the Melbourne Cup is still on the agenda on the first Tuesday of November. The only worry is the ground and his trainer will be hoping that the rain clouds stay clear of the Kildare area this morning.
The four-year-old has been trained with this race in mind and has "an outstanding chance" if he races, according to Noseda. At the time of writing, Boylesports offer the best odds of 11/4, with most other firms going 5/2.
It's back to Doncaster at 3.55, where Premio Loco should justify favouritism in the Group Two Eddie Stobart Park Stakes, priced around 7/2. He was an impressive third to Canford Cliffs and Rip Van Winkle last time in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood and takes a step down in class here, but he'll need the rain to stay away as he's never raced on anything worse than good.
Poet's Place heads the early markets in the Ladbrokes Portland Heritage Handicap (Doncaster, 2.45) and while the gelding has obvious claims, a single-figure price is not very attractive in a large competitive field.
Instead, I'm going to take a chance on the Kevin Ryan-trained Tiddliwinks, which has a 50pc place strike-rate from his 16 races to date.
The one worry is that all of his wins have been on Polytrack, but some good efforts at Ripon, Goodwood and York recently would suggest that it's only a matter of time before he makes his mark on turf. He's definitely a live outsider and 14/1 or thereabouts offers plenty of each-way value.
1.45 Sandown: Krypton Factor
2.45 Doncaster: Tiddliwinks (e/w)
3.20 Doncaster: Rewilding
3.45 Curragh: Sans Frontieres
3.55 Doncaster: Premio Loco