ITV Racing Tips: Hurricane Lane can take the Doncaster St Leger by storm
A cracking weekend of Flat racing beckons featuring not only the final Classic of the Flat season, the St Leger, but also Irish Champions Weekend over Saturday and Sunday and France’s Arc trials meeting on Sunday.
Sadly, only the St Leger will be available to view on terrestrial television with ITV dedicating most of its Saturday coverage to the Doncaster meeting.
That will still take in the Group 2 Champagne, featuring the Queen’s exciting Reach For The Moon, and Park Stakes, the Portland Handicap, two races from Chester, climaxing with racing’s oldest Classic.
It looks like the St Leger will be a Godolphin versus Ballydoyle affair with impressive Irish Derby winner Hurricane Lane looking the horse to beat.
ITV’s seven race coverage begins at 13:30 and we have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing Tips.
A typically tricky edition of this five-furlong sprint in which 22 runners will blast up the Doncaster straight. Hurricane Ivor heads the betting on the strength of a strong finishing third at York behind Copper Knight, who opposes again.
Jawwaal finished fourth in that race and filled the same position again next time out at Haydock last weekend. He is also closely matched with last year’s Portland winner Stone Of Destiny who was a nose behind at Haydock.
There is likely to be little between them again, but a high draw has proved important in recent Portlands and preference is for Jawwaal.
Only six runners for this seven-furlong feature with two Shadwell Estate horses to the fore in the betting. Danyah, a late scratching from the Hungerford Stakes, lines up for the in-form Owen Burrows stable but Shadwell’s first jockey Jim Crowley has picked Laneqash.
The lightly raced Laneqash was pitched into the Hungerford by trainer Roger Varian for his first start of the season and, based on his 22/1 odds, ran well above expectations. Sacred ran out an impressive winner but Laneqash was gaining ground at the finish.
With that run under his belt he is the one to beat back at the track and trip where he was beaten a head in a Listed race 12 months ago.
It has been Godolphin’s year in the three-year-old middle-distance division and Hurricane Lane should be able to keep up the run in the season’s final Classic.
The winner of the Dante Stakes, Irish Derby and Grand Prix de Paris has only been beaten once in his career and that came at Epsom where he was third behind stablemate Adayar.
To underline the strength of the form Adayar has since added the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and is being prepared for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe as the stable’s number one. But Hurricane Lane can stake a claim for Paris too if he excels at Doncaster.
He didn’t handle Epsom as well as his rivals, which he will underline as long as he overcomes Mojo Star, the Derby second.
Johnny Murtagh’s progressive Ottoman Emperor is rated the main danger in the betting but the best each-way prospect could be among an otherwise underwhelming Aidan O’Brien contingent.
With Ryan Moore in Ireland, Frankie Dettori rides High Definition but, as long as he is not purely in the field to make the pace, The Mediterranean, under Wayne Lordan, could grab some place money.
ITV Racing Schedule, Saturday, 11th September
13:45 Doncaster – Portland Handicap
14:00 Chester – Stand Cup
14:20 Doncaster – Champagne Stakes
14:35 Chester – 1m 6½f handicap
14:45 Leopardstown – Irish Champion Stakes
15:00 Doncaster – Park Stakes
15:35 Doncaster – St Leger
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing