Horse Racing

St Leger Festival day 2 tips – Dancing Gemini to dance clear

After a cracking first day at Doncaster, we move onto the second day of the St Leger Festival. On Friday, there’s once again a host of top-quality flat races to get stuck into, including a Listed contest and two Group 2 races.

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Photo by Icon Sport.

On day two, things may appear to be slightly less competitive as we have some smaller fields on show, but the action remains fiercely competitive, with little splitting many of the chief protagonists on form, which should make for interesting viewing.

Betting tips for day two of the St Leger Festival

After a firing in some nice winners on day one, it’s time to switch the focus and delve back into the form book. Hopefully, it proves to be fruitful for the second day in a row. Here goes.

13:50 – Betfred Flying Scotsman Stakes

The second race on day two will be the Betfred Flying Scotsman Stakes, which is a Listed contest, run over seven furlongs. War Rooms is an early favourite having made a winning debut. The Owen Burrows colt has a solid pedigree, while he was an expensive purchase a yearling, so he may well step forward and improve enough to remain unbeaten, though at the prices, it’s probably best to look elsewhere.

One of the more proven types in here is Gushing Gold, who is the only horse in the race to have had five starts. That experience should hold him in good stead against less experience animals, while it’s not as if he’s not achieved anything in those five runs, so he’s definitely a player. However, my preference is for Dancing Gemini, who should relish the dig in the ground and who looked to be anything but short of potential when winning a competitive Class 2 maiden last time out. She beat some smart-looking types on that occasion, a couple of whom have since gone on to do well. At 10/1, he’s my idea of a bet in this.

Best bet – Dancing Gemini (each-way) @ 10/1 (11.00)

14:25 – Danish Pilsner Flying Childers Stakes

Next up we have the Danish Pilsner Flying Childers Stakes, which is one of two Group 2 contests on the second day. Run over five furlongs, this race seems to be all about Big Evs, who as touched on when writing about the best bets at the St Leger Festival, and whether or not he can bounce back after that disappointing effort at York three weeks ago. If he can, then he’d likely come out on top with a degree of comfort.

At the end of the day, Big Evs is the class act in this race. Sure, we are talking about unexposed two-year-old, but the level of form that he displayed at both Ascot and Goodwood is the best on offer. The way in which he shot clear of a high-quality field, one that including Johannes Brahms at Royal Ascot was very impressive, while he showed a liking for soft ground at Goodwood, so the cut here could help him to return to form.

For my money, the mount of Tom Marquand is the best horse in the race and 7/2 could still turn out to look generous if he gets back to the level he was showing prior to York. Let’s face it, had he won that York race, we’d be talking about a horse touching odds-on. As it stands, he’s 7/2 and that for me is a price to take given his previous achievements this season.

Best bet – Big Evs @ 7/2 (4.50)

15:00 – Betfred Doncaster Cup Stakes

The second Group 2 race that takes place on Friday sees five horses go to post, one of which is Coltrane, who is hotly fancied after winning at York three weeks ago. That effort was impressive and in truth, this is a race that very much lacks depth, while there are some big question marks over a couple of the other runners in here, so even with a 3 lb penalty to carry, Andrew Balding’s runner looks to be the one.

The form shown last time out, when Coltrane stayed on powerfully to beat a very good 118-rated horse is hard to ignore, and it’s probably fair to say that a run of that level here sees him come home in front.

This is probably a step beyond the likes of Sweet William and The Grand Visir, who are much more accustomed to challenging in handicaps, while Trueshan, as strong as he was when going down by just a neck to Coltrane in this race 12 months ago, has been off for 135 days following two below-par efforts. His recent breathing op may have had a positive effect, but it’s an awfully big ask to return and win this race. Broome was a Group 2 winner in Dubai earlier this year, but he’s failed to match that form in four runs on British shores since and was soundly beaten by the selection last time out.

To be honest, whichever way we look at this contest, is has to go down¬† a huge opportunity for Coltrane, who is likely to get shorter, so I’ll be taking the early odds of 6/4.

Best bet – Coltrane @ 6/4 (2.50)

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