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Doncaster Friday tips – Best bets for day three of the St Leger Festival

The May Hill Stakes is one of the Friday highlights at Doncaster

Our resident tipster is putting up three horses to back at Town Moor this afternoon, along with a 20/1 ante post fancy for the Ayr Gold Cup.

The Doncaster St Leger Festival continues this afternoon and I’m hopeful of taking some money off the bookmakers with this trio of fancied runners.

The one-mile Group 2 May Hill Stakes (due off 3.40pm) has attracted a field of nine and the Charlie Hills-trained GYPSY EYES is the one that catches the eye at 8/1. She’s the least experienced runner in the field having had just the one start, but she impressed with her willing attitude when making a successful debut at Newmarket over a furlong less and she’s bred to appreciate every inch of today’s trip being a daughter of High Chaparral and closely related to two-mile winner Nashville.

This is a big step up of course, but she’s sure to have learned plenty from her introduction and her trainer was purring over her chances in his Weekender column, saying: “I’m looking forward to running her most out of all mine this week and the form of her Newmarket win is working out nicely. You couldn’t have wished for a filly to come out of her first race so well and this has been the plan since. A mile is fine for her and she could be my Oaks filly.”

That’s praise indeed and with the stable winners continuing to flow – Cotai Glory being the latest to do the business on Wednesday – she looks well worth an investment at the 8/1 on offer. Bookmakers favour three of her rivals and the best of these may be Godolphin’s Pure Diamond, who created a big impression when winning a maiden on the all-weather at Kempton last time. Her stable is also flying and she therefore merits a saver, but the biggest chunk of the stake money is going on the Hills filly at over double the odds.

The Roger Varian-trained TOOFI is a strong fancy to defy top weight in the 61/2f handicap run later on the card. The winner of a valuable sales race at Newmarket at two, he has run several notable races in defeat since, including when finishing a three-quarter length second to Magical Memory in the Stewards’ Cup two starts back. The winner has since finished third in the Group 1 Sprint Cup to frank the form and the selection might be capable of better still on a flatter track like Doncaster as his rider William Buick felt the Goodwood undulations caught him out.

His latest sixth in the Listed City Of York Stakes can also be upgraded as he made his challenge towards the stands’ side away from where the action unfolded in the centre and, as that was just his third start of the season, there’s likely more to come from him. He has entry in next Saturday’s Ayr Gold Cup, for which he gets a 20/1 quote from Ladbrokes, and those odds look worth taking too as connections might not be able to resist having a crack at that hugely valuable handicap under a penalty – providing he wins today of course.

The third selection is far more speculative with ROYAL SIGNALLER the outsider of the lot with some firms for the Ladbrokes Mallard Stakes over an extended 1m6f. It’s a trip that holds no fears for the Mick Appleby-trained five-year-old as he won over it here three starts back, before following up over further at the Shergar Cup meeting off a 4lb lower mark. He failed to land the hat-trick when only sixth at Newmarket last time but he was always in the firing line that day and may have compromised his chance by going too hard in a race dominated at the finish by horses coming off the pace. In the hope more patient tactics will be deployed, he looks well worth an each-way punt at the 20/1 on offer.


Doncaster 2.30, Royal Signaller each-way @ 20/1 Ladbrokes
Doncaster 3.40, Gypsy Eyes @ 8/1 bet365
Doncaster 4.15, Toofi @ 7/2 Ladbrokes
Ayr Gold Cup, Toofi each-way @ 20/1 Ladbrokes

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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