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Doncaster Thursday tips – Best bets for day two of the St Leger Festival

Kyoshi wins last year's Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster

Our resident tipster is playing up his Wednesday winnings on a couple of progressive fillies in action on Town Moor.

A couple of Wednesday winners – Cotai Glory and Gannicus (hope you were on?) – mean we go into the second day of the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival in front and I’m in no rush to give it back on what looks a tricky Thursday card.

One horse who merits an interest, though, is the Luca Cumani-trained KOORA on what is not a great Park Hill Stakes on paper. Saeed Bin Suroor’s Hidden Gold is the top-rated runner and she deserves plenty of respect on her recent placed efforts; a second to Simple Verse in the Lilly Langtry Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and third in the Lonsdale Cup at the Ebor meeting. However, the selection may well improve past her.

The daughter of Pivotal is certainly bred for Town Moor being a half-sister to Milan, the winner of the 2001 St Leger, and she appeared to be going the right way when finishing runner-up to Martlet in what looked a strong renewal of the Listed Galtres Stakes at York last month, having won a maiden at this track previously. The handicapper was clearly impressed by that effort as she went up a whopping 18lb, effectively ruling out handicaps, and hence she is pitched into Group company here.

She needs to improve again to land this, admittedly, but her recent homework has been outstanding and she very much fits the mould of recent winners, being a late developing three-year-old who has yet to score at this level. Indeed, Cumani sent out a similar type in Silk Safari to land this race 12 months ago and she was only his second runner, so he will have a good idea of what required. Jamie Spencer takes the ride and the partnership look fair value at 9/2.

Charlie Hills, the trainer of Cotai Glory, clearly has his string in fine form and his Kyoshi must have solid claims in the seven-furlong Sceptre Stakes, a race she won 12 months ago. Like last year, she’s been slow to come to hand but there were signs of an imminent return to form at York last time and she comes into this relatively fresh, which can’t be said for some of her rivals

However, unlike last year, she does not have the generous three-year-old allowance on her side and it seems prudent to concentrate on the Classic generation, which has supplied nine of the last ten winners and is strongly represented this time. Charlie Appleby’s Mistrusting being one such horse and she is chasing a hat-trick here following handicap wins at Newmarket and York, but I much prefer the chances of FADHAYYIL, who is trained by Charlie’s father Barry.

Much was expected of the daughter of Tamayuz this season after an impressive juvenile campaign, which culminated with a second in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes, and she may now only be coming to herself. That may seem a strange thing to say about a filly who ran fifth in the 1000 Guineas on her reappearance and second when dropped to this trip in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, but there was something about her battling success in the Listed City Of York Stakes last time that suggested there was even better to come.

Her veteran trainer knows a good horse when he sees one and he’s not one for tilting at windmills either, so her entry in the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes later this autumn speaks volumes for the high regard she is held in. The mile of that Newmarket race may see her in an even better light but a fast-run 7f, which she ought to get here, suits her just fine and I expect her to outclass her rivals.


Doncaster 2.30, Fadhayyil @ 7/2 BetVictor
Doncaster 3.05, Koora @ 9/2 BetVictor

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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