Doncaster 2.35 (Portland) tips – It’s a tragedy if Steps doesn’t make the frame

Doncaster 2.35 (Portland) tips - It's a tragedy if Steps doesn't make the frame

Roger Varian

Steps

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Betting Tip: @ 20/1 with betvictor

Heavy overnight rain is set to seriously impact on today’s action and the remaining seven runners for the Ladbrokes St Leger could be encountering soft ground come racetime.

That shouldn’t inconvenience my ante post pick Storm The Stars too much and I’m not going to desert him now for all the reasons given here. Like Doncaster, Leopardstown could also get a drenching and the much-anticipated clash between Golden Horn and Gleneagles may not happen. I’ve factored the weather into my Irish Champions Weekend piece, which includes a trio of soft-ground performers, and I’m going to concentrate here on the remaining races at Town Moor.

The big betting race – if you’re of a masochistic nature – is the Ladbrokes Portland, a handicap run over five and a half furlongs. In a wide open renewal, I’m going to take a chance on the Roger Varian-trained STEPS, who makes a quick reappearance after missing the kick in Wednesday’s Listed sprint won by Cotai Glory. Prior to that he was outclassed in two runs at the highest level and he will surely appreciate the drop back into handicap company, with his most recent venture yielding a fourth (of 20) at Epsom in June off the same mark as today’s.

What makes him really interesting, though, is the fact his last three wins have all come ground with the word “soft” in the going description, so he’s not going to mind the forecast rain one bit. His in-form trainer has decided to claim on him, with the talented Louis Steward taking a handy (and possibly decisive) 31b off his back, and another inspired move could be the application of a first-time visor. There’s plenty there then to suggest he will carry our money a long way at the current 20/1.

Betting Tip: @ 20/1 with betvictor

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