Doncaster selections Wednesday 8th September
The four days that comprises the Doncaster St Leger meeting gets underway today with a stronger than usual opening day card. The moving of the Group 3 Sceptre Stakes gives the day a bit more lustre, whilst the now traditional Leger Legends race offers some earlier interest. However it is the last two races of the day that appeal from a punting perspective.
Doncaster 4.30: Anmaat
It is easy to see why the unbeaten Faisal is a short priced favourite for this classy looking handicap – however he faces stiff competition from the 3yo ANMAAT and there are reasons to oppose the market leader.
Faisal reared up in the stalls and lost ground on his reappearance at Windsor, so it was to his credit he overcame that deficit and still won on handicap debut. However any faltering at the start today will be harder to overcome in this higher grade and we have not seen him since the end of May either. In contrast Anmaat looks thoroughly professional and a straight-forward tide for Jim Crowley.
He has improved with every start, winning on his most recent outing at Bath and looks the sort of relentless galloper who will be suited by the long finishing straight at Doncaster. Whilst he was only third over a mile here in June, he is definitely a better horse now, especially at the longer trip. In a relatively small field, Crowley might be able to steal a march on his opposition by winding this up early on and using Anmaat’s long stride to maximum effect.
Doncaster 5.00: Wentworth Falls
In contrast to the previous race, I am favouring experience over youth with WENTWORTH FALLS.
The 9yo has a very solid track record over the years, reading 144325100. Those have generally been in stronger races than these, including a third in the 2018 Portland. His form this season has been patchy, probably reflecting a handicap mark that was now too high for the veteran. However his second place in the Grey Horse race at Newmarket last month showed he was on the way back and this stiffer track will play more to his strengths.
He is also a fast ground specialist so drying conditions on Town Moor are ideal. He is a horse that likes to come with a late rattle, so the stronger the early pace the better. With the likes of Look Out Louis and Bossipop in the field, there should be no hanging around and that will bring Wentworth Falls strong finish into play.
1pt each-way – Anmaat – 4.30 Doncaster – 9/2 William Hill
1pt each-way – Wentworth Falls – 5.00 Doncaster – 5/1 William Hill, BetVictor (1/5 odds 1st 4)