St Leger Festival Tips: John Hunt’s Doncaster hat-trick on opening day classic meeting | Racing news


John Hunt has three pieces of advice with analysis of the opening day of the Betfred St Leger Festival at Doncaster on Thursday, live on Sky Sports Racing.

Four fantastic days at Doncaster, live on Sky Sports Racing, starts with a certain amount of guesswork required as to how the ground will be tested on day one on Thursday.

With statements out for good to soft/soft in places and with a dry Wednesday possibly followed by a wet opening morning, horses that like to cut into the ground should be well suited and with that in mind, all four Day 1 horses should be happy ground wise .

Watch all the races of the Betfred St Leger Festival live on Sky Sports Racing (Sky 415 | Virgin 519) from Thursday 14 to Sunday 17 September.

Iron lion It is my main hope on the first day in Hippo bamboo wipes for the disabled At 4.10 over a mile and a quarter. All five of his outings so far have been good, but he certainly looked to have upped his game significantly when winning over the course and distance last month and clearly enjoying the soft ground conditions for the first time.

He has been very impressive and clearly strong of late and I don’t think the form should be underestimated either. Iron Lion beat Wonderwall to second place, a horse known for his jumping exploits but who has boasted a clever bumper shape in the past. The third horse, Anjo Bonita, has won twice since then, including the No. 76 last time out while the fourth, Jeff Koons, was on the verge of victory at Ascot on the weekend.

The model looks good and remember Iron Lion gave them all a proper paste too. The handicap has certainly revised his opinion on Iron Lion upwards, but older horses are looking to give up a lot of weight and I think it will take a decent opinion to stop him here.

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William Haggas trains Golden Lyra at Doncaster

Golden Lyra It is considered a decent bet in the feature Betfred Park Hill Phillies Stakes At 3.35 over one mile and six furlongs, with conditions likely to be heavily in her favor as well as the fact she has taken a step forward for the first time as well. You should have easy conditions.

Golden Lyra, by Lope De Vega and out of the German Derby-winning Sea The Moon family, is on a ride here that could be her own. Golden Lyra had a really good year in 2022 which included a fantastic prize take on soft ground at Saint-Cloud. She has played three rounds this year. The first two certainly looked average, but last time out at Deauville in the Group 2 Prix de Beaumont, she looked much better.

It was her first run over a mile and a half, and she did well to finish fourth, especially after riding at the back of the field in a steady run. She has covered too much ground to miss a spot and the really exciting thing about the race is that she looks sure to improve again for Thursday’s ride.

Form got a big boost at the weekend too as winner Melo Melo came within an inch or two of winning the Group 1 Prix Vermeille, denied by none other than Warm Heart. I’m keen to take on Sumo Sam, the Goodwood winner, because he seemed to be the only horse enjoying the appalling conditions in the Lilly Langtry Stakes.

Not long after, the card was abandoned and I’m not sure I can trust the model. James Fanshawe is a coach I always like to follow heading into the fall season Heritage House A really great opportunity was found in the second race on the card British Filly Nursery EBF ‘Carrie Red’ At 1.50.

She won in style at Leicester in her last outing, overcoming a stuttering start, recovering well before asserting herself with ease late on. It was quite a likable offering on very fast terrain, but a little juice should really suit it.

Heritage House is by Dark Angel whose progeny tend to like soft ground from an unraced mare who was from the same top class Mehmas family. The 5lb higher weights can easily be offset by more favorable conditions here.

John’s best bets (scale of 1 to 5 points):

1.50 Doncaster – British stallion broodmare EBF ‘CARRIE RED’ FILLIES NURSERY – 1 point win at Heritage House

3.35 Doncaster – Betfred Park Hill Phillies Stakes – 1 point win over Golden Lyra

4.10 Doncaster – Hippo Bamboo Disabled – 2 points wins Iron Lion

Watch all the races of the Betfred St Leger Festival live on Sky Sports Racing (Sky 415 | Virgin 519) from Thursday 14 to Sunday 17 September.



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