Expert tipster Simon Rowlands has two selections for day two of the 2022 Cazoo St Leger Festival at Doncaster on Thursday, live on Sky Sports Racing.
The highest-rated horse on show by a long way at Doncaster on Thursday, and still one of the highest-rated horses officially anywhere in the world, runs in a three-runner Conditions Stakes (4.20).
That horse is, of course, Adayar, winner of The Derby at Epsom and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot last year but not seen in public this one.
On that form, he should win this 10-furlong contest by something like 10 lengths from his inferior stable-companion Dhahabi and this year’s Derby fourth Masekela but there is no guarantee he will be in at his very best after 11 months off.
This is a race to watch and learn from, though the early betting suggests that few problems are envisaged for the returning star.
The two Group Twos earlier on the card have short-priced favourites also, but nothing like as short as Adayar is likely to be. I made Eshaada a 5/4 shot for the Coral Park Hill Stakes (3.10), so she is arguably a bet at slightly bigger.
She has a few lengths in hand of her rivals judged on her win at British Champions Day at Ascot last year and shaped very well under a baffling ride in the Lancashire Oaks at Haydock in July. Eshaada has had a bit of an absence since, however, and would not have to be far off her “A” game to be troubled by Believe In Love (third in this race two years ago), Urban Artist and Yesyes.
A better short-priced proposition, the way I see it, is Dance In The Grass in the Cazoo May Hill Stakes (2.35), for she deserves to be odds on rather than a shade of odds against.
Her two wins out of two, both at Sandown, have come at the chief expense of the useful colt One Nation and the next-time Group Three winner Fairy Cross, and she recorded a good overall time in the latter with the first two well clear of the rest.
Dance In The Grass raced prominently on the first occasion but in rear on the second, proving her versatility in that regard, and, as a daughter of Cracksman, she should be suited by the step up to a mile, and by further still in due course.
Frankness looks her biggest rival, albeit at a respectable distance, and few of the others in the May Hill have achieved much so far. It is Dance In The Grass’s race to lose.
Doncaster’s Thursday card opens with a tricky Fillies’ Nursery (1.25) in which I was half-tempted, but only half-tempted, by the in-form front-runner Lily In The Jungle, who is a bit better off with Bonny Angel from last time and possibly ran better still before that.
Of more interest, to me, however, is the Weatherbys Scientific £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes (2.00). Some of the better juveniles have defected from this since the initial entry stage but there is still an intriguing trade-off between achievement and weight carried.
Waiting All Night scores well on both counts and yet is a big price to prevail. He and Legend of Xanadu get weight off their 13 rivals but have both shown useful form in the not-too-distant past.
The selection came fifth to Bradsell in what still looks a hot Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and had the misfortune of running into Classic hopeful Naval Power on the same course on his penultimate appearance, nonetheless having some decent sorts behind him in coming second.
Waiting All Night has turned in a couple of poor efforts along the way, most recently when down the back in the Gimcrack Stakes at York, but should be helped by the slightly greater test of stamina here. If he runs his race he should go close, and he should not be a double-figured price in my book.
Simon’s best bets
2.00 Doncaster – Waiting All Night (1pt win)
2.35 Doncaster – Dance In The Grass (2pts win)