Best bets for day one of the St Leger Festival Doncaster

It is the first of five busy days on Wednesday as they get underway up at Doncaster with day one of the St Leger Festival. Doncaster is regarded as one of the oldest centres for horse racing in Britain, with records of regular race meetings going back to the 16th century. In 1776 Colonel Anthony St Leger founded the race we now know as the St Leger making it the world’s oldest Classic race. So now you know.

The Mondialiste Leger Legends race is off at 3.35; good fun with some well-known names lining-up but you won’t catch me betting in it, though I reckon a certain Mr Kieren Fallon will want to win!

Anyhow, back to the present and the best for day one. They get underway at 1.50 with the 6f British Stallion Studs EBF Conditions Stakes. One caught my eye over the weekend and I am glad to see the colt will line-up. Lazuli looked a nice type winning on debut at Newmarket for Charlie Appleby in the 6f Unibet British EBF Novice Stakes taking it up a furlong out and putting the race to bed with plenty in hand. The second that day has run well several times since without winning since and the third won a Novice Stakes at Brighton the other day so the form looks solid. By Dubawi out of Listed winner Floristry he is a half-brother to four winners. With only four standing their ground I think he can take this before his sights are set on some bigger targets in the autumn and have taken the 11-8.

The Listed DC Training And Development Services Scarbrough Stakes over 5f at 3.00 is the dish of the day, it looked a bit of a headscratcher earlier this week and even though it has whittled down to only the 7 runners still is!  Queens Gift finished ahead of Tis Marvellous at Beverley in the Beverley Bullet last time and is, in fact, a 1lb better off here against that rival but it was a messy race and the 5yo was stopped when making his move. The Clive Cox trained gelding will be on the premises. El Astronaute has to be respected but has to give them all a little weight. Equilateral drops into calmer waters having been tried at the top table earlier this season in the Kings Stand. His second in the G.2 Palace House Stakes is fair form but he remains winless this season which is a concern. He has won here over six and with Ryan Moore in the saddle he is a very tentative pick to get his head in front at 100-30. Trainer Charlie Hills said of this charge “It’s the race we’ve been waiting for. Obviously, he’s won at the track before; it’s a race he should be running very well in.”

At 4.45 they line-up for the 1m2f William Hill Leading Racecourse Bookmaker Conditions Stakes and I have one for this. Loxley has not been seen since finishing fifth in the 1m1f G.1 Jebel Hatta at the Dubai Carnival in March. The six-month layoff is a little bit of a concern but his form when second in the G.2 Prix Dollar and before that when winning the G.2 Grand Prix De Deauville last season is by far the best on show. You would think Appleby would have his charge cherry ripe for this and I have taken the 13-8 early.

Be lucky