Horse racing news and bets for the weekend including the St Leger and Irish Champions Weekend, Arc Trials and Baden-Baden

It is a very busy weekend of horse racing especially here and in Ireland and for those without the specialist channels ITV are covering the big races in the UK and from across the Irish Sea. I could have had fifteen bets over the two days but have gone for a far more selective approach not least because a couple I would have backed aren’t going to take up their engagements. The bets I am having follow in time order.  

It turns out I have a select quintet, I didn't want to break the Boris rule of six this weekend. 

First bet for me is in the Group Two 7f bet365 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster. Albasheer won well on debut but didn’t appear to have much to beat so it’s hard to know just how good that performance was. Chindit has looked good winning both his starts to date, first over C&D on debut, with the form of his last win, in the Listed Pat Eddery Stakes at Ascot looking strong; three subsequent winners behind two at Listed level. 2-1 is around about the Hannon trained colt as I write to make it three from three.  

Up at Doncaster at 3.00 it is the 7f Group Two bet365 Park Stakes. A few in here we know all about and it should be a cracking race but it is very difficult from a punting point of view. I wanted to back  Zakouski but the Godolphin owned four-year-old doesn’t run. I’m leaving the race alone now.  

Across the Irish Sea we go at 3.10 for the Group One Coolmore America 'Justify' Matron Stakes over a mile. Fancy Blue is jolly and I of course backed her when unlucky in the Irish Guineas where she was left with too much to do and that remains her only defeat. I was on when she was triumphant in the 1m2f Group One Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood and I think she has that little something special. Step back down in trip is a little bit of a surprise but I would expect to see Moore make this a real test, turning the taps on some way out, and she is fancied to win this at around 2-1. Regular rivals Peaceful and Albigna, are the dangers.  

At 3.35 we have the final Classic of the season the Group One 1m6½f Pertemps St Leger Stakes. Those who have visited the Classics page will know I am on Hukum at 4-1 and I am happy with the bet. As I mention on that page tipped on here for his last win in the G.3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury and I really like the way he travels and he loved every yard of the 1m5½f at Newbury leaving me to think this trip of 1m6½f will hold no fears for him. I wasn’t convinced Santiago would come for this and the Ballydoyle runner is feared most of the opposition.  

It's a top-quality hour or so as Ghaiyyath goes for the Group One Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown due off at 4.10. Any regular reader will know this is one of the races I suggested they overlooked for the later part of the campaign, see the post but it would appear Appleby and Sheikh Mohammed didn’t read it!! I still think the Breeders' Cup Turf is worth a go and Appleby has mentioned it in more than one interview so hopefully this is the prep for a trip to the good old U S of A. Charlie Appleby’s five-year-old has been smashing up the opposition here this season winning the Coronation Cup, the Eclipse and the Juddmonte International at York – earning himself the moniker of the best turf horse on the planet. The moment Charlie Appleby said on Tuesday “Ghaiyyath will work tomorrow morning, we will have a final discussion then and if everyone is happy our intention is to fly to Dublin on Saturday morning.” he was odds-on! As the trainer said later in the week "He travels to Ireland at the peak of his career, unbeaten in four starts this year, three of them Group 1s. Two of them were officially rated the best performances globally in 2020".  Anyway, I cannot see Ghaiyyath getting beat in Ireland, my biggest concern was if Ballydoyle threw half a dozen at the race and had three or four in for no other reason than to deliberately take him on for the lead; they have not. Best price about as I write Friday afternoon 8-13.  

And so, to Sunday and as is so often the case these days no day of rest at Triple G Towers as there are bets to be had again. Irish Champions Weekend moves to the Curragh and I will be having just one punt on the card. Charlie Appleby sends Master Of The Seas across the Irish Sea and hopefully it will prove a masterstroke! He is being aimed at the 7f Group One Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes at 4.10. I tipped him for the 7f Group Two Superlative Stakes which he won in impressive fashion and I fully expect him to go in again and claim his first top level win. This one is a really exciting prospect I think on breeding and what we have seen thus far on the track; the colt is already second favourite for next year's 2,000 Guineas! Coral were best priced at 3-1 on Friday for this and all being well he’ll be a nice winner for a Sunday afternoon with your feet up beer in hand. Aidan O’Brien had more entries than you can shake a stick at and of all of them Goodwood winner, and current jolly for all the Classics next year, Battleground would be the biggest danger.  

Straight after at 4.40 it’s the Group One 1m6f Comer Group International Irish St. Leger. Lightly raced six-year-old Fujaira Prince has won twice this season, tipped on here for both, and would have been very interesting if travelling but he has stayed home at Carlburg Stables in Newmarket. I have learnt down the years to leave Arc trials day as just that, a trials day, as it is not unknown for a shock or two to go in and the races are often falsely run affairs. As for the Longines Grosser Preis von Baden Barney Roy will be in Baden-Baden but I do not know enough about the opposition to have a punt in the race.  

Be lucky