The St Leger festival four-day meeting at Doncaster is the main event this week in the horse racing world with twenty-eight races spread over the four-days up in South Yorkshire. The weather forecast is fair, cloudy but dry, with the going described as good-soft at the time of writing on Monday. Racegoers have the chance to attend a meeting for the first time since March and ticket sales for the big days are strong reportedly. For those of you they won't be trackside Sky Sports Racing will be covering all fours days with ITV3 will showing five free-to-air races from the track for the first three days and the final day, which features the St Leger itself, will have four races broadcast live on ITV. The betting for the final Classic has it as a fairly open-affair at this stage, the biggest question perhaps, as so often is the case, being which horses will the Ballydoyle lads send over? For the home team York winner Pyledriver and Hukum, tipped on here for his last win in the G.3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury, the major payers. I have the 4-1 about the Owen Burrows runner as 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. After only four starts surely there is better to come yet, plus big race jockey Jim Crowley and Angus Gold, racing manager for owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, both seem to agree with me. I am on and feel fairly confident in my selection.
Come the weekend Doncaster will have to share the limelight with Irish Champions Weekend spread across Leopardstown and the Curragh on Saturday and Sunday. The possibility of Ghaiyyath crossing the Irish Sea for the G.1 1m2f Irish Champion Stakes looks a possibility and he is now as short as 6-4 for the race. That is short with no guarantee he will run but that said if he travelled over, he would surely good odds-on. I haven’t had a bet and to put it simply, for me, you are gambling on whether he goes or not.
It's a quiet start to the week and with all due respect to the likes of Windsor, Perth and Newton Abbot I don’t fancy much Monday and Tuesday. I will spend some time licking my wounds after four losing bets over the weekend, but I will be getting involved later in the week on top of the ante-post punt for the Leger.
Oisin Murphy has a few days off with a careless riding ban issued at Ayr last month spanning Monday to Sunday. He tops the Jockey table at the moment, 26 winners clear of Tom Marquand with William Buick a further one back in third. His two main rivals for the jockey crown this year have a fair few rides booked for this week, with Marquand on a couple of short ones at Windsor today and Buick in with good chances at Leicester; that healthy lead in the Championship will be a fair bit skinnier come next week.