The beauty of the Flat is that quality meetings come thick and fast – and the St Leger Festival at Doncaster is this season’s next big date.
Our man at Timeform Andrew Asquith gives us his three things to watch out for over the weekend.
The latest Doncaster St Leger Festival odds can be found on the Paddy Power website and Paddy Power app.
Frankie Dettori swap sees Arrest’s price collapse for Saturday’s St Leger
The St Leger on Saturday will be Frankie Dettori’s last ride in a British Classic and it looks likely that he made a shock switch from Gregory, his intended mount, to another John & Thady Gosden-trained runner in Arrest when declarations were made on Thursday morning.
The decision was likely made due to the rain which Doncaster has received this week, changing the ground to soft at the time of writing, and Arrest goes particularly well in more testing conditions. Arrest was a smart two-year-old and made a devastating return to action when bolting up in the Chester Vase in heavy ground in May, a performance which saw him fly towards to head of the Derby betting.
He ran no sort of race at Epsom, seeming totally unsuited by the test provided on good to firm ground, but he got his career back on track with a seamless victory in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury last month. Arrest relished the return to easier ground and stayed on strongly over the longest distance he has tried, suggesting the even longer trip of the St Leger will suit him perfectly. Arrest is already one of the leading form players and, provided the ground doesn’t dry out too much, he much give Dettori a very good chance of securing a final Classic win.
Friday’s ground coming right for Trueshan
Trueshan proved he is still capable of very smart form when winning the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle off top weight last season, producing the sort of handicap performance that’s all too rarely attempted let alone accomplished.
He was beaten a neck by Coltrane in this race 12 months ago, but went on to turn the tables with that rival and win his third Long Distance Cup at Ascot.
Admittedly, he hasn’t been at the same level in two starts this season, but he wasn’t disgraced on his comeback run at Nottingham, just unable to get past a gritty rival who had the run of the race, and paid for making a rapid forward move on the climb uphill before the straight in the Sagaro Stakes when last seen in May.
Trueshan missed Royal Ascot but that means he arrives here a fresh horse and, crucially, the rain has arrived at Doncaster just in time. He is a much better horse with ease in the ground and if he is to return to anywhere near the pick of his form he will be a big player in the Doncaster Cup on Friday.
Rosallion puts reputation on the line
Rosallion is from a family the owner knows well and he caught the eye in the paddock ahead of his debut at Newbury in June, well backed to make a winning start and duly delivering, taking a while to hit top gear but firmly on top at the line.
It was his latest performance in a strong renewal of the Pat Eddery Stakes at Ascot which marked himself out as an exciting prospect, though, taking a marked step forward from his debut to power away from the three unbeaten colts who made the frame.
That form is already starting to work out, the runner-up and the fifth both winning next-time-out, and Rosallion looked in a different league to his rivals that day. Richard Hannon won that race with Chindit in 2020, who went on to win the Champagne Stakes, and Rosallion has excellent claims of following in his footsteps on Saturday.
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- St Leger Festival Race times and day by day schedule
- When is the St Leger? Doncaster date, start time, runners and betting