Horse Racing tips: Timeform’s 5 to follow at Doncaster’s St Leger Festival

Make a note of these for the four-day fiesta this week!


14:10 Thursday, May Hill Stakes – Zabeel Queen

Few horses this season have created as good an impression on debut as ZABEEL QUEEN, who won a strong-looking novice at Ascot in July and earned the Timeform ‘Large P’ (to signify that she could improve a lot).

Zabeel Queen certainly made appeal on paper prior to her debut, being a daughter of Frankel out of a half-sister to Dubawi, and she made an excellent introduction, producing a good turn of foot and clocking a noteworthy closing sectional to readily settle matters.

That victory was achieved over 7 furlongs but, given her pedigree, she should appreciate the step up to a mile and she is an excellent prospect.



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16:15 Thursday, 6f handicap – Fresh

The majority of these sprinters are fully exposed, but that comment certainly does not apply to FRESH, a three-year-old trained by James Fanshawe who has had only four starts.

Fresh displayed promise in three starts in maiden/novice company and he took a step forward to make a successful handicap debut at Kempton last month. He travelled powerfully and quickened up impressively to hit the front before finding plenty when challenged inside the final furlong.

The front pair pulled clear of the third and a 7lb rise in the weights should not prevent the unexposed Fresh from following up. He has not yet reached the ceiling of his ability.


14:40 Friday, Flying Childers Stakes – Sacred

SACRED found one too good in the Lowther Stakes on her first attempt at 6 furlongs at York last time, but she looked the likely winner at one stage (traded long odds-on in running) and should prove well suited by this return to five furlongs.

She had run to a similar level when chasing home subsequent Group 1 winner Campanelle in a strong edition of the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, and, in receipt of 3lb from the colts, she rates the clear one to beat under what look likely to be her optimum conditions.



13:50 Saturday, Champagne Stakes – Chindit

Richard Hannon sent out Threat to win the Champagne Stakes last season and the trainer looks to have another leading chance with CHINDIT, who has won both starts in the style of a smart prospect and is well worth a crack at this Group 2 prize.

In fact, Chindit, who comfortably beat Cobh (subsequent listed winner) and Naval Crown (impressive winner of the Convivial Maiden) in a Listed race at Ascot last time, heads Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings and retains a ‘p’ to signify improvement is expected.

He was a ready winner at Ascot – despite showing his inexperience – and his strong-travelling style and potent turn of foot identify him as one of the leading two-year-olds we’ve seen this season.



15:35 Saturday, St Leger Stakes – Hukum

HUKUM has raced only four times, but he has already proved himself to be a very smart colt and could still have more to offer.

An eye-catching winner on his second and final start as a two-year-old, Hukum was thrown into the deep end on his reappearance in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot – always one of the most competitive three-year-old handicaps of the season – but he coped admirably well with the challenge to prevail, despite understandably still looking a bit raw.

That victory earned him a step up in class to Group 3 company in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury last month, and he looked well at home in pattern company, finding another chunk of improvement to readily brush aside his rivals.

He stayed on powerfully close home in the style of a horse who will relish the extra furlong of the St Leger, and he looks well up to Group 1 level.

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