Weekend winners from our racing expert Andy Holding
DEFOE (best price 15-8) appears to be thriving from his racing at present and this progressive three-year-old stayer can put his St Leger credentials firmly in the shop window with a positive display against the older horses. Roger Varian's inmate first caught the eye with solid effort in the London Gold Cup over today's course earlier in the season and his two subsequent successes have only further increased his stock. Indeed, his latest performance when out-staying subsequent Group winner Frankus at Hamilton marked him down as a horse with plenty of stamina and with connections preferring to come here rather than wait for the Great Voltigeur at York next week, that decision will hopefully reap maximum rewards.
VICTORY ANGEL (best price 9-1) has been a riddle wrapped inside a mystery so far this campaign. Brilliant on the Rowley Mile on seasonal debut and last time out at Yarmouth, but nothing short of shocking in three runs in between. Quite which horse will turn up today's is anybody's guess, but what we can say based on his time figures, when on song, Roger Varian's inmate easily has enough quality to capture a race of this nature and is morning price is worth taking to find out
Winner of this race in 2014 and third a year later, BRETON ROCK (best price 8-1) has all the right credentials to go close again in this season's renewal under his ideal conditions. After a fairly productive campaign without winning, David Simcocks's inmate burst back to his very best with an amazing performance in the Group 2 Lennox Stakes at Goodwood last time, coming from an improbable position two out to get up close home with a devastating turn of foot down the middle of the track. While a lot was made of several unlucky horses who got their knickers in a twist when involved with general bunching inside the final two furlongs, the son of Bahamian Bounty got very little credit for a performance that belied his 50/1 price tag and with the weights and measures bores happy enough to dismiss him again because of his Group 2 penalty, that prehistoric theory means the dependable seven-year-old rates excellent value for those that consider ability to handle conditions count for more than 3lb extra in his saddle cloth.
It's not very often that the fastest furlong-per-furlong time on the card is an amateur rider race, but that was the case with OTOMESANDO (best price 3-1) when he scored at Haydock last time out and he's taken to repeat the dose in this similar class contest off just a 5lb higher mark. Always travelling best at the Lancashire venue, Ollie Greenall's inmate stayed on best of all in the closing stages to win with a bit up his sleeve and having gone back-to-back before when previously trained by Mark Brisbourne, the son of Street Cry is fancied to repeat the feat for his in-form handler.