Sam Turner guides you through day two of the St Leger festival.
Some horses couldn’t go a yard when asked to find another gear on Town Moor yesterday where the ability to handle the ground was a crucial factor in determining yesterday’s results. In the hope CLUBBABLE (Best price 5-2) finds conditions to her liking she is put forward as a tentative selection in this fillies’ handicap. Although yet to win in four starts, Clubbable has run with credit on every outing, not least last time at Hamilton when narrowly beaten by the progressive Magic Jazz. The time of that race was extremely healthy and the selection could well find significant improvement for the step up to seven furlongs.
Likely favourite Nyaletti steps up two furlongs to the mile for the first time on soft ground which clearly represents a very different examination to those she has undertaken for most of this summer. I must admit I didn’t think there was much left in the tank in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot when she tackled seven furlongs so a mile on tacky ground sets the alarm bells ringing. With that in mind, TAJAANUS (Best price 5-1) is offered as an alternative as she stuck to her task gamely over seven furlongs on the July Course last month when winning with authority and she looks capable of improving again now she stretched out by another furlong. The cut in the ground should be no issue for a filly who has encountered soft ground on all her career starts and she could be some value to overturn one or two more fancied rivals.
DUBKA (Best price 9-2) boasts form figures of 122 when she tackles genuine soft ground and should find today’s conditions a good deal more suitable than the sound surface of the Ebor at York where she was beaten eight lengths and looked after by her rider once her chance had gone. She had previously gone down narrowly at Goodwood in Group 3 company when recording a smart performance and may be worth supporting now she returns to the scene of her first handicap victory last summer. Natural Scenery received no luck in the Ebor and is very much shortlist material along with ALJEZEERA (Best price 9-1) who was highly impressive on debut at today’s venue last summer when I was present and looks to be steadily coming to hand in a couple of starts this term. She looked like a step up in trip would suit when keeping on for third at York behind Fleur Forsyte and is fancied to run a career best.
The York sales race won narrowly by Tangled from Great Prospector with Alba Power in behind could well hold the key to this race, but splitting the first two home is not an easy task as both are lightly-raced and improving. Alba Power is a little more exposed but stepping beyond six furlongs could well suit and he could finish a little closer than he managed on the Knavesmire. In the hope that NEOLA (Best price 9-1) isn’t totally isolated in stall 19 then she could go close to repeating the authority of her recent Goodwood nursery success when, after travelling keenly, she ground out a game win on soft ground. Providing a stands’ side berth isn’t an inconvenience, she could take a hand in the finish.
Trainer Kevin Ryan sprung a 100-1 surprise in this race a couple of renewals ago and QUEEN’S SARGENT (Best price 28-1) could be worth considering for the value seekers as he was perhaps unfortunate not to score at York last time in a hot handicap when rider Jimmy Quinn had to wait for a gap to materialise. Ryan’s colt has a fair amount to find on the figures, but history tells us that this race occasionally throws up the unexpected and this interim trip looks perfect at this stage of his career.