Angus McNae
Angus McNae's Racing UK Blog
Saturday 13th September 2014

Racing UK

Stick with the Derby form on a mammoth day of racing

A tremendous weekend of action lies ahead for all racing fans.

The Ladbrokes St Leger and the Arc trials at Longchamp, to say nothing of the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes in Ireland make it an absolute feast for devotees of this great game.

The St Leger has been shrouded with the going issues that have surrounded Kingston Hill's participation. Connections wanted either rain or some watering to take place and quite rightly Doncaster have not been prepared to water.

I am not sure what all the fuss has been about because it is clear from the horse's record that he acts on good ground. His second in the Derby shows that and equally it is clear he does not act when it rides faster, as in the Eclipse where a combination of ground and an uninspiring ride saw him run poorly.

I am confident that the ground will be fine for him but having raised their concerns all week connections now have a ready made excuse if he loses and will look like shrewd judges if he wins.

The race itself is tough to call. Kingston Hill should definitely be favourite on the back of his Derby run and he is the most likely winner.

Snow Sky is a horse that I have a lot of time for and he has rock solid form at York and Goodwood this season.

I am worried, however, about his ability to see out the trip given how keen he can be early on in his races. 

John Gosden has a fine record in the race and has three runners this year. Romsdal represents his best chance on the back of his third place in the Derby and should run well despite disappointing in the King George on his latest start.

Many people will want to back Windshear, as he looked unlucky behind Snow Sky at Goodwood, but he lacks tactical pace and is probably the typical late headway horse that tempts many before letting them down.

In essence the market has judged the race correctly. I think Kingston Hill will win and thoroughly justify his connections' decision to run and the course's strong and correct stance in not watering.

On Sunday Treve goes on trial. She runs in the Prix Vermeille and Thierry Jarnet replaces Frankie Dettori for the first time since winning the Arc last year.

Jarnet is unbeaten on her, Dettori never won on her. This is not the whole story though as Dettori has only ridden her twice and she was not right at Ascot. Given this, there must be more to this change of jockeys than meets the eye. I suspect that the Head-Maarek team would have stuck with Jarnet if they had been given a choice earlier this year but Dettori was thrust upon them and he rode her in a good deal of her work before her seasonal reappearance. Now Head-Maarek has her jockey back, one that understands the filly and, perhaps more importantly, understand how she trains her horses. I have no idea how she will run on Sunday, but I suspect she will shape better than she has all year.

The Irish Champion Stakes looks tailor made for Australia. His main opponents are Mukhadram, who will have to settle a lot better than he did at York, and The Grey Gatsby who was not good enough against him at York. 

Australia will win but at the odds is hardly a betting proposition.
That said, I see that William Hill have put up a special bet where you can get 13-8 that Australia wins by under two and a half lengths. That seems very fair and will give you an interest in the race if you are so inclined.

Angus McNae's Saturday tips:

3:50 Doncaster: Kingston Hill.

6:50 Leopardstown: Australia to win by under two and a half lengths at 13-8 with William Hill.