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Alan Wood Plumbing And Heating Park Stakes (Group 2)
A quality Group 2 contest over seven furlongs with almost £57,000 on offer to the winner. Our runner by runner guide and expert tip for the 2017 Park Stakes at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting is below.
IN SUMMARY: BRETON ROCK has a strong record at this track, including victory in this race last season. He came from last to first to win the Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, with this race promising to be run at a genuine gallop which will suit him. Nathra beat Breton Rock in the Hungerford although she did have a clearer passage through than him on that occasion. She along with Aclaim look the biggest dangers, the latter improving last autumn and shaping well again in August to suggest his turn is near.
1 BRETON ROCK – Winner of the race in 2016, he is not the type to back away from a battle, causing a shock in the Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood when coming from the clouds down the wide outside to score at 50/1. Aside from winning this race last year and third to Limato in it in 2015, he was also the winner of a course and distance handicap, a smart return from just three course visits so he gets the vote with a little cut in the ground perfect for him.
2 ACLAIM – Ended last season in flying form, landing both a Listed race and a Group 2. He has been a little slow to come to hand this season but recent outings in August suggest that he is nearing his peak for an autumn campaign once more. He has a length and a half to make up with Breton Rock on their running at Goodwood and is three pounds better off. The selection came from much further back on that occasion however so even the swing in the weights isn’t enough to give him more than an each way chance.
3 HOME OF THE BRAVE – The sharp track at Goodwood suits him well, just nailed in the closing strides by Breton Rock in the Lennox Stakes. He has enjoyed another solid season but was a long way below par the only time he has tried this track in 2015 in this race. He is the pace angle to the contest so his chance hinges on being left alone out in front but even then, he looks vulnerable to the closers.
4 SPIRIT OF VALOR – Much improved this season on quick ground, almost pulling off a 66/1 shock in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot. He followed that with a smart display in a Group 2 at the Curragh but was well behind a number of these when unplaced at Glorious Goodwood. That leaves him with a little to prove, especially on drying tacky ground.
5 VISCOUNT BARFIELD – Progressed well this season, landing a Listed race at Chester. He ran well last time when placed at Goodwood in a Group 3 but that leaves him with plenty to find at this level, with any cut remaining in the ground not in his favour.
6 NATHRA – Very smart filly at her best and arguably better at this intermediate trip than at a mile. She beat Breton Rock in the Hungerford Stakes two starts back, although her passage through the contest was considerably smoother than his was, but it shows where she stands in the pecking order at this level. She was a little disappointing last time at a mile but holds a solid each way chance now back in trip.
7 PEACE ENVOY – Only beaten a length by Lady Aurelia in the Prix Morny last season but he has failed to get close to that so far in 2017. He was a long way behind Spirit Of Valor last time out at the Curragh so he has little chance of adding to his career tally in this contest.
8 SIR DANCEALOT – Has struggled a little this season having looked a smart juvenile in 2016. He was runner-up in the Bunbury Cup at the July meeting but that has been a rare performance of quality so far this year. He wasn’t far behind Nathra and Breton Rock in the Hungerford, form that gives him a squeak at this level given that the soft ground that day didn’t really suit him.