A field of six go to post for this highly competitive Nursery that kicks off the action on ITV at the Doncaster St Leger Festival. See our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Clubbable is still a maiden but she’s likely to do better in time and has to be considered, but preference is for THE MUMS. John Gosden’s daughter of Holy Roman Emperor has been improving with every start, with her latest victory at Newbury another big step forward. She clearly relished the softer ground that day and she gets it again here, with a mark of 83 on Nursery debut leaving her well treated for a big run under Frankie Dettori.
1 THE MUMS – Improving with every run for John Gosden, with this daughter of Holy Roman Emperor making a very quiet debut at Newbury in June. She built on that to finish midfield in a strong looking maiden at Newmarket in July before breaking her maiden at the third attempt at Newbury over the six furlong trip. She just held on that day over a trip that looked inadequate, clearly benefitting from the softer ground which she gets again here. She is open to further improvement back up to the extended six furlong trip and she certainly isn’t handicapped out of things off a mark of 83 on nursery debut, so can take another victory.
2 ELLTHEA – Won a five furlong Novice Stakes on softer ground at Carlisle in June and she’s been highly tried since then by Karl Burke. She was pitched into Listed company on her third start where she showed her temperament, giving trouble at the stalls and then offering no help to her rider whatsoever when pulled out for an effort. A step up into Group 3 company on her latest start backfired when she found herself all but tailed off at Deauville and this is clearly a more realistic assignment. It’s hard to really know her level at present but, judging by her comfortable Novice win, she isn’t handicapped out of things and is an each way player.
3 SILVER STARLIGHT – The most experienced runner in the field for Tim Easterby, with seven runs under her belt, one of which being a winning one. That came three starts ago at Thirsk where she kept on strongly to lead late in the day under today’s rider David Allan. She was far from disgraced off a two pound higher mark when second at the same venue in August, finishing fourth in a valuable race at York on her latest start. She hasn’t, however, raced beyond six furlongs so her stamina is an unknown, with the ground likely to make this a strong test. She’s another with sound each way claims, but others do look more progressive and she’s vulnerable for win purposes.
4 POETIC STEPS – Won her first two starts for Mark Johnston, building on her debut success to take a Novice Stakes at Carlisle in comfortable style. She’s found things much tougher the last twice, well beaten in two Class 2 Nurseries at both Goodwood and Hamilton. She showed little of note on that latest start and has plenty to prove now, despite the fact that she’ll handle conditions well. Others have far fewer risks attached and, on that basis, are readily preferred.
5 CLUBBABLE – The only maiden in the field for Richard Fahey, but she is progressing and looks the type to do better with time for top connections. She posted her best effort yet at Hamilton on Nursery debut, finishing second to a horse who was given the run of the race against the stand’s rail. She is only two pounds higher here and should appreciate this step up to the mile distance. She handles softer going and with Hanagan taking the ride she’s sure to play a leading role.
6 SHE’S DIFFERENT – Daughter of Epaulette who’s related to some fair types but does need to step up on her previous efforts to be threatening the judge for Nigel Tinkler. She won on nursery debut at Hamilton on her latest start, having the stand’s rail to help her surge to the lead inside the final furlong. She’s five pounds higher here but looks certain to stay further, with softer going clearly her ground of choice. She’s an each way player for an inform trainer, but others are more interesting for win purposes.