A field of 16 go to post for the 2017 running of the Leger Legends Race at Doncaster on Wednesday. See our betting tips and full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: The early money for DETACHMENT says it all, as this four-year-old is far too well treated at these weights to ignore on his form from earlier this year for Les Eyre. He struggled in two runs back in May when last seen, but the ground looked to have been too firm for him and a return to softer ground is a blessing. On his best form he’s extremely well treated at the weights in this race and should make light work of this field.
1 CHARACTER ONESIE – Hasn’t won now for 13 months and although he’s been placed on a number of occasions this year for Richard Fahey, he doesn’t tend to have the finishing power to win these days. Softer ground isn’t a problem for him which is a plus and he stays this trip well, but he’s hard to give any more than each way claims to consider his overall record.
2 DETACHMENT – Showed a huge amount of promise in the context of this race in his first four runs for Les Eyre, with the ground likely against him on his two runs when last seen in May. He’s been given a break since and the ground today has gone into his favour, with the early money for him suggesting that he’s ready for a big run. A mark of 70 is far too generous on what he showed earlier in his career and he should run away with this.
3 HARAZ – Contender on the best of his form this season for Jamie Osbourne, but he’s now a maiden after 25 runs and is a risky proposition. He more often than not runs his race – as proven by his last two runs where he placed – but he lacks the final change of gear and never looked like going by when last seen at Laytown eight days ago. Each way claims with a big field, but he remains vulnerable for win purposes.
4 HITMAN – Produced his best run this season on debut when third at Wetherby in June, keeping on well in similar conditions to today. He’s struggled in the main since though, well beaten in 11th on his latest start at this venue in August. His mark continues to slide, but he’s impossible to recommend as he doesn’t look likely to take advantage at present.
5 MUSTAQBAL – Has been painfully inconsistent this season for Michael Dods but he did produce one of his best efforts when third at Thirsk last month. He likely would have finished closer if not for hanging left in the closing stages, but that’s the main reason his record shows two wins from 28 starts. He’s an each way contender at his best but he’s not the easiest of rides.
6 OFF ART – Last win came way back in 2013 and this Tim Easterby trained seven-year-old hasn’t looked like adding to his modest tally this season. He was third on his latest start at Redcar and, although he was only headed late on and was arguably unlucky, that effort is hard to take on face value when you look at his previous starts. He’s a contender if replicating that start, yet it’s far from guaranteed and makes him risky.
7 SECRET MISSILE – Shows flashes on occasion that he could be ready to win again, but those are rare and his two last places the last twice show he’s out of form at present. He weakened tamely at Thirsk on his latest start and the mile trip is a big unknown for him, yet to go beyond seven furlongs. Softer ground is fine, but he doesn’t look sure to relish this distance and is dismissed.
8 THE GAY CAVALIER – Tends to leave his runs far too late for John Ryan and can race awkwardly as well when asked for an effort. He was poor on his latest start at Chelmsford when only seventh in a weak affair and this drop back to the mile doesn’t look sure to suit as he tends to stay on late over the 1m 2f trip. Softer ground is fine but he’s likely to be flying home when it’s all over.
10 FIRE PALACE – Finished a good fourth at Windsor in July for Robert Eddery but she’s failed to build on that the last twice, though the step up to 1m 2f could be to blame. She should be happier back down in trip but she’s untried on softer ground and her strike-rate is far from convincing. She’s an each way player back at this trip but she couldn’t be backed for win purposes.
11 PATCHING – Ran a rare poor race when fifth at Newmarket two starts ago but got straight back on track when third at Yarmouth on her latest start, not beaten far after over-racing in the early stages. She remains on the same mark and she’s fine regarding the ground and a return to this trip, so she looks a key player under Gary Bardwell against a field of unknowns.
13 SOLDIER BLUE – Only three runs for this son of Sepoy who produced his best run when last seen at Pontefract, front running his way to third in a tough looking race back in July. He has improved for each run and better can be expected here in a race that isn’t full of consistent rivals. He remains unexposed and handles softer ground, so a big run looks on the cards under George Duffield.
14 UNDISCOVERED ANGEL – Eight race maiden for Karl Burke who is not progressing anymore, with her seventh at Clairefontaine when last seen proving her inconsistency as well. She needs more here and she’s yet to really convince that she handles the softer ground. She’s low on the list on this occasion.
15 DIAMOND RUNNER – Has been running well of late for Lawrence Mullaney, winning last month at Redcar before a respectable third at this venue over the 1m 2f trip three weeks ago. He is, however, disadvantaged heavily on these terms and will need another sizeable leap forward to feature on this occasion. Hard to recommend lumbered with this amount of weight.
16 POOR DUKE – Won at Leicester back in June but he’s failed to threaten since in three runs, beaten around 12 lengths on his latest start at Chepstow in similar conditions. He’s another who is disadvantaged on these terms and looks set for a struggle, especially as softer ground isn’t ideal.