Cecil to shine on opening day

Doncaster officially reopens its doors to the public tomorrow after a multi-million redevelopment and the Yorkshire crowd would love nothing more than to cheer home a Henry Cecil winner at the St Leger meeting.

Doncaster officially reopens its doors to the public tomorrow after a multi-million redevelopment and the Yorkshire crowd would love nothing more than to cheer home a Henry Cecil winner at the St Leger meeting.

After a £32m (€47m) refit, Town Moor now looks fit to stage the world’s oldest Classic on Saturday and the four-day festival would be guaranteed a great start if Cecil saddled a winner on the first day.

The Newmarket handler is one of the most popular figures in the game and the victory of Light Shift in the Oaks back in June brought a tear to even the most jaundiced of hacks.

But Crystany can be supported for more than just sentimental value. Cecil has always thought highly of the Green Desert filly and she ran a fine race on debut to finish fourth, a race which included 1000 Guineas fancy Visit.

Next time at Goodwood in another above average maiden she was not disgraced when beaten just over two lengths by subsequent Listed winner Fashion Rocks.

She has a little to find with the Barry Hills-runner Royal Confidence on that form but she showed distinct improvement to open her account in smooth fashion at Ripon last time from an unfavourable draw.

The most prestigious race on the opening day is the Listed Altium Scarborough Stakes, where James Given’s Morinqua has more going for her than most.

The three-year-old filly must be one of the fastest horses in training and she has risen from an early season mark of 70 to a perch of 95.

She is not that well treated on the official figures but she appears to be holding her form well and if she is allowed to dominate as she likes to do, she may take some pegging back.

The most valuable race on the card is the Samsung £300,000 St Leger 2-Y-O Stakes, in which dual Guineas winner Cockney Rebel met with defeat last season.

This year the one to be with could be Paul Cole’s Oasis Wind, who is held in high regard at his Whatcombe yard.

An impressive winner of his second start by four lengths, he was strongly fancied for the valuable nursery Cristal Clear won at York.

After having all his rivals in trouble two furlongs out he looked to have the race in the bag, and with all due respect, a stronger jockey than 5lb claimer Tolley Dean may have kept his head in front at the line.

Jamie Spencer has been booked this time so we shall see if that makes any difference.

It is still amazing how Luca Cumani’s talents are consistently underestimated and his Craggy Cat looks the bet of the day at Haydock in the Shammah Nicholls Corporate Department Nursery.

Third in two decent maidens at Yarmouth and Newmarket, he opened his account in what was a very good affair at Redcar last time.

He would only appear to be on a fair enough mark for his first start outside maiden company but it is a fair bet that Cumani can find a good bit of improvement yet.

Frankie Dettori goes to Kempton’s evening meeting principally for Iguazu Falls in the COA Solutions Maiden Stakes.

Second to the smart Moynahan on debut in what is traditionally a hot maiden at York, he should take all the beating.

Alan King has no peers when it comes to handling juvenile hurdlers and Dan Bouy can remain unbeaten in the Begbies Traynor Novices’ Hurdle at Uttoxeter.

More in this section

IE_180_logo
Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox