The Listed Scarborough Stakes is the centrepiece on the opening day of Doncaster's four-day St Leger meeting and it should be a competitive contest.
Paul Midgley looks to have a strong hand here and he saddles FINAL VENTURE and DESERT LAW. The former tops BTO+ ratings and could go off as favourite for the affair. The gelding has displayed a decent level of form throughout his career and a searches for his first victory since June. That effort came at Haydock in the Achilles Stakes which the son of Equiano won gamely by a neck. Final Venture has had six subsequent runs and he didn't disgrace himself in the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot nor the Nunthorpe Stakes at York last month. The five year old's most recent run was at Beverley where he finished a one-length second to Take Cover 11 days ago. Final Venture is arguably still improving and Oisin Murphy has been booked to ride and he boasts a 42% better than expected strike rate at Doncaster.
Desert Law heads into the Scarborough Stakes as his yard's second string but could spring a surprise. In August the evergreen nine year old landed a double in fine style. His first win was a one length win at Doncaster over five furlongs before he romped to a one and a quarter length success at York just four days later. However, the son of Oasis Dream was behind his stablemate at Beverley last time and he might be slightly short of this level at his ripe old age.
THESME is aiming to clinch her first race for over two years. Nigel Tinkler's charge is getting eight pounds off Final Venture and that could prove the crucial difference. The daughter of Exceed And Excel has produced a number of eye-catching runs this term and last season the mare was second in today's affair. Thesme should enjoy a return to a track he clearly enjoys and although he was beaten by Desert Law last time, there is a 12 pounds swing in the weights. Connections have also shrewdly booked Frankie Dettori to ride and he shows a 59% better than expected win rate over the course and distance.
Clive Cox is a brilliant trainer of sprinters and he throws RAZZMATAAZ into the deep end. The Monsieur Bond filly is just a three year old and has only had three career starts. Razzmataaz scratched off her maiden tag last time out at Kempton where she was a 50/1 shot. Nonetheless, Cox's charge did beat Jeremy Noseda's odds-on favourite La Figlia, who has an early entry in the Sceptre Stakes on Friday so the filly's first victory could have depth to it. Razmataaz is second best rated by BTO+ ratings and Cox has been firing on all cylinders and boasts a 33% strike rate in the past fortnight.
GO ON GO ON GO ON is Cox's other runner but the four year old hasn't quite kicked on how connections would have hoped. The filly has finished last in her two starts this campaign and must improve significantly.
Article Posted on Wednesday 13th September 2017 @ 09.02
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