It's St Leger final night and at a new home, Perry Barr, with the Sky Sports cameras rolling for eight live TV races. Check out Darrell Williams' views on the big race and his best bets across the card...
"Fengate Collar winner Affane Party was flying in sprints round here the other month and rates the night’s best bet especially with the inside hitting at over 25% in sprints here this year"
Strides Hugo has not won for some time but arguably runs his home track better than any and could be worth chancing in a tricky heat. While his best runs here were last autumn he has not run badly here recently and with a bit more luck coupled with his early speed might have already added to his tally. A reproduction of Stellas Veekayee's Monmore form would take her close and she is worth a saver.
While trap one would have been better, Swift Lucious' off the pace style still means she makes most appeal at a track where she excels (three from six over CD). Marians Dream, drawn inside a middle-favouring rival, is worth including while Forest Melanie appears to be improving.
19:43 Super Stayers
Hard to know what to do with Cloran Paddy after his early Leger elimination on his first start since July but consistent Russelena Reggie flew round in the first round of the Classic and is the one to put on top anyway. Local Pennys Luna has a bit to find but could offer value in combination wagers.
Versatile Castell Henry rarely runs a bad race and must go close after an excellent trial but course specialist Painstown Duke, something of a win machine himself (10 from 15 career figures) should not be under-estimated and gets the nod. Tyrur Stan continues to frustrate and is opposed.
On paper a red-hot heat, but Fengate Collar winner Affane Party was flying in sprints round here the other month and rates the night's best bet with an excellent make-up inside middle moving Ballymac Healy (zero from six in trap two and without a win in ten) especially with the inside hitting at over 25% in sprints here this year. Trapstyle Jet often goes well without a look at a new track but is drawn deeper than would be ideal.
Track-record holder Geelo Monty looks bound to make a bold bid over a trip that is ideal and should go close but marginal preference is for Swift Hansel who has run well in top class company all season. That said, a reverse forecast may prove the best play with doubts surrounding both Sawpit Sunshine (less effective in red) and Barricane Tommy (not won beyond 575m and winless since June).
The red jacket is always a bonus for Savana Donie and with Farloe Thor sure to edge off, and Danzey Exception looking for the inside, he can take full advantage. Lost One Dare continues to go the right way and may prove the biggest threat.
21:08 St Leger final
Hard to envisage a more competitive first St Leger final at new home Perry Barr but I'm confident we can narrow the field down to two.
Airmount Tess, remarkably bidding to become the first ever Irish winner of the stayers' Classic in theory appears to be drawn a little wider than would be ideal but has handled the black jacket with aplomb at home and is justifiably favourite having readily accounted for Bubbly McCoy in the semi-finals. That, however was a reversal of their second-round meeting and with the Champagne Club runner once again on the right side of his rival it could be a lot closer than the market would imply.
While I therefore still expect Ger Kiely's bitch to emerge on top, a small saver on Bubbly McCoy might also be in order.
Rubys Rascal broke the clock here prior to the first round but may find it difficult to hold a pitch here with so much early speed in the race with even Slippy Maska capable of trapping as she showed in the semi-finals.
Keplar Nine appeared to have been 'found out' behind the two market leaders in his semi-final and those looking for a more speculative approach could do worse than include improving Goldies Hotspur at a price.
Strides Hugo 19:11
Swift Lucious 19:26
Painstown Duke 19:59
Affane Party 20:16
Savana Donie 20:51
Airmount Tess 21:08