Thursday ITV Racing Tips: A trio of bets for the second day of the St Leger meeting
ITV are broadcasting four races from the second day of the St Leger meeting at Doncaster, and here with his views and recommended bets is our top tipster Tony Calvin...
"But I suspect class will come to the fore, and I think The Irish Rover and Aim Power are probably very worthy market leaders at around the 6/1 mark and bigger."
Cosette can be the leading Lady in fillies' nursery
The four ITV races at Doncaster don't immediately look like my punting cup of tea, and my usual MO in these circumstances is to take the contests in chronological order and see what unfolds.
Favourite Lady Cosette is undoubtedly the most interesting contender in the fillies' nursery at 13:50 on a couple of levels.
Firstly, trainer Jeremy Noseda is no stranger to targeting this race with a well-handicapped filly, as Nemoralia won this at 7/4 three years ago before going on to finish placed in Grade 1 company in the States on her next two outings, one of those being at the Breeders' Cup in Keeneland.
Secondly, Lady Cosette wears first-time blinkers here and Noseda is an ultra-impressive 7 from 16 when adopting this headgear tactic in the last 10 years. Her half-sister Favoritisme also won in blinkers in France last year and, being a Wootton Bassett, the 5mm or so of rain up to Wednesday morning shouldn't be an issue for the filly.
This filly is not as obviously well-treated as the 2015 winner of this race - indeed, a mark of 79 can only be described as fair for what she has achieved - but this $250,000 May Breeze-Up purchase has run well on all her three starts to date, and finished a good second to Saturday's Champagne Stakes entry Bye Bye Hong Kong over 6f at Windsor last time.
She wasn't given too hard a race against what was an impressive winner there, and the close-up third and fourth have both run well in defeat since.
This Rockfel entry could hold the key to this race, and I am willing to back her to small stakes at [6.4] or bigger on a day where bets are hard to find. And certainly big-priced plays.
Of the others, Prairie Spy interests me most at the prices of the remainder - she looks fair at 16/1+ - but hopefully the selection has the potential to exploit her opening handicap mark.
Pilaster out to boost claims of St Leger hopeful
I found the May Hill at 14:25 nigh on impossible, with a whole raft of similarly-pitched fillies lining up (from both a form and time perspective), so I have nothing to add there.
The same is unfortunately true of the Park Hill at 15:00.
Connections of Maid Up, supplemented for the Leger on Saturday, will be looking for a bold show from her Goodwood conqueror Pilaster here, and they may well get it, even with the filly carrying a 3lb penalty for that short-head Lillie Langtry win.
But she is no betting proposition at around 2/1 alongside fellow market-leader Horseplay, considering God Given and Sizzling have similar form claims.
Rover and Power worthy market leaders
There have been some big-priced winners down the years in the Sales race at 15:35 not least a 100/1 winner Morning Glory in 2013, and Critical Data caught my eye of those priced up at 20/1 or bigger after his Wolverhampton nursery win last time.
But I suspect class will come to the fore, and I think The Irish Rover and Aim Power are probably very worthy market leaders at around the 6/1 mark and bigger.
The well-regarded Newcastle winner Louis Treize is actually a similar price, and I have a lot of time for the trainer, but the bare form of that success doesn't entitle him to head the market, or be anywhere near it, in fact. One of the first firms to price up the race on Tuesday had him as the 5/1 favourite, and I couldn't have that.
I expected The Irish River, third in the Phoenix Stake and fourth in a Gimcrack, to be a fair bit shorter than 7/1, though I suppose the first-time blinkers joining the recent tongue-tie suggests connections are not entirely happy with the way he is finishing off his races. And the recent rain may not be ideal, though he handled good to soft perfectly well when an unlucky loser at Ascot earlier in the season.
On the other hand, maybe blinkers will be the making of him, and his sire No Nay Never won a Morny in them at two, and Aidan O'Brien is a healthy-enough 31 from 179 when going down this route since 2006.
You have to greatly fear Aim Power, though.
This Zebedee filly made an eye-watering 160,000gns at the sales last October - though that is small beer compared to what the owner has paid for some yearlings and 2yos - but she is certainly going the right way.
She went from the front when a good fourth in the Prestige over 7f at Goodwood and then possibly would have shaken up the leaders when not getting a clear passage when third off a mark of 95 in a nursery over 6f at the same track last time.
This intermediate trip promises to suit and, a 95-rated filly racing off 8st 4lb, she really must go well. I am going to dutch the pair, so that is my recommendation here.
I don't like playing towards the front of the market, but I feel it is justified here. Good luck.
Back Lady Cosette at [6.4] or bigger in 13:50 at Doncaster
Back The Irish Rover at [8.0] or bigger in 15:35 at Doncaster
Back Aim Power at [7.0] or bigger in 15:35 at Doncaster