For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Victor Chandler on the St Leger
7:57pm Friday 13th September 2013 in Sport
The Ladbrokes St Leger is one of the highlights of the Flat season and with 11 runners going to post, the race promises to be as competitive as ever.
It would be folly to look anywhere bar Excess Knowledge (3.50), who has been laid out for the race after an unlucky runner-up spot in The Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
John Gosden's record in the race is second to none and the colt looked to have the beating of Cap O'Rushes at Goodwood, but was unlucky to find trouble in running during the latter stages.
He looks sure to improve when stepped up in trip, as does Galileo Rock, who arguably has the best form in the race after chasing home Ruler of the World and Trading Leather in the English and Irish Derby's respectively. Excess Knowledge should take all the beating but Brian Meehan's unexposed Great Hall could be the dark horse at a double-figure price.
The Portland Handicap is one of the most competitive sprint handicaps of the season and with a bumper field of 22, finding the winner will prove difficult.
Roger Varian had Justineo primed for the Scarborough Stakes and the stable are going at an unbelievable 46 per cent strike rate in September, making his runner Steps very interesting for the team.
With the weather expected to turn sour, however, it looks set to be a mudlark's paradise and those with a liking to get their toe in are the ones to make up the shortlist.
Elusivity and Prodigality have become well-handicapped animals, but it could pay to side with last year's winner Doc Hay after trickling his way down to a mark of 100.
He won the race last year from a 3lb higher mark and has held his form well in higher company since. Back on soft ground and at his beloved Doncaster, David O'Meara's six-year-old looks to have been laid out to defend his crown.
The old partnership of Paul Hanagan and Richard Fahey can combine to win the nursery with Heskin (5.00) now tried at a mile for the first time this season.
She has progressed through the ranks nicely, and the form of his second to Newcastle has worked out very well, Lily Rules and Atlantic Affair franking the form since.
Stepped up to a mile on softer ground should bring further improvement still for the promising filly.
Another who loves it on Town Moor is Brian Ellison's Global Village (6.05), back on soft ground.
The handicapper has lowered him 2lb for poor runs in Galway and The Curragh, which should make him competitive.
Both runs will have seen him come on as this boy thrives on his racing, as seen when narrowly beaten in The Lincoln back in March. Tadgh O'Shea is an interesting jockey booking, his one prior ride on the horse seeing him win The Victoria Cup at Ascot.
At Lingfield, The Cheka (5.20) has strong claims returning to softer ground in a very winnable conditions race over seven furlongs.
Eve Johnston-Houghton's stable star was second to Moonlight Cloud and Mayson in Group One races this time last season and despite being slow to come to hand, should retain enough ability to have the beating of the inconsistent pair Intibaah and Set The Trend.
There's evening racing at Kempton, where the feature mile handicap should see recent course winner Ajig (7.30) follow-up after winning a competitive maiden here last month.
The Bahamian Bounty filly showed an impressive turn of foot to close down and collar the well-fancied Baars Causeway, staying on well towards the finish.
Stepped up to a mile, the filly should improve further and despite Morally Bankrupt and Diplomatic Force both being respected, Ajig's maiden form looks the strongest of the line-up.