2022 St Leger Festival – Day 1 Tips and Betting Preview

The last Classic of the season is getting closer and while we have to wait until Saturday for the St Leger itself, the meeting gets underway on Wednesday when all attention turns to the wonderful Doncaster racecourse.

This is a meeting where the quality improves as the week goes on but there are still winners to be found over the course of Wednesday and having scoured the card we have come up with one in the lucky last.

5.20 Doncaster


There’s a nice looking Class 2 handicap over a mile & a quarter to finish the first day with a field of 12 assembled.  Willie Haggas trains the current favourite in Mujtaba & after winning his first 3 starts (including his first handicap), he’s failed to fire in his last 2 & has something to prove off a stiff looking mark.  Just Fine has been running in some top handicaps & having failed to trouble the judge, his mark is easing but I haven’t seen enough to consider him a betting proposition here whilst Legend Of Dubai was another destined for better things until his last 2 disappointments.  Forest Falcon, for Dettori, has a definite chance but 10st2lb is a lot of weight to carry round.

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If improving for an extra quarter of a mile in trip, Isla Kai is massively overpriced.  Last year, as a 3 year old, he won 3 of his 4 handicap starts finishing 2nd in the other.  Starting off a mark of 78, he progressed to finish a close 2nd off 94, a mark he races off today.  This season hasn’t appeared to be quite so good but it’s worth noting he was 4th in the Spring Cup off 5lb higher & a creditable 6th of 29 in the Royal Hunt Cup off 6lb higher.  Rowan Scott gets on well with this horse riding him for all 4 of his career wins.  I’m also drawn to his Doncaster form which reads 1-1-4 & more importantly, his form with cut in the ground which reads 1-1-1-1.  If the rain does come (which is forecast later), he will surely go close.  There’s a slight concern he’ll be hassled for the lead but given his speed (all runs over shorter), he should be able to fend off those challenges and if he does & he gets the trip, he’s got a cracking each way chance.


Back Isla Kai (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 10.00 Skybet BOG (⅕ odds 1-4)

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Author: Martha Chavez