The Guardian

Guide to TV races

Greg Wood

The celebrations will be long and loud if the royal colours are carried to victory in a British Classic for the first time since the filly Dunfermline triumphed in 1977 at Doncaster today, but the unsentimental truth from a punter’s point of view is that Desert Hero’s price of around 11-2 for the St Leger is very thin for a horse coming off a narrow win in a Group Three contest with a slight question mark over his stamina for this afternoon’s trip.

All the attention being directed at the William Haggas-trained Desert Hero, though, may mean that his main rivals go off at slightly bigger prices than they should, and the Irish raider Continuous (3.35) in particular could prove to be an excellent bet at around 4-1.

Aidan O’brien’s colt had just four rivals to beat in the Great Voltigeur

Stakes at the York Ebor meeting last month but he did so with real authority, finishing nearly four lengths clear of the runner-up with the previously unbeaten Gregory, who re-opposes today, back in third spot.

Continuous stayed on strongly at York last month after racing some way off a strong gallop, has a couple of pacemakers to give him a target and could well find further improvement for the step up to the Leger distance.

Doncaster 1.50 Richard Hannon has a strong recent record in this juvenile Group Two and Rosallion is very difficult to oppose after an impressive success at Ascot in late July, not least as the form was franked when the runner-up won a Listed race next time up.

Chester 2.05 A significant drop in class for Bluestocking, who should win with something to spare if she is anywhere close to the form of her half-length second to Savethelastdance in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh in July.

Doncaster 2.25 Tees Spirit has taken a few runs to find his form this season after a prolific 2022 campaign, but he is well handicapped on his decisive success over five furlongs at this track last summer and ran his best race of 2023 at Haydock last time. He has a decent draw in stall 22 and jockey Mia Nicholls takes off a handy 7lb .

Chester 2.40 Heavy ground at Goodwood last time may have exaggerated Sweet Reward’s superiority but it was still a new career-best and he may be able to overcome a 7lb hike.

Doncaster 3.00 Karl Burke’s string could scarcely be in better form and Spycatcher is very much the one to beat having been touched off in a Group One contest at Deauville last month.