Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Jockey Michael Hills tipped to add his name to Leger of Town Moor glory
It’s that time of year again, when former jockeys brush off their breeches and boots and return to the saddle at Doncaster.
I am unable to be among them this time around as I am unfortunately still confined to crutches and walking with a limp.
However, the Clipper Logistics Leger Legends again promises to be a sight worth seeing tomorrow on the opening day of the St Leger Festival.
A field of 16 lines up for the £10,000 contest over the straight mile and, following on from previous winners Charlie Swan, Julie Krone and Mick Kinane, it could well be Michael Hills’ turn in the spotlight this time around.
Hills, a Derby-winning jockey, who rode more than 2,000 winners worldwide, and who retired last autumn, teams up with his trainer-brother Charlie and takes the mount on nap selection Callmeakhab, who looks to have as good a chance as any in this wide open race, and a better chance than most.
A Chester winner earlier in the season, Callmeakhab finished a respectable fourth to Bousatet at Thirsk most recently and, on the evidence of that form, comes into this contest with leading claims.
North Yorkshire is represented by the likes of former champion jockey Kevin Darley, Dale Gibson, one of the main organisers, and trainers David O’Meara and Ollie Pears, but the quartet may have to play supporting roles to Hills, who looks set for triumph in a race which will benefit Jack Berry House and the Northern Racing College.
The £40,000 Crown Hotel Bawtry Scarbrough Stakes is the most valuable race on the card and this tightly-knit five-furlong dash could be just the ticket for Justineo, who hails from Roger Varian’s Newmarket yard.
The four-year-old ran a cracking race in defeat at Goodwood last time when a close third to Moviesta in the Group 2 King George Stakes. A reproduction of that form will make him hard to beat.
William Buick, rider of Justineo, could be in for a decent afternoon as he also teams up with the useful Gatewood, who returns from worldwide travels and a break to contest the Park Hill Hospital Conditions Stakes.
Frankie Dettori can kick off Doncaster proceedings with a winner aboard Captain Bob in the Arena Group Nursery over seven furlongs.
Although still without a win to his name, Captain Bob has finished runner-up on his last two outings and was narrowly beaten at Warwick a couple of weeks ago. He is entitled to be involved in the finish.
Charlie Appleby has made a bright start to his training career for Godolphin and the Newmarket handler has a useful and progressive three-year-old in Life Partner.
Winner of his last two starts, Life Partner looks sure to go well again in his hat-trick bid in the Beauty At Doncaster Handicap.
At Carlisle, Rio’s Rosanna, a good second to the useful Chivalry on her latest outing at York, merits attention in the Lloyd Ltd Handicap.
Trained by Richard Whitaker, whose horses remain in good form, this likeable mare will be partnered by Russ Kennemore, who rode Platinum to a sizeable victory at Haydock on Saturday.
Brian Ellison can do no wrong at present and the Norton trainer has several good chances in Cumbria, not least with Mixed Message (3.25), who is overdue a winning turn and Pacific Heights (5.05), winner of two races this season, including one on this course.
2.00 Captain Bob, 2.30 Scruffy Tramp, 3.00 Justineo, 3.35 Callmeakhab (NAP), 4.10 Gatewood, 4.45 Life Partner, 5.15 Threes Grand.
2.20 Tweety Pie, 2.50 Outlaw Torn, 3.25 Mixed Message, 4.00 Dynaglow, 4.35 Charlotte’s Day, 5.05 Pacific Heights, 5.35 Ralphy Boy, 6.05 Rio’s Rosanna.
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Kempton and Uttoxeter.
Today’s meetings: Beverley, Leicester, Redcar and Worcester.
Comments are closed on this article.