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Hoping to have the measure of the Doncaster Cup

13 Sep 2018

Lightning Spear

It’s been a manic week of action at Doncaster, but the racing is set to step up another gear tomorrow as the stayers roll into town for Doncaster Cup Day.

I start the day in the Group 3 Sceptre Stakes aboard the Andrew Balding-trained Dancing Star. She’s a lovely filly that seemed to come back to her best form on her latest run at Goodwood. She got hampered badly twice that day and with a clear run I’m convinced she’d have won readily.

Hopefully the ground will continue to dry out a bit on Town Moor for her as she won’t want the conditions to be Soft. There’s been a fair breeze about the course over the last couple of days, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the ground were to be Good tomorrow.

The John Gosden runner Laugh Aloud deserves to be favourite, but if my filly can produce that Goodwood form again she’d be in with a huge chance of winning her first Group race.

Up next I get aboard Qatar Racing’s speedy two-year-old Legends of War in the Flying Childers Stakes.

He ran a cracker last time out to finish second in the Gimcrack Stakes at York, travelling really strongly for most of the race before running out of gas in the last half furlong. On that evidence you’d think that the step down in trip to a stiff five furlongs would suit him and we’re optimistic that he can get his head in front.

It looks a super competitive renewal on paper though – Archie Watson has a strong hand with Soldiers Call while Richard Spencer’s colt Rumbleinthejungle looked very smart when winning at Goodwood.

In the feature race, the Doncaster Cup, I ride Algometer for David Simcock and I’m delighted to be given the chance to ride him by his owner Miss Rausing.

He’s been a little bit in and out of form of late, but he’s officially the highest-rated horse in the race and his run two starts ago in France behind Marmelo was very encouraging. If he’s able to produce his best form then I think I’m in with a really good chance of winning my fifth QIPCO British Champions Series race of the season.

The race does look wide open this year, scanning through the field you see quickly that all eight runners look pretty exposed. There certainly doesn’t appear to be any younger improvers to watch out for. I’m really happy to be on Algometer and I wouldn’t swap him for anything.

Up next in the Listed Flying Scotsman Stakes I ride Dubai Dominion for Ed Vaughan. I’ve ridden the horse plenty of times at home and, though he could only finish third last time out at Salisbury, he 100% deserves to take his chance again in Listed company.

The obvious horse to watch out for is the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Kingman colt Sangarius who looked impressive when winning first time out at Newmarket. He beat another newcomer we really like at Andrew Balding’s that day called Bangkok and I think the form of the maiden will work out to be very classy indeed.

My fifth mount of the day sees me don the Godolphin royal blue for Saeed Bin Suroor aboard Royal Marine.

He’s a lovely type that we think will improve plenty for his debut run at Newmarket a couple of weeks ago. We’re looking forward to getting his campaign into top gear, but this does look quite a hot race on paper though.

Finally, I ride Speed Company for John Quinn in the closing handicap over 10 furlongs. I know this horse pretty well having ridden against him plenty of times, but this will be the first time I get the chance to partner him on course.

He’s had a fair few runs this term, so there’s a chance that he might be susceptible to an improving type that is a little less exposed to the handicapper’s eye. That said, whenever John puts me up I’ve got a pretty good strike rate, so I’m sure he’s not without a solid chance.


A two-year-old Qatar Racing colt with William Haggas, he ran a cracker on debut to just get beaten at Windsor. He learned a lot that day and should come on a bundle for the run; he’s next set to appear at Yarmouth on Tuesday.