Near enough six months have passed since we were preparing for Doncaster’s Lincoln meeting opening the season yet it’s hard to know where that time has gone. Tomorrow we’re back at Donny for Leger Saturday, but with two Group 2s in our sights rather than a tilt at the world’s oldest Classic.
Shadwell’s three-year-old colt Laneqash is likely to start favourite for the G2 Park Stakes having impressed in finishing a good second on his reappearance at Newbury. Dane O’Neill gave him a lovely ride that day after his absence and hopefully he can build on that now he’s reunited with Jim Crowley on Town Moor. The trip, ground and track will be in his favour, and we can hope for a strong showing tomorrow.
Bayside Boy has shown all kinds of promise in his two starts over 7f so far in his career and faces his biggest test so far in the G2 Champagne Stakes over the same trip tomorrow. He was only beaten narrowly by Masekela on his second start in the Listed Denford Stakes at Newbury and was perhaps only undone by his inexperience compared with the more streetwise winner. He takes on a couple of the juvenile stars of the season in the Queen’s G3 Solario Stakes winner Reach For The Moon and G2 Gimcrack winner Lusail and we will have a good idea of where we stand with him come 14:30 tomorrow. He has always pleased us at home, and we look forward to running him for his owners Teme Valley.
It's a rare Saturday where all of our runners head to the same meeting, with Title, Premier Power and Raadobarg all lining up in competitive-looking handicaps. Title returns to the track after a gelding operation and enters handicap company for the first time. He faces just a handful of opponents, but he would prefer an even gallop to show his best. Premier Power heads to the Portland with an opportunity to race in a decent-sized field on turf for the first time. This set up could really suit a horse who’s always shown plenty of talent and champion jockey Oisin Murphy is on board for the first time. Raadobarg will be delighted to peer over his stable door and see Friday’s rain, though he would need a good bit more of it for the ground to really go in his favour. His Royal Ascot run was a good one considering how lively the going was and he retains potential off a mark of 99.
Finally we come to Teona. Too keen in the Musidora and not right after the Oaks, eventually the real Teona put her hand up at Windsor when she outclassed a useful field in a Listed race last month. The G1 Prix Vermeille at ParisLongchamp is another level entirely, but she more than hinted at star quality last time and is deserving of her chance at the top level on Sunday. The defection of Alpinista and the unfortunate injury to Wonderful Tonight have meant that the race is not quite as strong as it had looked on Thursday morning, but while Snowfall remains the race will still be by some way the biggest test of Teona’s young career.
Best of luck to all connections of our runners this weekend, and we send our best wishes to David Menuisier and his team and hope for the best with Wonderful Tonight’s recovery.