The first day of Doncaster’s St Leger Festival will take centre stage on Thursday, but there is also a competitive seven-race card taking place at Epsom, the home of the Derby.
A seven-furlong novice for two-year-old’s gets the action started at 2:15 before six handicaps, with the highlight coming in the form of the Jump Jockeys Derby at 3:25.
2:50 – Secret Strength @ 20/1
There is plenty of pace on paper in the seven-furlong Bohle Centenary Handicap at 2:50 and that could play into the hands of SECRET STRENGTH who likes a good gallop to aim at.
Peace Of Mine and Bowman are free-going sorts that like to get on with things, while Redredrobin and Larado are two others in this nine-runner field that like to be ridden handy.
That means this contest could be teed up for a closer and Secret Strength, trained locally by Jim Boyle, is sure to be finishing with his usual late rattle.
Secret Strength has never won at Epsom but he has plenty of strong course form, which includes a fast-finishing fourth in a Class 2 handicap in June under similarly quick conditions and off 1Ib higher.
This is a Class 4 event and Luke Catton, who takes off a valuable 5Ib, partnered him to success off this mark of 73 at Newbury in June.
4:00 – Semser @ 10/1
With the hat-trick seeking Mrembo, Arenas Del Tiempo and Lethal Touch set to go to post in this 1m2f event at 16:00, a good pace looks assured and that can help SEMSER return to winners’ enclosure.
The Gary Moore-trained six-year-old has won over 1m4f in the past, so a strongly-run 1m2f should bring his stamina into play and he did win off 1Ib higher in August of last year.
In fact, Semser won comfortably off a mark of 68 at Chelmsford in May – 1Ib lower than he runs off today – and he is a pretty consistent for a horse in this grade having finished in the first three in 11 of his 23 starts.
4:35 – Anticipating @ 9/2
ANTICIPATING finished well under tender handling to finish fourth on handicap debut at Windsor last time out and an extra half a furlong in a weak-looking event could see her get off the mark.
The David Menuisier-trained three-year-old is having only her fifth career start, so is open to plenty of improvement, while David Probert is a positive booking as he takes over from 5Ib claimer Connor Planas.
A mark of 60 should underestimate her in time and, providing she handles the undulations of the track, she is expected to go close for connections that know the time of day.