The 2018 Doncaster Cup takes place at 3.35pm on Friday and is the feature contest on Day 3 of the St Leger meeting, attracting a field of eight to post, headed on the racecard by the David Simcock trained Algometer. The 5yo grey is fairly consistent in this grade and has a clear chance, but the lion’s share of the £100,000 prize may well make its way across the Irish Sea…
Messrs Mullins and Ricci are responsible for three of the eight runners in the field, with Max Dynamite, the quirky Renneti and THOMAS HOBSON declared to post. Thomas Hobson finished 2nd to Desert Skyline in 2017 and bids to go one better here, but he will need to confirm form with the re-opposing and dangerous Sheikhzayedroad, who was no more than a head behind him last year.
Since then, Thomas Hobson has only had the three runs, including when 6th in the Melbourne Cup in November. In the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot in June where he returned to action, it didn’t pan out for him (went off 11/8f), with a slow pace and his hold up style contributing to a troubled passage through the race, eventually won by the enigmatic Pallasator. The 8yo son of Halling followed it up by finishing a close-up 5th of 7 in a competitive Irish St Leger trial at the Curragh last time, where he did shape promisingly before his effort flattened out late in the day.
That run three weeks ago should leave the horse spot on for this third visit to the Town Moor, having won here for John Gosden back in 2013. In all honesty, this is a below-par Group 2 for stayers, with none of the eight runners coming into the race with winning form. In fact, only the Ian Williams trained Saunter has won a race of any kind in 2018, which is an alarming stat for a race which is part of the British Champions Series.
It really would be refreshing if more National Hunt trainers took the bull by the horns and targeted some of their two mile talent toward a prestigious and valuable race like the Doncaster Cup, but alas it’s only Mullins & Rich Ricci who continue to support these events with their trip of well-hardened campaigners. The best of those coming into this race is Thomas Hobson, as the market suggests. He has enjoyed an ideal preparation for it and should be fully tuned up to peak on Friday. A small field, along with the familiar track and the addition of Ryan Moore once again, can get him over the line for a well-deserved Group success for his sporting connections.
It would be rude to not throw another fancy into the mix and I think Richard Spencer’s Rumble Inthejungle can follow up his Glorious Goodwood success with another in the Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes at 2.25pm. An RPR of 109 and Topspeed rating of 98 there just about sets the standard for this 6f race and at around the 2/1 mark, he looks a solid market leader.
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Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.