Author: Dan Mason
Published: 11:01 13/09/2014
The big betting race of Saturday's Doncaster St Leger action will be the typically competitive Ladbrokes Portland Handicap, featuring a healthy entry list of 22 runners for the 2.40 five-furlong contest where the William Haggas-trained SP favourite, Muthmir, is Freebets.com racing tipster Alan Kelly's top tip of the day.
A highly impressive defeat of Goldream (then 1lb better off) over the easy six furlongs at York in July backs up Muthmir's 4/1 with race sponsors, Ladbrokes, the dominant way the Bay Gelding lead out suggesting that Paul Hanagan's mount could once again be tough to beat here at Doncaster under the good-going surface of the second race of the afternoon.
Expect Haggas' charge to fair significantly better than its previous outing at Goodwood, as Muthmir could prove ideally suited to Doncaster's five-and-a-half furlong distance after fading late on behind main rival Intrinsic in the Stewards Cup last month, despite tracking the field initially and leading at half-distance.
Although not so favourable at Ascot, Intrinsic shunned the betting advice by touching 10/1 hanging on to win the contest back in May, one in a string of four consecutive successes under three different Class races. The combination of trainer Robert Cowell and jockey Richard Hughes instantly sprung into a formidable partnership with the four-year-old, and Hughes will take over for Saturday's Doncaster outing looking to make amends at 11/2 with the likes of Bet365, Sky Bet and Betfred after the Bay Colt was ridden out too comfortably at Newmarket.
Cowell has other weapons at his disposal, including the previously defeated Brown Gelding Goldream who comes in at 16/1 with BetVictor as an outside shot to earn payback for the Thirsk outing. Damage was undone somewhat by the five-year-old mount of Andrea Atzeni in August's Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Dash Handicap at Ascot, although a fourth victory in 25 runs says less to punters than desired over their main rivals.