Spirits tops 15 contenders for Sceptre success

Group Three highlights opening day of St Leger meeting.

  • Monday 07 September
  • News
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Cloak Of Spirits, runner-up in the 1000 Guineas, heads a field of 15 declared for the bet365 Sceptre Fillies’ Stakes on the opening day of the St Leger Festival at Doncaster on Wednesday.

The Richard Hannon-trained three-year-old may not have won so far this season, but her second place behind the brilliant Love, beaten four and a quarter lengths, is the stand-out form.

However, she has to reverse Deauville positions with Charlie Appleby’s Athiqa, who finished three-quarters of a length and one place ahead of her in the Group Three Prix de Lieurey.

Charlie Fellowes’ Onassis, winner of the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot and a Listed contest at Chantilly, brings solid form to the table.

Nine of the 15 are three-year-olds with Foxtrot Lady, trained by Andrew Balding, the only five-year-old in the line-up.

Pick of the five four-year-olds are Sir Michael Stoute’s Jubiloso and Mubtasimah, from the William Haggas stable.

Dakota Gold, second to Starman in the Garrowby Stakes at York on Sunday, is set to make a quick reappearance in the Listed bet365 Scarbrough Stakes.

Michael Dods’ smart six-year-old is one of nine declared for the five-furlong dash.

Moss Gill, third to Battaash in the Nunthorpe Stakes, takes his chance for James Bethell with James Tate’s Wise Words having his first race since winning at Leicester exactly a year ago.

Johnny Murtagh’s Urban Beat is the sole Irish-trained runner while there are a pair of two-year-olds – Nigel Tinkler’s Roses Stakes scorer Acklam Express and David O’Meara’s Country Carnival.

Frankie Dettori has been snapped up by Ed Dunlop to ride Roca Magica in the Mondialiste Leger Legends Classified Stakes.

The race has always been for retired riders, but due to coronavirus restrictions it is open for current professionals only.

Past champion jockeys Jim Crowley (Mykonos St John) and Paul Hanagan (Lexington Warfare) have mounts in a 22-runner maximum field.

Spirits tops 15 contenders for Sceptre success
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