The feature race at Doncaster this afternoon is the Group 2 May Hill Stakes over the straight mile for juvenile fillies. Zabeel Queen created a favourable impression when scoring over 7f at Ascot on debut although I thought the runner up Snow Lantern was the one to take from the race.
Indigo Girl (2.10) wore a hood for her racecourse debut when she came home 3L clear at Yarmouth on soft ground. Her sister Group 1 winner Journey also wore a hood for the vast majority of her career, and it did not stop her from becoming a top-class mare although it took her five starts to break her maiden tag. Indigo Girl is obviously more precocious than her sister and it should be noted that while Journey was effective on soft ground, all her wins were gained on good or faster ground. The filly was cut from 10/3 to a best-priced 11/4 with Boylesports on Wednesday.
Last year’s unbeaten St Leger winner Logician makes his reappearance in the 10f Conditions race which opens the card, but he has scared away the opposition and faces just one rival. It will be interesting to see if connections persevere with 10f for his next start or whether they step up to 2m for the Long Distance Cup on Champions Day next month for which he is 5/1 at William Hill behind stablemate Stradivarius who is 6/4.
Nazuna (1.40) won despite being too free in a slightly longer trip here in a fast time on her second start and must have every chance if more amenable to restraint in the fillies’ nursery. The ew recommendation – 5/1 with William Hill who are betting five places – should get a good tow into the race with Spright and Sky Angel two of a number of potential pace angles in the race. The latter named has been a beaten favourite on all three starts but there is more to come from the Godolphin filly.
Cold Front (3.45) was backed from 8s into 7/2 over a mile at York last time but never featured. That run was too bad to be true and William Haggas fits his charge with a first-time tongue-tie this afternoon. The return to 7f will suit and he is likely to race more prominently over this straight track than was the case on the Knavesmire when he never got competitive from his bad draw. The ew recommendation is 15/2 with bet365.
At Haydock the filly Tacitly (2.30) has been raised 3lbs since scoring over C&D last time when I felt she idled having hit the front at the furlong pole. The selection – 11/4 with bet365 – had the worst of the draw last time and I thought she was value for more than the three-quarters-of-a-length she had at the line. At the time of writing Roger Charlton has saddled six winners from his last 13 runners and stable jockey Jason Watson returns to the saddle on this daughter of Dubawi.
Wightman (4.05) can race from the same mark as when easily landing an apprentice handicap at Salisbury last time and it should be noted that he has also been declared to run at Chester on Friday in an amateur riders’ event. He is 8lbs “well-in“ today and he clearly enjoys a bit of cut in the ground. Silvestre De Sousa takes over in the saddle and the gelding is 6/4 from 5/2 with William Hill.
Frozen Waters (4.40) steps up to a mile for the first time having finished runner up at Newmarket on soft ground last time. After just three career starts the colt – 11/4 with bet365 – is open to further improvement and there is enough stamina on the distaff side of the family to suggest he should appreciate today’s extra furlong.