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Saturday 23 September 2017

Venture to have the Final word

Final Venture can defy top weight at Doncaster today. Photo: Martin Lynch
Final Venture can defy top weight at Doncaster today. Photo: Martin Lynch

FINAL VENTURE can defy top weight to claim another Listed victory in the Pepsi Max Scarbrough Stakes on the first day of the St Leger meeting at Doncaster.

Paul Midgley's stable stalwart must shoulder a penalty for his win in the Achilles Stakes at Haydock back in June, but given his excellent form so far this term, the five-year-old looks up to the task.

He has hardly been disgraced in Group One starts at both Royal Ascot and York's Ebor meeting, but while the top level is clearly a bit beyond him, he remains a major player in this kind of race.

He only narrowly failed to hit the target at Beverley last time, being beaten just a length by Take Cover after giving a bit of trouble at the start which could hardly have been conducive to a maximal performance.

This actually looks a weaker event than the Beverley Bullet with just a handful of runners and Final Venture is still the best in on official numbers.

MIRAGE DANCER'S case is probably less clear cut in the Sports ID - Strength In Sport Conditions Stakes after being thoroughly outclassed by Cracksman in the Voltigeur last time.

Michael Stoute's charge caught the eye when making a winning debut at this meeting 12 months ago and he certainly has the pedigree as a son of Frankel out of multiple Group One winner Heat Haze.

Following decent efforts in Listed and Group Three company, Mirage Dancer was hammered by Cracksman at York, being beaten 12 lengths in third after trying to make a run from the rear of the field.

The competition is clearly not quite so hot and while Best Of Days is an intriguing rival, Mirage Dancer seems to be a horse of potential who could really come into his own next term.

SOLDIER BLUE can shed his maiden tag in the Clipper Logistics Leger Legends Classified Stakes.

Now with Brian Ellison after starting life with Godolphin, the three-year-old showed a glimpse of promise when third at Pontefract back in July and he has a handy little pull in the weights with some more obvious candidates here.

LETHAL IMPACT has been a bit of a damp squib so far but can finally come good in the 32Red Handicap at Kempton.

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