Donaster St Leger Festival: Abingdon the Park Hill punt to score for Stoute
David Metcalf | September 7, 2016
Park Hill Stakes tips: Abingdon odds the answer
Abingdon has an ultra-progressive profile and she can take the step up into Group 2 company in her stride to land the 1m 6f Park Hill Stakes on day two of Doncaster’s St Leger Festival (15:05).
This Sir Michael Stoute trained filly has won three of her four starts this season and ran out the comfortable winner of the Listed Galtres Stakes at York when last seen in action.
After racing in touch, the three-year-old made stealthy headway a furlong from home to take up the running inside the last and beat To Eternity by 1 1/4 lengths.
Abingdon only had to be driven out by Andrea Atzeni to score with more in hand than the winning margin suggests and has nothing to fear from the re-opposing Anzhelika, who finished sixth.
It was a most taking performance from the well-bred daughter of Street Cry, and one which suggested she needed keeping firmly onside.
Abingdon is a typical improver from the Stoute yard who remains open to stacks more improvement after just five starts and, with Atzeni once again in the saddle, can take this en route to even better things.
Simple Verse looking to bounce back
Simple Verse returns to the track for the first time since landing last year’s St Leger, and looks a massive player if bouncing back to anything like her best.
Ralph Beckett’s filly followed up her Classic success with victory in the Group 1 British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot, but has not been anywhere near her best in three starts this season.
This four-year-old was one of the first beat when trailing in a distant 15-length seventh to Dartmouth in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot when last seen in action, but has since been given a break to freshen up.
That needs to have worked the oracle if Simple Verse is to prevail against some progressive types, but the daughter of Duke Of Marmalade does have 6lbs and upwards in hand on her rival on official ratings and that allows her to command her the utmost respect.
Gosden looking to double up with California
Trainer John Gosden saddled Gretchen to land the race 12 months ago, so it would be wrong not include his entrant this year among our Park Hill Stakes tips. The Newmarket handler has a lively contender in the 2016 renewal in the shape of California.
The four-year-old comes into the race on the back of a brace of successes and in the last of those stayed on strongly to beat Tioga Pass by a length in the Group 3 Lillie Langtry Stakes at Goodwood.
This demands more, but California is clearly going the right way and another plus is that she has course winning form to her name, having landed a handicap at this meeting 12 months ago in runaway style.
You’ll find more Doncaster bets to back throughout the St Leger Festival on Coral’s dedicated page.
Coral’s top tip: Abingdon is on a serious upward curve, so her odds rate a solid bet to land the spoils. Simple Verse is a big danger on the pick of her form and California commands plenty of respect for last year’s winning handler.