St Leger Festival Day 2 preview: Passion the May Hill Stakes punt

Published on: September 11, 2019
Author: David Metcalf
2019 St Leger Festival day 2 preview includes Passion for Aidan O'Brien in the May Hill Stakes

Passion impressed when scoring last time out, so at 6/1 with William Hill looks worth siding with to take the step up into Group 2 company in her stride and land the spoils in the 1m May Hill Stakes for juvenile fillies on St Leger Festival day 2 at Doncaster this Thursday (15:45).

This daughter of Galileo hails from all all-conquering Irish yard of Aidan O’Brien and was a massive eye-catcher on debut when fifth of 10 to Yaxeni at Cork.

Passion ran very green for most of the mile contest, but when the penny finally did drop stayed on nicely under a hands and heels ride to be nearest at the finish and beaten 5 3/4 lengths.

It was a very tender introduction and she duly showed the benefit of the run when opening her account in 12-runner maiden at the same venue 11 days ago.

Passion was far more streetwise and, after breaking well, raced in the leading trio. She was ridden into second a furlong-and-a-half from home, before being switched to take up the running a furlong out.

She then powered home under Seamie Heffernan to win going away by 2 1/4 lengths from Unknown Pleasures, who had previously finished in front of her when runner-up at Cork.

It was a huge step forward by Passion and a most taking display which suggested there was tons more improvement left in the locker.

This obviously demands more, but Passion looks an exciting prospect and the fact that she holds an entry in next month’s Group 1 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket suggests she’s held in high regard.

So, with Ryan Moore now in the saddle, she looks decent value to take the May Hill Stakes en route to better things.

Class-dropping Glasvegas appeals in sales race

Glasvegas is an unexposed sort who ran a blinder in defeat last time out, so – now stepped up in trip and dropped in class – makes plenty of appeal at the 8/1 on offer with Boylesports in the valuable 6f juvenile sales race (15:15).

This Keith Dalgleish trained son of top juvenile Zebedee went down by just a neck on debut at Musselburgh, before digging deep and going one better at Hamilton when beating Taxiwala by a neck.

Glasvegas showed plenty of speed to chase the leaders, then found plenty for pressure to assert close home and score with a bit more in hand than the winning margin suggests.

The runner-up has since come out and sluiced up by five lengths at Brighton, and the pair pulled 2 1/2 lengths clear of the third home.

That taking display earned Glasvegas a crack at the Listed 5f Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot and he outurn his odds of 25/1 when a fine three-quarters of a length third of 21 to Southern Hills.

After being held-up well off the pace, Glasvegas stayed on strongly from the two marker to be gaining hand over fist at the finish.

The runner-up Platinum Star has since been beaten just a nose in a Group 2 and easily landed a Listed contest at Ripon by 3 1/2 lengths last time out, whilst the fourth home Symbolize has since run very well to finish fifth in a Group 2 at Glorious Goodwood.

That gives the form a strong look in relation to this and the way in which Glasvegas finished off that day suggests that he will relish the extra furlong here.

With the stable also among the winners of late, everything points to a huge run.

Normandy Barriere can go well in St Leger Festival day 2 sprint

Normandy Barriere makes plenty of each-way appeal in the 6f lady riders’ handicap later on St Leger Festival day 2 (16:20).

This Nigel Tinkler trained seven-year-old is 1-1 over course and distance having landed a class 2 at this meeting three years ago off a 91 rating.

It’s fair to say that he’s on a long losing run, having not scored since landing a class 3 at Ascot back in May 2017 when beating Moonraker by three-quarters of a length when rated 96.

However, Normandy Barriere did run really well over an extended 6f here 12 months ago when beaten just a short-head in a class 2 off 96 and when runner-up four starts back in a class 3 at Ascot off 87.

The son of Rock Of Gibraltar is now able to race off a reduced rating of 84 in this class 3 affair.

That gives him major claims from a handicapping perspective at a venue where he has won once and been placed twice in five starts.

Faye McManaman also takes off a handy 5lb with her claim and Normandy Barriere also has underfoot conditions to suit.

With a strike rate of 20 per cent in the grade also on his CV, he looks to have more going for him than odds of 11/1 with Bethard suggest.