Hey Gaman hard to hold at Doncaster

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Horse-racing

There is plenty to get stuck into on the St Leger undercard at Doncaster on Saturday and James Tate’s Hey Gaman could mount a bold bid from the front in the Champagne Stakes.

The Dawn Approach colt has looked a solid performer in softer ground this year and is once more set to get his favoured conditions in the Group 2 over seven furlongs immediately before the St Leger.

Hey Gaman showed a willing attitude to hold on last month at Newbury and, at 13/2, Martin Harley’s mount looks destined to go well again. He held off a late sustained challenge from Red Mist on that occasion and Simon Crisford’s 4/1 chance can once more throw down the gauntlet under Doncaster specialist Andrea Atzeni.

The form of their Denford Stakes clash has already been working out positively and any rain that falls should prove in favour of Hey Gaman on Town Moor.

The fly in the ointment for the pair could be the unbeaten Mythical Magic (5/2), who also looks a smart prospect and whose trainer Charlie Appleby has won this race twice in the previous four years.

The St Leger card opens with the devilishly tough Portland Handicap, a sprint where no less than 22 runners go to post.

Last year’s winner Captain Colby will be popular off a 3lb lower mark and is currently 16/1 for Ed Walker and David Probert but more interesting here could be Compas Scoobie.

Roger Varian’s charge has scored three times already this season and may not have enjoyed the firm surface he met last time out at Epsom. That run did prove that the handicapper has by no means got the best of him yet and he’s 12/1 to get back to winning ways now.

Always a threat in these big-field sprints, Harry Hurricane can also give punters a run for their money at odds of 14/1 in the Portland.

The Park Stakes looks an excellent chance for Aclaim (5/2) to regain the winning threat. He ran a fine race behind Brando in France last time out and, having previously been unfortunate in the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood, that gives him standout claims in this Group 2.

Later on the card the hat-trick-seeking Rhosneigr (11/4) is fancied to take all the beating in the Nursery as he tackles a mile for the first time for trainer Charlie Hills.

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