Antepost racing tips: Betting preview for the St Leger Festival at Doncaster this week

EACH Monday, we will bring you top antepost tips for the week's action with our new column, 'The Early Bird'.

More often than not there is some unbelievable value in the bookies' antepost markets – so let's get on early and catch us some juicy worms.

It's Leger week at Donny and looking through the entries there are going to be some mouthwatering races for punters to get stuck into.

A couple of weeks ago I put up MOHICAN HEIGHTS each-way for the big one itself – and like all good antepost bets he is now available at a bigger price!

But I reckon he still has an excellent each-way chance for the David Simcock yard.

He was gaining at the finish when third behind the favourite Pyledriver at Royal Ascot and he is bred to relish the step up to 1m6f. I'll stick with him and you can now get a little bit of 33s with Betfair.

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There are some good betting opportunities elsewhere this week, including in the Mallard Handicap on Friday.

Alfaatik heads the betting after his cosy win at York, and the form of that win was given a boost by Dark Jedi this weekend.

He is going the right way and is the one to beat, but joint top-weight GHOSTWATCH (1.40 Doncaster, Friday) represents a bit of value for the boys in blue.

He was the subject of an almighty plunge on the morning of the Ebor but, like many in the field, he was never able to land a blow from off the pace in a race run at a joke of a gallop.

While he has a bit of form on soft, he prefers a sounder surface and that sticky ground at the Knavesmire wouldn't have been to his liking.

The weather is set fair for Leger week which is a huge plus, and if he was coming here without the Ebor flop on his CV he would be a good deal shorter.

He still has untapped potential as a stayer and has been dropped a couple of pounds to a mark of 104.

He'll have no excuses this time, and if he can rediscover the form of his impressive Melrose/Noel Murless wins of 2018 he would pose a huge threat to all.

In the Doncaster Cup on the same day, I'm going to take a flyer on THE GRAND VISIR (3.15 Doncaster, Friday) at double figure odds.

There are nine runners entered up at this stage, but I reckon at least two or three will come out and the field could cut up quite badly.

We know all about Ian Williams' six-year-old, he isn't exactly a staying sensation who has suddenly burst onto the scene.

But there are significant queries over the stamina of several of these over the 2m2f trip, including Spanish Mission and Eagles By Day near the head of the betting.

The Early Bird – antepost selections and latest odds

Friday

1.40 Doncaster – Ghostwatch 1pt EW @ 12-1

3.15 Doncaster – The Grand Visir 1pt EW @ 16-1

Saturday

St Leger Stakes – Mohican Heights 1pt EW @ 25-1 (already advised)

  • August P&L: -16 pts

The favourite Nayef Road has been to all the big Cup races this summer and he had yet another hard race behind Enbihaar at York last time. If he were mine I'd have freshened him up for Champions Day at Ascot, but that's not how Mark Johnston operates.

I wouldn't want to take short odds about him given how busy he has been, while the exciting Believe In Love will surely run in the Park Hill on Thursday instead of this.

That trims down our options, and Sir Mark Prescott's Revolver commands respect. But The Grand Visir isn't miles behind several of these on ratings and one thing is guaranteed – he will stay all day.

He was unlucky not to win at Royal Ascot and was given too much to do when fourth at Glorious Goodwood, but if Jim Crowley, the man of the moment, can ride him positively and make the most of his bottomless stamina, I can see him simply outlasting some suspect stayers.

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