I pinned my William Hill St Leger colours to the mast in this column three weeks ago when suggesting an ante-post punt on Lah Ti Dar at 4-1.
It has been a case of the Hokey Cokey in the intervening three weeks - in, out, shake it all about - and bigger odds became available when her owners suggested she would instead head for the Prix Vermeille at ParisLongchamp on Sunday but they have seen sense and instead we will get to see her strut her stuff on Town Moor.
Lah Ti Dar looked a bit special at York in the Galtres Stakes and, should she win in style, there would still be nothing to prevent her having a tilt at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
The record of recent winners of the race to attempt the double is not great but none would have her profile and the silver lining of her being confined to quarters at the height of the summer means she is fresh heading into the autumn.
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. She has a Classic to win first.
Overall, it’s a fabulous weekend of racing - starting at 6.10am on Saturday with Winx going for her umpteenth win in succession.
There looks to plenty of short-priced good things, such as Alpha Centauri, Too Darn Hot and Roaring Lion, for accumulator purposes and here are a few to consider at chunkier odds.
There was plenty to like about the way he won a valuable and ultra competitive 6f handicap at Windsor last time, not least because his jockey had to wait for a run and challenged away from where the main action was unfolding.
He is up 4lb to a mark of 92 but he was running off 103 on the all-weather earlier this summer and so he may still have something up his sleeve.
Most of the pace looks among the high numbers and Richard Kingscote should have no excuses aboard him from stall 14.
This is trappy but I’m keen to find a bet because Mustashry, the favourite, has run only over a mile or more throughout his career and, with no habitual front-runners in the field, he could be undone by the drop to 7f.
By contrast, Oh This Is Us is racing over his optimum trip and the fact he has won twice over the trip around a bend at Chester this season highlights that he is not short of gears.
He has also shown his effectiveness at Doncaster - he won a 17-runner handicap at the track in the autumn of 2016 and finished a neck second in the Lincoln the following year. He looked on really good terms with himself when bursting clear at Chester last time and Ryan Moore rides.
I’m not sure the all-weather meeting at Chelmsford will be on too many radars on Saturday but this race is worth £31,000 to the winner and has attracted 13 runners.
Fennaan is probably not the easiest - he has worn a hood and a tongue tie from day one - but he’s still low mileage and Rab Havlin is 2-2 on him on the all-weather.
The combination got on top late in the day last time at Kempton, winning with a bit to spare. He’s less exposed than the trio of other three-year-olds in the line-up and, with more to come, can defy a 3lb rise.
I’ll be backing the filly to win by a couple of lengths or more because if she does stay - and I’m convinced she will - then the others might not be able to live with her.
I’ve seen a few pedigree pundits suggests the extended 14 furlongs could be beyond her but, in my experience, horses bred to stay all day are simply not quick enough to win at the highest level. At York, she looked a perfect blend of stamina and speed.
Kew Gardens ran an extremely solid trial in the Great Voltigeur, when not at his peak, and back up in trip is the obvious one for the forecast. Of those at bigger prices, The Pentagon is the most interesting at 33-1.
Paddy Power will refund losing bets of up to £10 in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster and this Group Three contest.
I don’t see much point rolling the dice against Too Darn Hot in the former but the safety net makes Giuseppe Garibaldi well worth a wager.
Aidan O’Brien’s team are back firing on all cylinders and he was a big eye-catcher when third to stablemate Flag Of Honour in Irish St Leger Trial at the Curragh last time - performing wonders to hang in there after racing much too keenly after a (probably enforced) break.
I’d expect him to be much less fresh and the drop to 1m4f makes sense. Rostropovich, his stablemate, is the 15-8 favourite but he was only a neck ahead of Giuseppe Garibaldi when they were placed in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot and the gulf between them in the betting is way too big.
The final race on the card at Leopardstown has attracted a strong and well-fancied British contingent but Band Of Outlaws looks a massive price to keep them at bay.
He has had only three days to recover from his near-miss over this trip at Listowel but he can clearly handle races in quick succession - his maiden success last year coming only five days after a previous good run.
Band Of Outlaws runs off the same mark as earlier in the week and is only 4lb higher than when overcoming a troubled passage to win at the Curragh in July. He is clearly versatile regards the ground and the icing on the cake is that the promising apprentice Shane Cross eases his burden by 7lb.
1.50 Doncaster: Udontdodou £2.50 each-way at 12-1 with BetVictor and SkyBet
2.35 Doncaster: Oh This Is Us £2 win and £1 each-way at a generally available 11-2
3.25 Chelmsford: Fennaan £3 win at a generally available 3-1
3.35 Doncaster: £3 win on Lah Ti Dar at a generally available 15-8
7.10 Leopardstown: Band Of Outlaws £2.50 each-way at a general 25-1
4.55 Leopardstown: Giuseppe Garibaldi £10 win at with Paddy Power at 7-1 (money back as a free bet if he loses)
plus a £10 win fourfold (pays about 9-1 at the general odds on offer)
3.00 Doncaster: Too Darn Hot
3.35 Doncaster: Lah Ti Dar
5.25 Leopardstown: Alpha Centauri
6.35 Leopardstown: Roaring Lion
£10 win on Lah Ti Dar to win the St Leger at 4-1
Select any odd to add a bet