Racing: Doncaster Friday preview

Mecca's Angel ridden by Paul Mulrennan wins the John Smith's Original Scarbrough Stakes during day one of the 2014 Ladbrokes St Leger Festival at Doncaster. Photo: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
Mecca's Angel ridden by Paul Mulrennan wins the John Smith's Original Scarbrough Stakes during day one of the 2014 Ladbrokes St Leger Festival at Doncaster. Photo: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

This has been a week of good news for the Queen and there can be further joy in the Royal household with victory for Estimate in the Socialites Electric Cigarettes Doncaster Cup.

After learning her daughter-in-law Kate is expecting a second child, Her Majesty’s attention can turn to the racetrack, where her highest-profile horse continues her return to form.

Last year’s Gold Cup winner ran heroically to finish second on her first outing of the season in the same race, after which a variety of excuses were forwarded for her lamentable performance in the Goodwood Cup.

Back in action at York last month, her second-placed effort behind Pale Mimosa was much more like the Estimate of old, and with Sir Michael Stoute’s string in rude health at present, this Group Two event should really be hers for the taking.

The long home straight at Town Moor places an emphasis on stamina, which this five-year-old has in spades, and two and a quarter miles will be right up her street.

It was disappointing to see Alonsoa lose her unbeaten record at Newmarket but she looks deserving of another chance in the John Smith’s May Hill Stakes.

After an impressive victory in the Listed Star Stakes at Sandown in July, her usually cautious trainer Henry Candy was talking of the daughter of Raven’s Pass having the ability to fly as high as many of the top fillies he has had in his care.

Alonsoa was a bit keen in the Sweet Solera Stakes and might not have enjoyed the soft ground, so the potentially quicker going and the step up to a mile are both factors which give her a leading chance.

Nafaqa has already shown himself to be an exciting prospect for veteran trainer Barry Hills and can take another step up the ladder in the Weatherbys Stallion Book Flying Scotsman Stakes.

Retirement Plan turned in a deeply accomplished display in the Ebor to suggest a prize like the Ladbrokes Mallard Stakes is cosily within his radar.

SELECTIONS:

CHESTER: 2.00 Gabrial The Viking, 2.30 Bizzario, 3.05 Verse Of Love, 3.40 Almashooqa, 4.15 English Summer, 4.50 Erroneous, 5.20 Lunar Deity.

DONCASTER: 1.40 Ahlan Emarati, 2.10 Retirement Plan, 2.40 ESTIMATE (NAP), 3.15 Alonsoa, 3.45 Bogart, 4.25 Nafaqa, 5.00 Loving Home.

DOWN ROYAL: 4.05 Kasbah, 4.35 Boris Bike, 5.05 Soebroto, 5.35 Pershing, 6.05 Red Laser, 6.35 Hangar Five, 7.05 Point The Toes.

SALISBURY: 4.40 Shadow Rock, 5.10 Pink Ribbon, 5.45 Elite Gardens, 6.15 Sleep Walk, 6.45 Razin’ Hell, 7.15 Almuhalab.

SANDOWN: 1.50 Frognal Bear, 2.20 Master Apprentice, 2.50 Gm Hopkins, 3.25 Gown, 4.00 Tinshu, 4.30 Al Mukhdam.

DOUBLE: Estimate and Nafaqa.