By Danny Carrington
Last Updated: 16th October 2019
Yorkshire St Leger update from Wednesday 9th October meeting
The first heat of the night went to the well backed Good Karma, who held out to beat Droopys Live. Good Karma showed good early pace to pull a few lengths clear of Droopys Live, but Droopys Live began to reel him in as the race went on. Approaching the 5th bend, Droopys Live look set to pass Good Karma, but Good Karma kicked again and managed to cause an upset, turning over the odds on favourite by holding on for a ½ length victory over the Doncaster specialist.
Sonic Spur was an all the way winner in heat 2, but probably the more impressive dog in the race was Sheldan who, after running into trouble at the first bend, managed to make up around 15 lengths to finish a length behind the winner in second. Also finishing strongly was Droopys Tulip, these 3 finished well clear of the others. Droopys Tulip has also since been withdrawn from the competition leaving just 16 dogs to battle it out in the semi-finals.
The 3rd heat was actually a void race, after Pond Natalya ran through a gap in the rail and into the centre of the course and hare was stopped in the interest of safety. The race was re-run on Saturday afternoon and saw the 2 fancied runners progress easily to the semi-final. Aayamza Express broke well from the traps and led early on in the race. After a slow start, Pond Natalya began to look dangerous and closed the gap approaching the 5th bend, challenging Aayamza Express around the 6th. But the chase had taken its toll on Natalya and she had nothing left to give down the home straight and Aayamza Express went on to take the win by 2¼ lengths, with Avastorm in 3rd.
Fancied runner Brigadier Bullet was the market leader in heat 4 but failed to deliver when beaten into second by Goldies Hotspur, in what was actually the slowest of all the heats, a full second slower than the fastest. Brut Blanc went clear and led the race all the way to the final straight but never looked like he was going to stay the full 661m and was soon passed by Goldies Hotspur, Brigadier Bullet and the tiny 22.3kg bitch Jaxxhappymoments, who was staying on strongly and may improve after her first run the Stainforth track.
Roxholme Poppy’s defence of her Yorkshire St Leger title began with a straightforward victory in the heats. Hayley Keightley’s bitch posted an impressive time of 41.85sec and never really looked in any trouble, passing the fast starting Ballymac Zoro and going clear from the third bend to win comfortably by 6¾ lengths. Pond Adonis was very unlucky in running and did well to recover to qualify for the semi-final in 3rd, some 10½ lengths adrift of the winner.
Poppy didn’t set the quickest time of the night though, that went to Antigua Fire, who was arguably more impressive, winning in a time of 41.67sec. Fresh from winning the Kent St Leger at Crayford, Antigua Fire broke well from the traps with Affleck Bolt for company. Affleck Bolt tried to challenge on the straight between turns 2 and 3, but Antigua Fire was too strong and soon shook off Patrick Jansenns’s charge and went on to win comfortably by 5¼ lengths. Unfortunately for Affleck Bolt, he was found to be lame on Monday morning and the trainer took the decision to withdraw him from the competition, to prevent any further injury. Meaning Antigua Fire and 3rd placed Headford Maurice are the only 2 to qualify from heat 6.
The 3 semi-finals will be run on the evening of Wednesday 16th October at 7.49, 8.06 & 8.21, and will be live on William Hill Betting TV. You can find a full list of runners and all the outright betting here.