Rahystrada faces seven in Kentucky Turf Cup title defense

The highlight on day two of the St Leger Festival, Ladies Day Thursday, is the Group 2 £80,000 Park Hill Stakes over an extended mile and six furlongs. The contest, sometimes referred to as the ‘fillies’ St Leger,’ will see nine runners go to post headed by Sir Henry Cecil’s impressive Group 3 Lillie Langtry Stakes scorer Wild Coco. The four-year-old will clash again with The Queen’s Royal Ascot heroine Estimate and Hazel Lavery, trained by Charlie Hills, who were third and ninth, respectively, in the Lillie Langtry.

Roger Varian will saddle progressive three-year-old Ambivalent, who was last seen winning the Chalice Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths over 12 furlongs at Newbury on August 5. Prior to that, she had taken third behind Hazel Lavery in a Listed race at Newmarket on July 21, beaten four lengths.

“I saw Ambivalent this morning and she is in top form so we are hopeful,” said Bruce Raymond, racing manager to Ambivalent’s owner Abdullah Saeed Belhab. “She is an improving filly and it’s a big step up for her but we think she is improving enough to put up a good show. She won nicely at Newbury last time. She is improving all the time and she enjoyed the faster ground because she didn’t like it soft at Newmarket the time before that. We are confident she will stay the trip.”

The Clive Brittain-trained Alsindi is among 18 runners in the Group 3, £55,000 Sceptre Stakes, and Raymond added, “Alsindi has not run since the (Group 3) Italian One Thousand Guineas because she came back a bit sore and jarred up. We have given her a good rest and she is working very nicely now. I’m hopeful rather than confident because it’s a Group 3 and she is up against it. I think she is back to her best now, which she will need to be, but there could be some improvement to come. She had good form as a two-year-old and I think the seven furlongs at Doncaster is a good starting point for her.”

The runners for the seven-furlong contest for fillies and mares include U.A.E. classic scorer Gamilati, dual Group 3 winner Regal Realm and the highly-regarded Sentaril.

The going at Doncaster is good, good to firm in places.

“We had 2.5 millimeters of rain overnight and it has been quite breezy today,” Clerk of the Course Jon Pullin said Tuesday. “The forecast is for some rain (Wednesday), with around four to five millimeters predicted during the afternoon. From Thursday onwards, it should be dry with daytime temperatures of 18 to 20 degrees Celsius.”