Turf Talk: Beckett hoping St Leger winner Simple Verse is on song for Doncaster return

Simple Verse (far right) contesting last year's St Leger.
Simple Verse (far right) contesting last year's St Leger.
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Last year’s St Leger heroine Simple Verse heads 14 runners for the DFS Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster tomorrow.

The Ralph Beckett-trained filly has yet to get her head in front this season and returns to the scene of her controversial Classic success in which she lost the race in the stewards’ room but was given it back on appeal.

Beckett will be triple-handed in the Group Two contest as he has also declared York Listed scorer Pomona and Alyssa, winner of her last three starts.

Sir Michael Stoute’s progressive filly Abingdon, winner of the Galtres Stakes at York last month, steps up in distance and class.

California, trained by John Gosden, took the Lillie Langtry Stakes over a similar trip at Glorious Goodwood on her most recent start. Gosden is also represented by Mill Springs.

James Fanshawe relies on Moderah after scratching Pecking Order from the race. Aidan O’Brien’s Pretty Perfect, who was fourth in the Yorkshire Oaks, is the only Irish challenger as Joseph O’Brien’s Arya Tara and Toe The Line from John Kiely’s stable were taken out at the 48-hour final declaration stage.

Completing the line-up are Anzhelika, Carnachy, Forever Popular, Frosty Berry, Star Rider and Tioga Pass. The Mark Johnston-trained Vive Ma Fille and Michael Bell’s Purple Magic were other two withdrawals.

Also on the card, Kilmah bids to supplement her recent Goodwood success in the Clugston Construction May Hill Stakes. The Mark Johnston-trained filly landed the Group Three Prestige Stakes at the Sussex track to put behind her a disappointing run in York’s Lowther Stakes.

Her eight rivals include four who finished behind her in the Prestige – James Tate’s Urban Fox, who was third, Ralph Beckett’s Rich Legacy (fourth), Sylvester Kirk’s Tiburtina (fifth) and the Charlie Appleby-trained Grecian Light (last of seven).


CHELMSFORD: 5.40 First Summer, 6.10 Braztime, 6.40 Mystique Heights, 7.10 Farandine, 7.40 Divisionist, 8.10 Innocently, 8.40 Quiet Warrior.

CHEPSTOW: 1.45 Miss Laila, 2.15 Cinders, 2.50 Chiconomic, 3.25 London Grammar, 4.00 Cryptic, 4.35 Alizoom, 5.10 Grams And Ounces.

DONCASTER: 1.55 Glitter Girl (next best), 2.30 Blending, 3.05 ABINGDON (NAP), 3.40 Mubtasim, 4.15 Poet’s Word, 4.50 Hydroxide, 6.00 Fairway To Heaven.

EPSOM: 2.05 Eminem, 2.40 Lolwah, 3.15 Mezzotint, 3.50 Jupiter Cross, 4.25 Shufoog, 5.00 Invade.