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Ulster ace can hit jackpot

By Frank Brownlow

Ulster jockey Martin Harley bids for his first British Classic success when he rides Min Alemarat in the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster tomorrow.

Harley, one of the game's rising stars, won the 2012 Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh on Samitar for England striker-turned-racehorse trainer Mick Channon.

Since that epic triumph Harley, from Letterkenny, has linked up with the powerful Marco Botti yard in Newmarket, a mark of his status in a sport he took by storm when crowned champion apprentice in 2011.

The 25-year-old will tune up for his Classic bid with three rides at Doncaster today – Bronze Maquette, Suegioo and Astrelle.

Roger Varian reiterated the ground must be suitable for St Leger favourite Kingston Hill to take his chance in the world's oldest Classic tomorrow.

The Derby runner-up has drifted slightly in the betting as the sun has continued to beat down on Town Moor for the first two days of the meeting, with connections of the colt warning that the going must be in his favour if he is to participate.

Although there is no further rain forecast, Varian is hoping the ground does not get any quicker over the next two days.

The Newmarket handler said: "If I'm happy with the ground conditions, I'll run and if I'm not, I won't.

"I've spoken to Roderick (Duncan, clerk of the course) and he knows my position. It will either be good enough for me to run or it won't.

"I'll walk the course and if I'm happy, we're going to run. I've said we're participating on good ground.

"We want to run – the likelihood is we're going to run – but we want to be running on decent ground.

"If I'm happy with the ground I'll run. I can't be more clear than that."

John Gosden has a terrific record in the race and has three contenders.

William Buick has chosen Derby third Romsdal, with Frankie Dettori on Forever Now and the Robert Havlin-ridden Marzocco making up the team.

Kiyoshi proved her talents remain very much intact with a brilliant win under the soon-to-retire Jamie Spencer in the Japan Racing Association Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster yesterday.

Trainer Charlie Hills said: "She is very good indeed, but she was a sick filly in the spring and had to have two months of antibiotics.

"She did a piece of work last week that was really special, quite breathtaking, and it looked like she had her old spark back inside her. We had the cheekpieces on then, so we left them on.

"It's not a definite, but the obvious place to go with her would be the Sun Chariot."

Richard Fahey combined with apprentice jockey Jack Garrity to land the EBF Carrie Red Fillies Nursery Stakes with 12-1 shot Home Cummins.

Fahey said: "We were surprised she got beat at Newmarket last time. I think it was a bit of greenness and she was a little bit keen.

"We'll look at the Rockfel Stakes (September 26) at Newmarket now."

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