The feature race on the Doncaster afternoon card on Wednesday is the Group 3 Japan Racing Association Sceptre Fillies’ Stakes. A field of 12 will go to post for this competitive renewal, which was won by Foxtrot Lady last year for Andrew Balding.
There has been just two Irish winners of the race since 2000; Alanza in 2011 for John Oxx and Music Box for Aidan O’Brien in 2017. No favourite has won the race in the last 10 runnings of the race which bodes well for the Irish contingency.
This is usually a race that goes to a three-year-old and both of the Irish raiders are that age so that is one box ticked. It is a long journey from Ireland to Doncaster so Jessica Harrington and Henry de Bromhead aren’t travelling over for the fun of it. They are over to win. Let’s take a look at the two runners more closely.
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Tom Marquand will ride the Jessica Harrington-trained Loch Lein sporting the Joan Brosnan silks. The daughter of Invincible Spirit has some solid Group form in the booked, fourth to Sonaiyla in the Ballyogan Stakes in June and third in the Fairy Bridge at Tipperary when last seen. She won a Listed race in Deauville in July and is on the shortlist.
Marquand’s other half Hollie Doyle will ride the other Irish raider, De Bromhead’s lightly raced Wren’s Breath. She stepped up on her maiden and debut second at Navan to win a Listed race on just her second career start, which was at Naas in July. far from the finished article and with more improvement expected, she may well be the best chance the Irish have in the race.
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