Cookie to prove a clever bet in Friday's Doncaster Cup

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Clever Cookie – 14-1 with Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook

Doncaster’s St Leger meeting gets underway on Wednesday building up towards the final Classic of the season on Saturday afternoon. Highlight on Friday’s card is the Group 2 Doncaster Cup for which 13 horses remain in contention at the latest forfeit stage including last year’s winner Sheikhzayedroad who will need to improve upon his form of this season if the eight-year-old is to win the 2m 2f contest for a second time.

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Leading Irish jumps trainer Willie Mullins looks to have a strong hand with 2015 Melbourne Cup runner-up Max Dynamite and impressive Ascot Stakes victor Thomas Hobson. The latter was disappointing on his most recent start when weakening in the closing stages behind surprise winner Montaly who currently heads the ante-post market at a standout 4-1 with William Hill for the Town Moor stamina test.

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Desert Skyline ( 11-2 Betfair Sportsbook ) finished a creditable third in the Goodwood Cup for trainer David Elsworth prior to finding only Marmelo too good in a Deauville Group 2 contest and, as a three-year-old, gets plenty of weight from his elders. Pallasator and She Is No Lady have chances on their best form but there would be no more popular winner of the historic race than Clever Cookie from the stable of Peter Niven.

The nine-year-old has been a fine servant for his connections over the years amassing prize money of over £400k but the son of Primo Valentino has not enjoyed much in the way of luck this season, suffering traffic problems at a crucial stage in both the Northumberland Plate and Ebor. A test of stamina with plenty of cut in the ground is just what the gelding needs and the probable mount of Graham Lee looks like getting both on this occasion and at the 14-1 available with Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook rates the value bet of the race.

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