Talking Horses: Eshaada hoping to wipe slate clean in Park Hill Stakes


Eshaada was involved in one of the most dramatic and controversial races of the season on her most recent start in early July, when she seriously impeded Free Wind, the eventual winner, a quarter of a mile out in the Lancashire Oaks.

The local stewards initially decided that Rab Havlin, Free Wind’s jockey, was to blame for the interference but his five-day ban was swiftly overturned by the British Horseracing Authority.

That in turn suggested Jim Crowley was fortunate to escape without a significant ban, and the rider will be hoping for a much more straightforward race on Eshaada (3.10), the likely favourite at around 6-4, in the Group Two Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster on Thursday.

Roger Varian’s filly has yet to recapture the form that saw her edge out Albaflora in the Group One Fillies & Mares race on Champions Day last year, but she has the best part of a stone in hand of her field on Timeform’s ratings and still has scope for improvement after just seven starts.

Doncaster 1.25: Karl Burke has saddled two winners and a runner-up in this nursery over the past five years and Cathy Come Home is a strong contender to make it three from six. She attracted decent support before her nursery debut at York’s Ebor meeting but had no luck at all in running, eventually finishing within five lengths of the winner with plenty left in the tank. Dropped 1lb since, she is a clear pick of the prices at around 7-1.

Doncaster 2.00: The weights for this valuable juvenile contest are based on the median price of a sire’s yearlings in 2021, and Waiting All Night, fifth home in the Coventry at Royal Ascot, gets in with the minimum of 8st 8lb. He was out of his depth in the Gimcrack last time but this is a drop in grade and he deserves close inspection at around 16-1.

Epsom 2.15: The annual chance for jump jockeys to race around the Derby course, and Thibault, who showed that he acts on the track in an amateurs’ race last month, looks like the most solid option at around 5-1.

Doncaster 2.35: Two-year-old Dance In The Grass has several pounds in hand of her field on her form to date and her pedigree – by Cracksman out of a winner at 12 furlongs – suggests that this step up to a mile will see further improvement.

Doncaster 3.45: Admiral D has been running well without seriously threatening to win since his switch to the Richard Fahey stable at the start of the year. He has been eased slightly in the weights since his last start at Thirsk and makes as much appeal as any at around 9-1.