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Today’s free horse racing tips: The Betting Spy’s top picks for Saturday’s racing at Doncaster, Chester and Leopardstown

THE BETTING SPY

DONCASTER host the final Classic of the season, the William Hill St Leger (3.35).

A win for Sir Ron Priestley would be a great story as it would be a first success in the race for Britain's winning-most trainer Mark Johnston. And if Technician succeeded it would be a maiden Classic for Martyn Meade.

But sometimes it is best to ignore the romantic and rely on cold calm Logic in the search for the winner.

LOGICIAN may not be a great story-line - Group 1 success for the John Gosden/Frankie Dettori combination is hardly unusual these days - but the unbeaten favourite is hard to oppose.

Unraced at two, he has only had four starts and has shown significant improvement every time following a Newbury maiden win on debut.

He hacked up on his only handicap start at Haydock before running away with the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York, traditionally the best Leger trial. That was not the strongest renewal of that event - but this is probably not the greatest Leger.

However, Logician powered clear, staying on strongly in a good time, suggesting the extra distance is unlikely to be a problem.

Sir Dragonet has been well backed as he attempts to give Aidan O'Brien a seventh Classic success on Town Moor.

He was favourite for the Derby after an impressive Chester win and ran well enough to be fifth but disappointed on his only start since, even allowing for the 1m2f being an inadequate test. If he is back to his Epsom form he should go well.

Stablemate Il Paradiso showed good staying form behind Stradivarius at York but may lack Classic class.

Sir Ron Priestley, Technician and Dashing Willoughby are also all likeable types but have yet to show Group 1 quality.

Saturday's top tips

DURSTON is interesting in the Listed Stand Cup at Chester (2.05), over the extended 1m4f, a race with a nice betting shape.

Ben Vrackie is the forecast favourite and will be a big player on his Royal Ascot second when only a pixel behind Baghdad. But he and the winner both had very hard races there and both have not repeated the form since. He is worth taking on.

Sextant is useful but disappointed last time and ran poorly at Epsom in June. He did not handle that track which does not bode well for his chances here.

Manuela de Vega is solid but exposed and does not appear to be improving. Grace And Danger, from a yard that do well here, could have more to give but she has pulled hard suggesting stepping up in distance may not suit.

That leaves Durston, a progressive handicapper, proven at the track and on the ground, who was only just chinned by Leger hope Sir Ron Priestley at Goodwood. A repeat of that will make David Simcock's three-year-old hard to beat.

There is one good bet at Bath, SECRETFACT in the last at 5.30. He has been knocking on the door, last time finishing fourth in a better race at Sandown.

The stiff finish found him out there but he loves it at this Somerset venue, having won four times, and he is 1lb below his last winning mark.

He relishes the fast ground which invariably he gets here and this race looks very winnable. The opposition are useful but perhaps lack the back class of the tip - and that's a Fact!

I Spy an eyecatcher...

KEVIN RYAN often introduces his best juveniles at York and he unveiled another very promising type on the Knavesmire on Sunday when VEGA MAGIC made his debut in the 7f novice event.

He made the winner, the useful and much more experienced Wyclif, pull out all the stops before going down by a neck.

The first two pulled five lengths clear of some promising types in what looked like a decent race and Vega Magic is a name to note for the rest of this season and next year.

There is a top quality meeting at Leopardstown, the first day of Irish Champions Weekend, and I am mad keen on MADHMOON in the big race, the Champion Stakes at 4.15.

He won twice at the track as a juvenile and was a good fourth, when drawn on the 'wrong' side, in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket.

He then went to Epsom for the Derby and travelled like the best horse for a long way before just getting run out of it close home by Anthony Van Dyck.

The first two clashed again in the Irish version but that was a muddling affair, won by a pacemaker, and is probably best ignored. Madhmoon won a weak Group 3 over a mile last time in a warm-up for today and now tackles what is probably his best trip at a track he clearly handles well.

Sunday sizzler

On Sunday SOFFIA is not to be missed in the Flying Five at The Curragh (2.25).

She was a decent handicapper last season but has made massive strides this year, culminating in her latest course-and-distance win in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes in July.

That day she travelled like a dream before putting three lengths plus of daylight between her and solid British yardsticks El Astronaute, Garrus, Soldier's Call, Caspian Prince and this week's Doncaster winner Equilateral. She is top class.

Magical is the likely favourite and boasts the best form but her latest effort behind Enable saw her beaten further than when they had previously met and she may not be at her best. Her earlier Group 1 in May was in a much weaker race than this.

Anthony Van Dyck has a bit to prove after his Ascot flop and may need further but Headman is progressive and commands plenty of respect after winning two French Group 2s.

Elarqam went close when third in the International at York and should go well again but Japanese star Deirdre was a shade fortunate when the fast-run Nassau Stakes at Goodwood rather fell onto her lap late on. She will find this tougher against the boys.

Horse racing jockey's Frankie Dettori and Paul Townend face off in driving test battle
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