HORSE_RACING: The Colonel’s top tip

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TOP racing tipster Kevan Minter, known as The Colonel, gives Mercury readers his top tips for the week ahead. Kevan, who lives in Stamford, is trackside most days and is regularly on TV.

AIDEN O’Brien’s Camelot’s attempt to become the 16th winner of the Triple Crown and the first for 42 years ended in disappointment as he went down by three-quarters of a length to Godolphin’s Encke at Doncaster on Saturday.

Encke, a 25/1 chance, benefited from a superb Mickael Barzalona ride as he was kicked into the lead two furlongs from home to beat the a red hot 2-5 favourite. Try as he might, Camelot was never quite getting to Encke who responded most gamely to the urgings of his Corsican rider.

Simon Crisford, Racing Manager for Godolphin, said: “We are probably not going to be the most popular winner on Town Moor today but from our point of view it was a fantastic result, giving Godolphin its sixth St Leger success.

“Mickael Barzalona has given the horse a superb ride and put the race to bed when he kicked on at the two-furlong pole. There was a question about Encke’s stamina, but in the end he has stayed it well.”

Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni said: “We have been trying to win this Classic. Two years ago we ran Rewilding and last year we ran Blue Bunting who were both favourites. Today we have won it with an outsider. Racing can be a funny game.

“It was a brilliant ride from Mickael which I think is a sixth St Leger win for Godolphin and His Highness (Sheikh Mohammed).

“To be honest, it was His Highness’ decision to run here today. I disagreed and thought we should not. He was right. His Highness and I always disagree but His Highness is always right. O’Brien regrets not having a pacemaker in the race and Joseph O’Brien felt that Camelot was too lit up after clipping heels early on but for me he did not have the acceleration that he has shown in the past and was beaten by a better horse on the day. But we must not forget he has won a Guineas and a Derby.

l SNOW Fairy looks like running in the Arc on October 7, trainer Ed Dunlop said this week.

He said: “All being well, and the ground being in her favour, she will almost certainly start.

“It’s an absolute miracle she is running at all. She had a very serious tear in a tendon and under normal circumstances she would never come back.”

l MY best bet on this Saturday is Ballista in the 3.45 Dubai International Airport World Trophy (Group 3) ,Tom Dascombe’s smart 4yo hails from a yard with a 30% strike rate. The William Hill Ayr Gold Cup looks wide open this year with Jim Goldie’s Hawkeyethenoo the 12/1 market leader my E/W tip for the big sprint is Imperial Guest at 16/1 trained by George Margarson with Tom Queally in driving seat.