DAY THREE: Doncaster Cup takes centre stage

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THE Doncaster Cup is the feature race on day three of the St Leger Festival.

The Stobart-sponsored contest, run over two miles and two furlongs, is the oldest race under the Rules of Racing and was first run in 1766.

Last year’s winner Saddler’s Rock is favourite to retain his crown while 2009 champion Askar Tau makes a renewed attempt.

Masked Marvel, who triumphed in the St Leger last year, is aiming for glory over the longer distance while Godolphin’s charge is led by Gold Cup winner Colour Vision.

The race gets underway at 2.20pm.

The Doncaster Cup is one of three Group Two races at Doncaster on Friday.

The £70,000 Barrett Steel May Hill Stakes at 2.55pm is run over a mile for two-year-old fillies.

One to watch in this contest could be Roz who has won two of her three starts so far.

Roz caused a shock by winning at Kempton Park in July as a 40/1 shot before landing the Listed Star Stakes at Sandown later in the month.

Trainer Harry Dunlop said: “She missed her last intended target, the Prestige Stakes at Goodwood, because of the soft ground so Doncaster is now very much the plan for her.

“She has been in good form since her win at Sandown and physically has done really well.

“A big factor for her is to get some nice going, but at the moment I couldn’t be more pleased with her.

“Hopefully, she should get her ground at Doncaster.

“I’ve just seen the entries for the May Hill and it looks like it’s going to be a tough race - we will find out how good we are on Friday.”

The favourite for the contest looks like being Godolphin-owned Certify who is looking to complete a hat trick of May Hill wins for the Maktoum family’s stable.

The day opens with the Group Two Polypipe Flying Childers Stakes at 1.15pm.

Also on Friday’s card is the ultra-competitive £40,000 Ladbrokes Mallard Handicap (1.50pm), run over the St Leger trip of one mile, six furlongs and 132 yards,

The Rossington Hall Conditions Race (3.30pm) is run over seven furlongs for two-year-olds and was won by the world’s best horse, Frankel, two years ago.

Completing Friday’s card are the Willie McKay Sports Management Handicap (4.05pm) and the concluding Frank Whittle Partnership Classified Stakes (4.35pm).