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Talent-epsom 31/05/2013

The Lark (maroon silks) chases Talent home to finish third in the Oaks

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

More rain the better for Park Hill hope The Lark

THE FILLIES take centre stage at Town Moor on Thursday as the St Leger meeting cranks up a notch courtesy of two Group races solely for the fairer sex.

Rain on Wednesday turned the going at Doncaster to good to soft, a disaster for some but as far as connections of The Lark are concerned, the more rain the better as she takes aim at the DBS Park Hill Stakes, affectionately known as the fillies' St Leger.

Trained by Michael Bell for Lady Bamford, The Lark finished third in the Oaks in May and has only been seen on-course once since, finishing fifth in a Group 2 at Saint-Cloud the following month.

"The Lark is in good form and will appreciate any rain," said Bell on Wednesday. "Her dam stayed 1m6f well, so there is cause for optimism from her pedigree. She has form at the highest level and I am hopeful of a really good run."

The Lark is a best price 7-4 favourite with Boylesports and Ladbrokes, with bookmakers expecting the winner to come from either her or Seal Of Approval, as short as 7-4 joint-favourite with Ladbrokes but as big as 11-4 with SkyBet.

James Fanshawe, trainer of Seal Of Approval, also thinks easing underfoot conditions will play to her strengths.

Fanshawe said: "She seems in good form and I hope she stays the trip. She has always given the impression that some ease in the ground will suit."

The Group 3 Japan Racing Association Sceptre Stakes is the other highlight on day two at Doncaster, featuring a fascinating rematch between Annecdote and Winning Express, first and second in the Oak Tree Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

Bookmakers favour Winning Express to turn the tables in receipt of 3lb, with Ladbrokes making her and Maureen 10-3 joint favourites, with Annecdote 5-1, although the Goodwood one-two are proven on faster surfaces.

Regarding the going, clerk of the course Roderick Duncan said on Wednesday: "They're not getting right in and it's good to soft ground out there. Thursday is supposed to be the warmest of the four days, although there is a chance of some more rain."

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