St Leger Day – Doncaster
The St Leger takes centre stage this Saturday over at Doncaster on what is the final day of the Leger Festival the tracks feature event of the season. This prestigious classic needs no introduction and it looks as though we’ve got another very competitive renewal on our hands. Last year’s contest is a tough act to follow with some quality horses emerging from the field with the likes of Crystal Ocean, Stradivarius and Defoe to name but a few. Aidan O’Brien took the spoils last year with Capri and he’s got a strong hand once again this time around with as many as five representatives in the field. These come in the form of Kew Gardens (9/4), Southern France (14/1), The Pentagon (25/1), Nelson (50/1) and Zabriskie (66/1). Kew Gardens is obviously the best chance of a winner for the Ballydoyle master as reflected in his price as he was the market leader for this for some time. He comes here off the back of a slightly below par run the last day at York but did win in Group 1 company on his penultimate start in Longchamp as well as a Group 2 success at Royal Ascot the time before that. He’s a top performer on his day and Ryan Moore’s mount needs to be taken very seriously here.
The horse that has overtaken the Ballydoyle charge at the top of the market is of course the very exciting Lah Ti Dar for John Gosden. Once favourite for the Oaks before a setback she made her belated return to the track with a devastating display within Listed company at York’s Ebor Festival last month. Obviously she’ll need to take another big step up again here but there’s no telling how far she has the potential to go. Another thing she’ll need to prove is of course her stamina with a step up in trip here however as soon as Frankie hopped off her at York he seemed certain that she was destined for a date on Town Moor to tackle this world famous classic. She’s a general 7/4 chance at the top of the market.
Godolphin and Charlie Appleby also have a solid hand here and they’re represented by both Old Persian and Loxley. Old Persian was last seen when lowering the colours of highly thought of stablemate Cross Counter in Group 2 company at York last month in a race which Kew Gardens was behind in third, it was a smart performance by this clearly talented sort and a repeat of that kind of level here may make his price of around 10/1 look real value. Stablemate Loxley has also been enjoying a good season this term and comes here in great form. He was last seen when winning comfortably in Group 2 company in France and if stepping up again here and coping with the trip he could well play a part. He’s a general 11/1 chance and has the services of James Doyle.
Dee Ex Bee (12/1) takes his place in the line up for Mark Johnston, unexposed at the trip but has been a bit below par since his Derby second whereas Maid Up (20/1) comes here in fantastic form but will need to take another big step up if she’s to feature here. Another one that will need to improve again if he’s to play a part is Richard Hannon’s Raymond Tusk (20/1), a solid performer on his day and is the mount of Andrea Atzeni. Proschema (66/1) makes up the field for Tom Dascombe.
As this Blog is primarily set up to share with you all who im betting on, I have backed LAH TI DAR here as long time followers will know I get very excited over these types and I believe she could be anything. I’ll go for an each way pick as well though and ill do that with SOUTHERN FRANCE. He shapes as though he’ll relish this type of race over this trip and could well pick off a few places in the closing stages.
LAH TI DAR – (7/4)
SOUTHERN FRANCE – (14/1) (E/W)
2.25 (Class 1) (Group 2) (7f)
D’BAI (5/1) (E/W)
3.35 (Class 1) (Group 1) (1m 6f 115y)
LAH TI DAR (7/4)
SOUTHERN FRANCE (14/1) (E/W)
4.25 (Class 1) (Group 2) (1m)
6.00 (Class 1) (Group 1) (1m)
MAKING LIGHT (5/2)
6.35 (Class 1) (Group 1) (1m 2f)
VERBAL DEXTERITY (16/1) (E/W)