Saturday 14th September 2019
Author: Jordan Yates
Image: Jordan Yates
It’s one of the best Saturday’s in the flat racing calendar with Doncaster and Leopardstown sharing the limelight with the St Leger and Champions Day cards packed with top-class action.
I’ll start off with previewing the St Leger which takes place at Doncaster at 3:35 and the race has been won by Aidan O’Brien the last two years with Kew Gardens and Capri taking the spoils. He’s once again strongly represented in the final classic of the season with both Sir Dragonet and Il Paradiso taking their places for Team Ballydoyle. The former looked potentially top-class before taking on the Derby and probably wasn’t fully tuned up the last day when getting turned over at odds on. Il Paradiso ran a mighty race behind Stradivarius at York and still looks very much unexposed. Aidan also runs Western Australia who will likely be deployed as a tactical option.
I think it will be Frankie and Gosden again though who will get the glory here as I believe LOGICIAN will prove too hot to handle for the all-conquering connections. He has to step up markedly on what he’s shown so far however everything he has done he’s done it so very comfortably culminating in Group 2 success the last day at York. He should take all the beating here despite coming up against proven top-level opposition.
Others to note in the line-up look to be the Mark Johnston trained Sir Ron Priestley who has had a fine season this term, he’s the mount of Franny Norton. Mark also sends Nayef Road to take his chance who has a fair bit to find on the favourite on the back of their last meeting. Queens Vase winner Dashing Willoughby also takes his place here and will need to step up on all known form.
Moving over to Leopardstown now and their feature is the Irish Champion Stakes which is due to take place at 4.15 and this a race that has surprising alluded Aidan O’Brien in recent years despite coming close last year with Saxon Warrior.
I do believe that the Ballydoyle maestro can get back to winning ways though in this particular renewal and take the spoils with MAGICAL who has spent most of her season chasing Enable home, she is a Group 1 winner though in her own right and is one of the best fillies in the world. If turning up in top form here I think she’ll be very tough to beat. O’Brien also runs Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck who will be looking to bounce back to form as well as sending Magic Wand and Hunting Horn who will likely be on tactical duties.
There are considerable English challengers in the line up who pose a very lively threat to the O’Brien filly though and the first of these comes in the form of Mark Johnston’s Elarqam who’s finally showing his true potential this term as well as Roger Charlton’s Headman who has been winning within Group company over in France. Goodwood winner Deirdre also takes her place in the field with Oisin Murphy once again in the saddle and also taking his place is Derby runner up Madhmoon who got back to winning ways in a Group 3 here last month.