The oldest classic in the world takes centre stage with the unbeaten Camelot bidding to become the first horse since the great Nijinsky back in 1970 to win racing’s Triple Crown of 2000 Guineas, Derby and St Leger; connections should be lauded for taking the classic route as for breeding purposes it does little to enhance his stallion fees but it does show the colts versatility and class in beating the best of his peers over a mile in May, over a mile-and-a-half in June and an extended mile-and-three-quarters in September.
The colt is not guaranteed to stay on breeding but his class should see him home especially as the ground promises to be no worse than good; he is currently 2/5 at BetVictor so we won’t be getting rich backing the son of Montjeu but that doesn’t mean to say there isn’t a betting angle on the race with the recommendation Thought Worthy in the market without Camelot.
The selection won the Great Voltigeur at York last month a race which is generally considered the best trial for the Leger and his full brother Lucarno took the corresponding race in 2007 en route to classic glory. It is asking an awful lot for the colt to fend off the attentions of Camelot and reverse the 8l beating he got at Epsom but he looks a real grinder and with trainer John Gosden employing a pacemaker the race is sure to be run at a true gallop.
Thought Worthy (3.40) is 3/1 without Camelot (8/1 with the favourite in the market) and that looks a very fair price; Main Sequence is the 5/2 favourite but he was behind the selection on the Knavesmire and I’m not convinced he is a real stayer and may cry enough in the last couple of furlongs.Ladbrokes St Leger; betting w/out Camelot; prices from betvictor.com
Main Sequence 5/2
Thought Worthy 3/1
Ursa Major 6/1
The other feature is the 7f Group 2 Champagne Stakes for juveniles; Dundonnell (2.25) needs fast ground to be seen at his best and Wednesday’s rain won’t have helped his chances, but there are no further showers forecast and he travelled through the Acomb Stakes at York last time like a class act. The runner up has since franked the form but this is no one-horse race with the unbeaten Hannon juvenile Toronado having a similarly progressive profile to the selection.
In the opening mile handicap Mabait (1.50) has not won for a couple of years but has been running very well in defeat of late and certainly deserves to get his head back in front; all his wins have been for senior jockey’s but he has run crackers for both Alice Haynes and Saturday’s jockey Laura Pike who takes off a valuable 5lbs. Godolphin won the corresponding race in 2011 and have three representatives this year with Frankie booked for top-weight Invisible Man; hard to see him winning!
Estifzaaz (3.20) was just touched off in a better race at Sandown last time and really ought to break his maiden tag at Chester with the drying ground a plus at a track where the Hills’ family have such a good record. Leading owner Dr Marwan Koukash loves to see his horses run on the Roodeye and invariably names his horses after his children; he has three runners in this juvenile contest named after his son. Gabrial’s Wawa (?), Gabrial’s Kaka (??) and Gabrial The Thug!!
At Newcastle the form of the Michael Dodds yard tempers confidence behind Iffraam (3.50) who is blinkered for the first time dropping back to 7f; the selection has bits of form which suggest he is well handicapped off his current mark but he has struggled in his last couple of starts and his excellent handler has opted for the headgear. He is sure to be a decent price and gets the nod.