Saturday is the 3rd day of the St Leger festival at Doncaster, including the feature race itself at 3:35. Our team have looked through the 7 races on Town Moor and have identified 3 selections to note, including a strong each-way fancy in the St Leger itself.
Rosallion sets a clear standard after a pair of impressive wins at Newbury and Ascot earlier in the summer and he looks like the leading juvenile in the Hannon yard. He was backed into 11/8 favouritism for his debut at Newbury in June and duly confirmed that confidence in the market by pulling clear in the closing stages to record a first success in a fast time. He built on that when landing the Listed Pat Eddery Stakes at Ascot last time, coming with a sustained late effort to win by 4-lengths from Al Musmak, who won at Haydock last weekend to boost the form. With most of his rivals not declared in the final entries, this looks like a straightforward assignment for him.
This race has fallen apart somewhat at the final declaration stages, and it now looks like a golden opportunity for the John and Thady Gosden trained Audience. A winner of a Group 3 at Newmarket in July, she brings solid form to the table after chasing home Kinross last time at York. Sandrine was behind her at York and there is no obvious reason why that form should be reversed. She has recorded the highest top speed figure in the field and comes out best at the weights in what looks to be a relatively weak Group 2 contest. The softer going is a slight concern but her dam was a winner on Good to Soft and this doesn’t look likely to be run at a relentless gallop given the small field so it isn’t overly concerning for her connections.
Gregory has been the Antepost favourite for this race ever since he won the Queen’s vase at Royal Ascot in June. He is the most likely winner, and we can easily forgive his 3rd placed finish in the Great Voltigeur at York when he did far too much in front in the early stages and did well to stay on for third after being headed. That race was won by Continuous, who got a very patient ride by Ryan Moore when he correctly assessed that the leaders were going too fast. The pair are closely matched, but both look likely to make up into “Cup” horses for next season and it is unlikely that Frankie Dettori will make the same mistake as he did at York. If the race is run at a more tactical pace, it could leave both Gregory and Continuous vulnerable to a horse with a better turn-of-foot and that would bring Middle Earth into the equation.
He has been quietly improving through the summer after making his debut at Sandown in June and although he has quite a few pounds to find with the principles, after just 4 starts and only 1 at this distance, he is the biggest unknown quantity in the line-up. The likes of Harbour Law and Logician have won this race in recent seasons after starting in handicaps and judging by the way he hit the line in the Melrose at York last time, there is plenty more to come from this son of Roaring Lion. It will be a wonderful story for Qatar Racing if they can get a Classic winner from the only crop of their former star and he looks worth chancing at the prices.
Our team will be back on Sunday with a look at the final day of the festival from Doncaster.