Wednesday, July 20, 2011
HEAD PLANNING CROSS-CHANNEL LADBROKES ST LEGER RAID
An outstanding renewal of the £500,000 Group One Ladbrokes St Leger is on the horizon after an exciting 36-strong entry for the world’s oldest Classic was revealed today, Wednesday, July 20, 2011.
Chief among the talented entries for the extended mile and three quarters contest at Doncaster on Saturday, September 10, are the proven Classic winners Blue Bunting (10/1 with race sponsor Ladbrokes) and Treasure Beach (8/1), as well as the highly-rated Nathaniel (4/1 favourite) who was supplemented for Saturday’s Group One King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot at a cost of £75,000.
Another with the Ladbrokes St Leger on his radar is Aloeil from the Chantilly stable of Freddy Head. The colt could attempt to become the first French-trained victor since Toulon 20 years ago.
Aloeil, a 50/1 chance with Ladbrokes, has scored twice at Saint-Cloud this year, winning an 11-furlong maiden in May and most recently when taking the Prix Sea Bird conditions race over a mile and a half on June 26. He carries the famous blue and white silks of the Wertheimer Brothers, owners of the star miler Goldikova.
Head revealed today: “Aloeil is a progressive three-year-old. He just won a race over a mile and a half and he was quite impressive on that occasion. I think he will stay further and with age he could even be better. If we think he is good enough, we would like to go to the Ladbrokes St Leger.
“He is running on Saturday in Vichy (Listed Prix Frederic De Legrange - 12 furlongs) and after that we will see what we do with him. He has to improve but I hope he can, so we will see what he does through the summer and decide where we go later.
“I think the longer the better for him, so we could see him improve when we run him over further.
“I would love to go to Doncaster and try and win a race like the Ladbrokes St Leger.”
Six French-trained horses have triumphed in the Town Moor Classic and the most recent contender from across the English Channel was Vertical Speed, runner-up to Silver Patriarch in 1997.
Blue Bunting is one of four entries for Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni. The filly triumphed in the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas over a mile at Newmarket in May and added to her Classic haul with success in the 12-furlong Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh on July 17.
Al Zarooni could also saddle Group One Racing Post Trophy hero Casamento, Genius Beast and French Navy, while fellow Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor, five times a St Leger winner with Classic Cliche (1995), Nedawi (1998), Mutafaweq (1999), Rule Of Law (2004) and Mastery (2009), has engaged recent Leicester maiden winner Laatafreet.
Ireland’s champion trainer Aidan O’Brien has entered Irish Derby hero Treasure Beach among 10 entries as he bids for a fourth Ladbrokes St Leger, having landed the prize with Milan (2001), Brian Boru (2003) and Scorpion (2005).
Also among the Ballydoyle contingent is Seville, runner-up to Treasure Beach in the Irish Derby before finishing two places in front of his stablemate when second to Meandre in the Group One Grand Prix de Paris on July 14.
The O’Brien-trained Wonder Of Wonders was runner-up to Dancing Rain in the Investec Oaks at Epsom in June and was Classic placed once again when a close third to Blue Bunting in the Darley Irish Oaks.
The remainder from that stable are Admiral Of The Red, Apache, Freedom, Marksmanship, Memphis Tennessee, Monte Carlo and Regent Street.
John Gosden is also seeking a fourth Ladbrokes St Leger victory to follow Shantou (1996), Lucarno (2007) and last year’s hero, Arctic Cosmos. The Newmarket handler has engaged impressive Group Two King Edward VII Stakes winner Nathaniel alongside Group Three Bahrain Trophy victor Masked Marvel, promising maiden Thimaar and the smart Buthelezi.
Sir Henry Cecil last landed the Ladbrokes St Leger in 1989 when Michelozzo gave him a fourth success. The Master Of Warren Place had previously triumphed with Light Cavalry (1980), Oh So Sharp (1985) and Reference Point (1987), and he has entered the lightly-raced but clearly talented filly Wild Coco, as well as Solar Sky.
The last named was runner-up to the Mark Johnston-trained Namibian in the Group Three Queen’s Vase over two miles at Royal Ascot. Johnston’s four entries also include Group Three Lingfield Derby Trial winner Dordogne, Queen’s Vase third Eternal Heart and Sadler’s Risk.
Manchester United and England footballer Michael Owen is seeking a first Classic victory with the Tom Dascombe-trained Brown Panther. The homebred colt defeated the Richard Hannon-trained Census (2nd) and Well Sharp (3rd) from the Michael Dods yard to win the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot and then finished fifth in the Group One German Derby on July 3.
Census was subsequently a staying-on head second to Masked Marvel in the Bahrain Trophy, in which the Mick Channon-trained Lingfield Oaks Trial winner Zain Al Boldan was third.
Sir Michael Stoute landed a long overdue first Ladbrokes St Leger win in 2008 with Conduit and he has entered the well-regarded Sea Moon, who landed a 10-furlong York handicap on June 11, as well as King Edward VII Stakes runner-up Fiorente.
Also entered are the Barry Hills-trained Slumber, Pivotman from the Amanda Perrett stable, the Andrew Balding-trained Whiplash Willie and Lyric Street from the Luca Cumani yard.
Ian Renton, Racing Director at Arena Leisure, commented: “We are delighted with the high quality of the entries for the 2011 Ladbrokes St Leger which features the Classic winners Treasure Beach and Blue Bunting as well as several other contenders that have shown top-class form at the highest level.
“It is also very encouraging to see potential French representation for the first time in several years with Aloeil, and we look forward to welcoming Freddy Head and all his connections to Doncaster on Saturday, September 10, for what should be a stellar renewal of the world’s oldest Classic.”
The four-day Ladbrokes St Leger Festival runs from Wednesday, September 7, through to Saturday, September 10, inclusive.
For further information and to book tickets, please go to www.doncaster-racecourse.co.uk
OPENING PRICES FROM LADBROKES
7/1 Seville; Sea Moon
8/1 Treasure Beach
9/1 Memphis Tennessee
10/1 Blue Bunting; Brown Panther
14/1 Masked Marvel, Census
20/1 Wild Coco; Namibian
25/1 Wonder of Wonders
40/1 French Navy; Solar Sky; Marksmanship; Genius Beast
50/1 Slumber; Aloeil; Lyric Street; Casamento; Admiral Of The Red; Buthelezi; Apache
66/1 Regent Street; Zain Al Boldan
100/1 Thimaar; Whiplash Willie; Well Sharp; Monte Carlo; Sadler's Risk; Freedom; Dordogne; Eternal Heart
BREAKDOWN OF ENTRIES BY TRAINER WITH PAST SUCCESSES IN THE LADBROKES ST LEGER
Aidan O’Brien IRE (2005 Scorpion, 2003 Brian Boru, 2001 Milan)
Admiral Of The Red
Wonder of Wonders
John Gosden (2010 Arctic Cosmos, 2007 Lucarno, 1996 Shantou)
Mahmood Al Zarooni
Sir Henry Cecil (1989 Michelozzo, 1987 Reference Point, 1985 Oh So Sharp, 1980 Light Cavalry)
Sir Michael Stoute (2008 Conduit)
Zain Al Boldan
Luca Cumani (1984 Commanche Run)
Freddy Head FR
Barry Hills (1994 Moonax)
Saeed bin Suroor (2009 Mastery, 2004 Rule Of Law, 1999 Mutafaweq, 1998 Nedawi, 1995 Classic Cliche)
SUPERB OPENING DAY IN PROSPECT AT GLORIOUS GOODWOOD
QIPCO SUSSEX STAKES ENTRY MAQAASID GIVEN bet365 LENNOX STAKES OPTION
Glorious Goodwood gets underway on Sporting Greats Day, Tuesday, July 26, with an excellent seven-race card that hails the first of five days of enthralling racing at the world’s most beautiful racecourse.
The feature contest is the £140,000 Group Two bet365 Lennox Stakes (3.10pm) and an entry of 15 for the seven-furlong contest includes the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Delegator. The five-year-old was a ready winner of the six-furlong Group Two Duke Of York Blue Square Stakes at York in May and took fifth from an unfavourable draw on his latest start in the Group One Darley July Cup at Newmarket on July 9.
Maqaasid showed plenty of speed when successful in the Group Two Queen Mary Stakes over five furlongs at Royal Ascot last year and the John Gosden-trained three-year-old has proven herself as one of the leading fillies over a mile this term, including when coming home third in the Group One QIPCO 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 1.
She has the option of dropping back in trip for the bet365 Lennox Stakes or taking on the likes of Frankel and Canford Cliffs over a mile in the Group One QIPCO Sussex Stakes - the “Duel on the Downs” - at the same course 24 hours later.
Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, revealed today: “We will sit down and decide whether Maqaasid heads to Goodwood. I wouldn’t have thought that she would take her chance in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes and we will decide about bet365 Lennox Stakes in due course.
“She ran no sort of race on her latest start in the Falmouth Stakes (eighth, Newmarket, July 8), when she didn’t turn up at all. She just had an off day - she didn’t pick up for a stride - and nothing came to light afterwards.
“We have been thinking about dropping her back in distance all year and that was the annoying thing about the Falmouth Stakes - we didn’t learn anything from the race.
“Her form up until then had been very good and it was the first bad race that she had run in all of her career. Hopefully, she can put it behind her on her next start.”
Other contenders for the bet365 Lennox Stakes include Royal Ascot winner Strong Suit and last year’s Group Two Tanqueray Richmond Stakes victor Libranno, who are both trained by Richard Hannon, and Wootton Bassett, who captured the Group One Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere for trainer Richard Fahey last season.
Tuesday’s card also includes the Group Three £50,000 bet365 Gordon Stakes (2.35pm) over a mile and a half, which is a key trial for the Group One Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster on September 10.
Arctic Cosmos took third at Goodwood last year before going on to glory at Doncaster and five of the 13 entries for the bet365 Gordon Stakes also hold an entry in the final Classic of the season including the Mark Johnston-trained Namibian and Fiorente, whose trainer Sir Michael Stoute sent out Conduit to complete the Goodwood-Doncaster double in 2008.
The £40,000 Group Three bet365 Molecomb Stakes (3.45pm) over five furlongs has attracted an entry of 24 two-year-olds headed by this year’s Queen Mary Stakes heroine Best Terms, representing Hannon, the Keith Dalgleish-trained Stonefield Flyer and recent Weatherbys Super Sprint scorer Charles The Great, who is trained by Andrew Balding.
John Smith’s Cup runner-up Modun, from the Stoute stable, is among 29 entries for the day’s opening contest, the £45,000 bet365.com Handicap (2.00pm), while several stars of the future could be on show in the six-furlong £15,000 Casino At bet365 EBF Assertive Maiden (4.20pm), which has an entry of 26.
The racing action is completed by a pair of competitive handicaps - the mile £15,000 Poker At Bet 365 Handicap (4.50pm, 70 entries), and the £15,000 Mobile At bet365 Handicap (5.25pm, 31 entries) over five furlongs.
Sporting Greats Day is the perfect mix of equine and human sporting talent with appearances from famous sports figures, from the newly rising stars to the legends of the past; as well as performances from some of the finest horses the country has to offer.
The going at Goodwood is currently Good to Soft, Good in places.
Seamus Buckley, Goodwood’s Clerk of the Course, reported today: “I walked the course today and am delighted with its condition. The going is just on the easy side of good and I am calling it good to soft, good in places.
“There is the chance of some hit and miss showers over the next couple of days, At the moment, showers are very localised. For example on Tuesday, seven millimetres fell at Goodwood House just up the road but we had none here on the course.
“The weekend should bring both warmer and drier conditions which are forecast to continue into the early part of next week. This will help dry the ground out and I would envisage at this stage that we will start Glorious Goodwood on Tuesday with ground just on the easy of good.
“We are exactly where we want to be at this stage and entries for Tuesday look fantastic.”
SAHPRESA AIMING FOR HAT-TRICK IN KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN SUN CHARIOT STAKES AT NEWMARKET
CREAM OF JUVENILE CROP AMONG ENTRIES FOR SHADWELL FILLIES’ MILE, JAGUAR CHEVELEY PARK STAKES & JUDDMONTE ROYAL LODGE STAKES
Sahpresa is on course to bid for an unprecedented third success in the £160,000 Group One Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes, highlight of the third and final day of the Cambridgeshire Meeting, Saturday, September 24, at Newmarket.
The Rod Collet-trained six-year-old features among a top-class entry of 51 fillies and mares for the prestigious mile contest.
After giving her trainer a first Group One success in the 2009 renewal of the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes, Sahpresa returned to the Rowley Mile last year for a ready triumph over Strawberrydaiquiri.
She made her first visit to Newmarket’s July Course for her latest start on July 8 and ran an excellent race in defeat when taking second behind Timepiece in the mile Group One Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes.
Collet revealed: “The Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes is one of Saphresa’s objectives for this autumn. It’s always a pleasure to try and win the race and I am hoping that she can return to Newmarket.
“She was not very lucky in the Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes because there was no pace and we were quite far back from Timepiece. I thought that she still ran a very good race as she made up a lot of ground and Timepiece was talked about as a potential champion filly at the start of last year.
“Her two runs this season have proved that she is not looking like an old filly and she came back from Newmarket really well. We will look to run her at Deauville and I really want to test her in the Prix Maurice de Gheest (August 7), which looks a very strong race this year.
“I think that she has the pace for six and a half furlongs but I am keeping an eye on the weather because she doesn’t want ground that is too soft. I would love to try to go for the Prix Maurice de Gheest, or alternatively the Prix Rothschild (July 31), and then head to Newmarket and possibly Japan or Hong Kong.”
Collet may also be represented by progressive three-year-old Nova Hawk, who was fourth in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 1 and found only Immortal Verse, trained by Collet’s father Robert, two and a quarter lengths too strong in the Group One Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 17.
The trainer continued: “Nova Hawk worked very well on Tuesday morning and she prefers softer ground to Sahpresa, as we saw at Royal Ascot, so she could head to Newmarket if the going is suitable. I am just looking at the weather with her as well before finalising where she will run next.”
Other notable entries include four-time Group One heroine Misty For Me, one of five entries from the stable of Aidan O’Brien, the Tommy Stack-trained Lolly For Dolly, who triumphed in the Group Two Windsor Forest Stakes at Royal Ascot, and last season’s Group One Cheveley Park Stakes winner Hooray, who is trained by Sir Mark Prescott.
Newmarket also hosts a feast of juvenile action at the Cambridgeshire Meeting including the £150,000 Group One Shadwell Fillies’ Mile, the feature race of the second day of the meeting, Friday, September 23.
A superb entry of 83 includes the Aidan O’Brien-trained Maybe, who heads the market for next year’s QIPCO 1000 Guineas following victories in the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot and a Leopardstown Group Three, and impressive Group Two Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cherry Hinton Stakes winner Gamilati, representing Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni.
Both fillies also feature among the 58 entries for the £150,000 Jaguar Cars Cheveley Park Stakes over six furlongs on Saturday, September 24, while an entry of 99 for the £100,000 Group Two Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes, run over a mile on the same day, is headed by next year’s Investec Derby favourite, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Camelot.