Monday, September 7, 2009
THE 2009 LADBROKES ST LEGER FIVE-DAY CONFIRMATIONS & SUPPLEMENTARY ENTRY
Class 1, Group 1, £540,050 Total Prize Fund. 3pm, Doncaster, Saturday, September 12. For 3yo only, entire colts and fillies. One mile, six furlongs & 132 yards. Weights: colts 9st; fillies 8st 11lb. Entries closed June 30, entries revealed July 1 (41 entered). Scratchings’ deadline August 25 (11 remained), six-day confirmation & £45,000 supplementary entry stage Monday, September 7 (nine confirmations plus one supplementary entry), final declaration stage 10am, Thursday, September 10. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Sunday, September 6, 2009.
Form Horse Owner Trainer
05-210035 ABOVE AVERAGE (IRE) Jack Hanson Barry Hills
(1)4-102 AGE OF AQUARIUS (IRE) Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Eduard Mordutchovitch Aidan O'Brien IRE
5-23112 CHANGINGOFTHEGUARD (IRE) Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Christopher Hanbury Aidan O'Brien IRE
(1)-33213 FATHER TIME Khalid Abdulla Henry Cecil
211-5011 KITE WOOD (IRE) Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
13-(4)1332 MASTERY Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
361-204351 *MONITOR CLOSELY (IRE)* Lawrie Inman Peter Chapple-Hyam
121-3232 MOURAYAN (IRE) H H Aga Khan John Oxx IRE
4-13(1)00400 ROCKHAMPTON (IRE) Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith Aidan O'Brien IRE
03-126 VON JAWLENSKY (IRE) Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE
9 five-day confirmations, 1 supplementary entry*
Johann Zoffany and Tactic taken out today
* Ladbrokes Great Voltigeur Stakes victor Monitor Closely was supplemented for the Ladbrokes St Leger today at a cost of £45,000.
AGE OF AQUARIUS NOW JOINT-FAVOURITE WITH KITE WOOD FOR LADBROKES ST LEGER
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Age Of Aquarius has been shortened to 5/2 joint-favourite, alongside long-time market leader Kite Wood, with the sponsor for Saturday’s Ladbrokes St Leger following today’s five-day confirmation stage.
Ladbrokes quote Monitor Closely, who was today supplemented to the final Classic of 2009 for £45,000, at 6/1.
The full betting from Ladbrokes is: 5/2 Age Of Aquarius, 5/2 Kite Wood, 5/1 Changingoftheguard, 6/1 Monitor Closely, 8/1 Father Time, 10/1 Mourayan, 16/1 Mastery, 50/1 Von Jawlensky, 100/1 Above Average, 100/1 Rockhampton
Ladbrokes spokesman David Williams commented: "The Ballydoyle horses have been far away the best-backed in the past week, especially Age Of Aquarius, who has been closing in on Kite Wood and has now joined him at the top of market."
LADBROKES ST LEGER LUNCH - MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2009
Simon Crisford, the Godolphin racing manager, talked about Kite Wood, the 5/2 joint favourite, and 16/1 chance Mastery at the Ladbrokes St Leger media event at the Landmark Hotel in London today
He said: “Kite Wood is obviously a very progressive horse who is improving with every race, mentally he is getting his act together and physically he is fantastic at the moment - he is really coming to the peak of his powers.
“I think next year he will be better than this year but he is developing into a really strong, powerful galloper - we haven’t seen any gears yet and hopefully on Saturday we might see some.
“I think the ground will work against him and I don’t think he will be the favourite on Saturday. He is a much better horse with some cut in the ground. He was a big baby last year and this year certainly when he ran in the Derby he washed out. His last two starts have been good but he still has a long way to go.
“I think he deserves to be favourite, but I wouldn’t be backing him at the price. He is not a 2/1 chance. I will be disappointed if he is not in the frame - he is a really nice horse.
“Mastery is a really tough and solid contender and he is at a backable each-way price. He is not as good as Kite Wood but gives his best every time and he will love that fast ground.
“The Italian Derby he won was not a great race. His third in the Grand Prix de Paris was rock solid but I took a view that it was a substandard Grand Prix de Paris.
“He is going to need to do better than that. The Ladbrokes St Leger is one of the great races of the season - it is the oldest Classic. It is definitely one of the highlights of the year and it would mean a lot to us to win it for a fifth time. We have not won a British Classic since Rule Of Law won the 2004 Ladbrokes St Leger.”
Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager for Father Time’s owner Khalid Abdulla, said: “Henry (Cecil) has won the Ladbrokes St Leger four times and is the greatest Classic trainer of his generation.
“Father Time has actually blossomed since his third in the Ladbrokes Great Voltigeur Stakes. He has done really well and I looked at him the other day and he looks as well as he has ever been. He has come on and done everything right since his last race.
“We decided not to supplement Manifest because he has no experience outside maidens and we will give him a bit more time and experience.
“Henry has always been positive about the Ladbrokes St Leger for Father Time who travelled and quickened well to win a fast-run race at Royal Ascot which was pretty exciting - we know the calibre of horse he can beat. Obviously, we are going into unknown territory with the extra couple of furlongs but Father Time is in good nick.
“If you are an owner-breeder like Prince Khalid, Classic racing is the one area in which you are looking to achieve stallions. We have had Dansili, Father Time’s sire, and Passage Of Time, Father Time’s sister, so we know the family well.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien, interviewed over the phone, believes that both Age Of Aquarius, who was promoted to 5/2 joint-favouritism for Saturday’s race with Ladbrokes, and 5/1 chance Changingoftheguard will be suited by the likely ground in Saturday’s race.
“Age Of Aquarius handles fast ground well, has a high cruising speed and we think should get a mile and a half-plus well. We’ve been looking forward to the race since he ran at Longchamp,” said O’Brien. “As everyone saw he ran in the Epsom Derby after Lingfield and then had had a break before he went to Longchamp for the mile and a half race. We always thought he was a horse that would be suited by the Leger from a little while back.
“Changingoftheguard ran a real good race in the Ebor. He was a horse we liked earlier in the year but he disappointed when he got beaten in a maiden at Chester and then one at the Curragh and I suppose for one reason or another he ended up a lower-rated horse than we thought he was. He went to a handicap at Down Royal and won nicely and then he thought he would have a good chance in the Ebor off his mark.
“But at York, he reared in the stalls and ended up further back than Johnny (Murtagh) wanted. The pace was slow and Johnny had to bide his time and weave his way through a whole bunch of horses to come second and just got beat.
“He came out of York very well and we think that he’s progressing. If the ground is nice we would hope he’ll run a real good race.
“Age Of Aquarius has gone forward with every run and is not as exposed as Changingoftheguard, who has been running in handicaps. He will love a big galloping track and faster ground. The two of them want good or faster ground.
“We have also left in Von Jawlensky, who is most likely to go to the Curragh, and Rockhampton, who could run in the Ladbrokes St Leger if we need him. What everybody wants is a nice good pace to make it fair for everyone and in an ideal world we wouldn’t want to have to run pacemakers.
“Johnny (Murtagh) has not decided yet whether he’ll be riding at Doncaster or the Curragh. The National Stakes is on at the Curragh the same afternoon and the DFS Champagne Stakes, in which we could run Viscount Nelson, is also at Doncaster so we will just have to see.”
Trainer John Oxx, who won Saturday’s Tattersalls Millions Champion Stakes at the Curragh with Sea The Stars, is all set to bid for another big-race success a week on with Mourayan set to line up in the Ladbrokes St Leger.
“The ground has been a bit fast on a couple of occasions for Mourayan, including in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial. At least he will be better able to deal with it, if the ground is on the fast side on Saturday,” said Oxx in a telephone interview.
“He’s been very consistent and we want to run him because I think it’s the race for him and it would take a fair bit to stop him taking part on Saturday.
“He’s not an impressive home worker but his work has been consistently good by his standards recently and he looks really well in his coat and he’s in as good form as he’s been all year, probably better. The plan has always been to run him in the Ladbrokes St Leger.
“It’s the obvious race for him and I always thought through the winter that he’d be placed in the Derby and then go on and be a Leger horse. He was just lacking the gears for the Derby but, although he hasn’t tried the trip, he should stay and he’s a tough horse.
“On his latest start, he was beaten at Leopardstown by a good filly in Profound Beauty, who I think has been a bit under-rated. He’s come forward for the run and I’m hopeful that he should run a good race.
“It will be a couple of days before Mick (Kinane) decides whether he’ll ride at Doncaster or the Curragh the same day. It’s a 50-50 call and if Mick doesn’t come over I’d think Fran Berry will ride. He was going to ride the horse in the Irish Derby until Mick became free when Sea The Stars didn’t run.”
Local owner Jack Hanson, who was represented in the 2006 Ladbrokes St Leger by runner-up The Last Drop and the 2007 race by seventh-placed Celestial Halo, is likely to have his colours carried this year by Above Average, a 100/1 chance.
Charlie Hills, assistant to his trainer father Barry, admits the High Chaparral colt will have to show improvement on Saturday.
“He has to turn some form around from this year’s previous runs including with Kite Wood at Newmarket’s July Meeting,” said Hills. “He should definitely stay well but we would like to see some rain. He seems very well at home, he’s working well and his owner Jack Hanson is keen to run so we look forward to seeing him run.”
10 CHASING LADBROKES ST LEGER GLORY IN 2009
The 2009 Ladbrokes St Leger boasts a record prize fund of £540,050 following the supplementary entry of Monitor Closely at a cost of £45,000 today. In total, 10 horses are chasing glory in the final Classic at Doncaster with nine other contenders also standing their ground today’s five-day confirmation stage.
Monitor Closely, a 6/1 chance with the sponsor, entered the reckoning for the Ladbrokes St Leger after an all the way success in the Group Two Ladbrokes Great Voltigeur Stakes at York on August 18, when the Oasis Dream colt proved four and a half lengths too strong for fellow Ladbrokes St Leger contender Mastery, with another of Saturday’s possible starters, Father Time, back in third.
The Ladbrokes Great Voltigeur Stakes, run over 12 furlongs, was the first time Monitor Closely had raced beyond a mile and a quarter and now connections are hoping that he can tackle the extended mile and three quarters of the Ladbrokes St Leger on Saturday.
Trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam reported on his website today: "We have decided to supplement Monitor Closely for the St Leger - chances to have a crack at a Classic don't come along very often.
"We were delighted with his win in the Great Voltigeur and feel it is worth having a shot at the Leger now.
"His work since York has been good and we are just hoping that the ground remains on the quick side."
Kite Wood and Age Of Aquarius jointly head the market at 5/2 with Ladbrokes. Kite Wood has certainly proved his stamina with victories in the Group Three Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket and the Group Three Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury, with both of those victories coming over a mile and five furlongs.
Kite Wood is set to be joined by his stable companion Mastery, winner of the Group Two Derby Italiano earlier this season and a 16/1 chance with Ladbrokes, and the duo will be out to give the Godolphin operation a fifth triumph in the world’s oldest Classic following Classic Cliche (1995), Nedawi (1998), Mutafaweq (1999) and Rule Of Law (2004).
Age Of Aquarius is one of four possible contenders from the Aidan O’Brien stable, which is seeking a fourth Ladbrokes St Leger victory following Milan (2001), Brian Boru (2003) and Scorpion (2005). The son of Galileo landed the Group Three Derby Trial at Lingfield Park in May and was most recently seen out when runner-up to Cavalryman in the Group One Grand Prix de Paris over a mile and a half at Longchamp on July 14. Ballydoyle’s other contenders are Changingoftheguard (5/1), who looked unlucky after encountering a desperate passage when runner-up in the competitive Ebor Handicap at York last month, Von Jawlensky (50/1) and Rockhampton (100/1).
In addition to the Ballydoyle quartet, Mourayan could also represent Ireland on Saturday. Owned by the Aga Khan and trained by John Oxx, both seeking a first Ladbrokes St Leger win, the Alhaarth colt was third behind Fame And Glory in the Irish Derby and most recently chased home the smart mare Profound Beauty in the Group Three Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown on August 13. Ladbrokes rate Mourayan, who has a preference for easy underfoot conditions, at 10/1.
Along with Godolphin’s Saeed bin Suroor, Henry Cecil shares the distinction of being the most successful current trainer in the Ladbrokes St Leger. Father Time, who landed the Group Two King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot before finishing third behind Monitor Closely at York, will be out to give Warren Place a fifth success in the Ladbrokes St Leger following Light Cavalry (1980), Oh So Sharp (1985), Reference Point (1987) and Michelozzo (1989). Ladbrokes make Father Time an 8/1 chance.
Completing Saturday’s likely field is 100/1 chance Above Average. Successful in the Group Three Classic Trial at Sandown in April and most recently fifth behind Monitor Closely in the Ladbrokes Great Voltigeur Stakes, Above Average is trained by Barry Hills who caused a 40/1 shock when Moonax triumphed in 1994. The High Chaparral colt is owned by former trainer and proud Yorkshireman Jack Hanson, who saw his The Last Drop, also trained by Barry Hills, finish second at 50/1 in 2006.
THE GOING AT DONCASTER
The latest going at Doncaster is Good to Firm on the straight course and Good on the round course.
Adam Waterworth, managing director of Doncaster Racecourse, said this afternoon: “We have not had quite as much rain as a lot of courses have had and there have been some very strong winds over the last couple of weeks. The ground is good on the round course and good to firm on the straight course.
“The clerk of the course David Williams walked the course and decided to put on four millimetres of water on the straight to keep it good to firm.
“The forecast is set fair. There is the chance of some rain, which is diminishing by the minute, on Tuesday night and we could miss that altogether. There is high pressure coming in on Wednesday and it will be between 18 and 20 degrees Celcius right through to Saturday.
“It will be great for the racegoers and the ground will be drying up all week – if so we will irrigate during the meeting. Hopefully, we will go into Wednesday with pretty similar ground to today.
“The ground was absolutely perfect when I walked it yesterday.”
MONITOR CLOSELY (IRE) FACTFILE
3 b c Oasis Dream - Independence (Selkirk (USA))
Owner: Lawrie Inman
Trainer: Peter Chapple-Hyam
Breeder: Cliveden Stud Ltd
Owner Lawrie Inman took a £45,000 gamble when supplementing Monitor Closely for the Ladbrokes St Leger on Monday, September 7. The colt earned his berth in the world’s oldest Classic after slamming a good field to win the 12-furlong Group Two Ladbrokes Great Voltigeur Stakes at York on August 18. That front-running four and a half-length verdict over Italian Derby winner Mastery was Monitor Closely’s first race beyond 10 furlongs and, despite stamina doubts, the manner of his triumph gave connections hope that the extended mile and three quarters of the Ladbrokes St Leger could be within his scope. Peter Chapple-Hyam’s charge is by the champion sprinter Oasis Dream out of the Group Two-winning miler Independence and is a half-brother to Eclipse Stakes winner Mount Nelson. Monitor Closely landed his maiden over a mile at Newbury in October, 2008, having previously finished third to Kite Wood on his debut in a maiden at Doncaster’s Ladbrokes St Leger Festival and taken sixth place behind Donativum in the Tattersalls Timeform Million at Newmarket. His three-year-old bow came on April 15 at Newmarket when a head second in the lucrative Tattersalls Timeform 3-Y-O Trophy. A respectable eighth to Sea The Stars in the 2000 Guineas was followed by a fourth-placed finish in the Group Two Dante Stakes at York. Monitor Closely headed to Ascot for the 10-furlong Listed Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot in June and ran well to take third behind Glass Harmonium after encountering traffic problems at a vital stage of the race. The colt took on his elders for the only time to date when fifth behind Kirklees in the Group Two Sky Bet York Stakes on July 25. After three consecutive starts at a mile and a quarter, connections were rewarded when attempting a mile and a half for the first time in the Ladbrokes Great Voltigeur and they will be hoping the step up in trip for the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday, September 12, will again pay dividends.
Race Record: Starts: 9; Wins: 2; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £203,953
City trader Lawrie Inman today paid £45,000 to supplement Monitor Closely for the Ladbrokes St Leger but that figure could be considered loose change for the man who is said to have once made £700,000 in a day. At 28, Inman is a figure of near legendary status in the City. Monitor Closely is his first foray into racehorse ownership and he paid 140,000 guineas for the colt as a yearling. He also has a Montjeu two-year-old called Coordinated Cut in training with Peter Chapple-Hyam - the youngster cost 325,000 guineas as a yearling and is likely to make his debut at Doncaster on Thursday in the same race that Monitor Closely started out in 12 months ago, with Kieren Fallon booked to ride. Inman is from Camberley in Surrey and is the son of a taxi driver. He was educated at Swansea University, where he read business studies. He is a keen footballer who represented his university - winning the British Universities title - and played in the League of Wales.
No previous Ladbrokes St Leger runners
Born April 2, 1963, in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, Peter Chapple-Hyam gained valuable experience working for Barry Hills, Fred Rimell and Lynda Ramsden before taking over the trainer’s licence from Hills at the late Robert Sangster’s Manton complex in 1991. With Sangster as his main patron, Chapple-Hyam hit the ground running, securing major two-year-old Group One victories in his first season, with Dr Devious winning the Dewhurst Stakes and the brilliant Rodrigo de Triano landing the Middle Park Stakes. The following year brought Derby glory as he prepared Dr Devious to run seventh in the Kentucky Derby before taking the Epsom Classic by two lengths. Rodrigo de Triano meanwhile gave Lester Piggott his 30th and final Classic win in the 2,000 Guineas and added a further three Group One successes that term - Irish 2,000 Guineas, Juddmonte International and Champion Stakes. Group One glory continued with the likes of 1993 Italian Derby winner White Muzzle, Turtle Island and Spectrum, winners of the 1994 & 1995 Irish 2,000 Guineas respectively, Revoque, successful in the Prix de la Salamandre and Grand Criterium in 1996, the filly Carmine Lake, victorious in the 1997 Prix de l’Abbaye, and 1998 Poule d’Essai des Poulains winner Victory Note. Seeking a new challenge, he moved to Hong Kong in 1999 but returned to Britain ahead of the 2004 Flat season, beginning in Newmarket with just six horses. With his string based at St Gatien Stables in Newmarket, Chapple-Hyam immediately silenced any doubters as he improved the three-year-old African Dream from lowly all-weather claiming class to four straight wins that included a brace of Group Three Classic trials. Further big-race success followed that year as Captain Hurricane took the Group Two July Stakes at Newmarket and Montgomery’s Arch the Group Two Richmond Stakes at Goodwood. Memories of the glory days of the 1990s were rekindled in 2006 as he saddled the top-class juvenile Dutch Art to four straight wins that included a brace of Group Ones (Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes), while Authorized collected the Group One Racing Post Trophy, a race the trainer won in 1998 with Commander Collins. In 2007, he secured a second Derby success with the impressive Authorized, who also collected the Juddmonte International at York. The past two seasons have seen the trainer’s fortunes dip a bit but Monitor Closely provided a timely reminder of Chapple-Hyam’s skills when romping to an impressive victory in the Group Two Ladbrokes Great Voltigeur Stakes at York in August. In 2005, he separated from his wife Jane (now a Newmarket trainer), daughter of Robert Sangster’s second wife, Susan.
Ladbrokes St Leger Record: 1998 Dark Moondancer (6th), 1997 Panama City (6th), 1996 Desert Boy (11th). 1996 Heron Island (8th)
For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink