The unbeaten Logician spearheads 11 contenders for this weekend’s William Hill St Leger at Doncaster.
John Gosden’s Sky Bet Great Voltigeur winner will bid to give his coach a fifth success in the Classic on Town Moor on Saturday and he’s a hot favorite to do this following a wide-margin triumph in York’s Ebor meeting.
Gosden: »He’s been in excellent shape since York. He is a personality and he has a big loping stride. I believed (back in May) that this might be a Leger horse.
« He’s come a long way in a brief moment. The nice, long straight at Doncaster should suit him.
« But it won’t only be Aidan and our lone horse, but there are other horses in play and I’ve mentioned one that won in Goodwood (Sir Ron Priestly). It’s more detail to the field than individuals are making out. »
There are 10 potential runners along with Aidan O’Brien – that has coached six Leger winners previously including the last two variants – is responsible for six of these.
Leading the Ballydoyle pack is like taking his chance in Doncaster Investec Derby fourth Sir Dragonet, although Lonsdale Cup third Il Paradiso also looks.
Prior to returning to the track to finish third in the Royal Whip Stakes at the 25, sir Dragonet was beaten.
O’Brien explained: »We’re very happy with him. He had a break following the Derby and then the plan was supposed to visit the Curragh and maybe we would take a look at the Arc after that run.
« But today Japan and Magical are there and things are changing all of the time.
« The William Hill St Leger is a very important and respected race and also felt like there had been a good possibility he would find that trip.
« He was only ready to begin in the Curragh and he got a little bit tired which he had been competent to perform as I was being very careful and gentle with him.
« It was also the first time he had run over that trip. He had always been around a mile and a halfdozen. He’s not short of class and he’s not short of pace so it’ll be interesting. »
Il Paradiso is to join in the field. The three-year-old looked to be running a huge race at the Lonsdale Cup prior to Stradivarius and being run out of the finish by two top stayers at Dee Ex Bee.
O’Brien explained: »He remains really well and that’s the reason why we ran him at York. We thought he was worth taking a chance and that he ran a race that was very decent.
« It was a fantastic run for a three-year-old. He seems like a horse that will find the Gold Cup trip in time so has a lot of endurance.
« However, I think he’ll be happy enough dropping to this trip, he doesn’t mind being ridden forward and we’ll ride him as if we are certain that he stays. »
Barbados, Norway, South Pacific and Western Australia completes the O’Brien group.
While Middleham handler Mark Johnston includes two candidates in the six-day stage in Nayef Road and Sir Ron Priestley, andrew Balding’s Royal Ascot hero Dashing Willoughby could take his chance.
When seen the list of runners is finished from the Martyn Meade-trained Technician at Newbury.
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