Ladbrokes St Leger Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (Class 1) (3YO only)
Winner £368,615 – 13 run – Draw Advantage: None
Advice: 2 pts each/way Romsdal (8/1 Bet365)
Alex My Boy: Taken some time to live upto his top class pedigree (out of a dual Oaks winner) but has really picked up of late with cleat cut handicaps wins and a fine frint running second to Forever Now; Closely matched with those two (although Kings Fete makes the most appeal of them) and this test ideal although others make more appeal.
Forever Now: Only third to Hartnell and Windshear in the Bahrain Trophy and then made virtually all to beat Alex My Boy and Kings Fete at Goodwood latest; Buick prefers Romsdal here but not to be discounted unduly and can improve again although this obviously tougher.
Granddukeoftuscany: Nowhere on but like so many overs from his stable, different horse next time out as he obliterated his rivals in Tipperary maiden, eventually ending 19 lengths clear; Only fifth in the Voltigeur last time and looks overmatched here.
Hartnell: One place behind Granddukeoftuscany in the Voltigeur but more room to improve back upped to a trip that is sure to make the most of his stamina; Will be difficult to lead or be on the pace all the way here but can’t rule out decent showing today.
Kings Fete: Been a steady improver with just a handful of starts but immaturity still a problem as his refusal to settle has cost him the last twice, given a huge amount of ground to make up in Goodwood handicap but his close third in Goodwood listed contest behind Forever Now and Alex My Boy; Needs to find more still but scope for improvement is tremendous and should get a good gallop today; Contender if he settles.
Kingston Hill: Shaped with such huge promise as 2yo with impressive Racing Post Trophy win and while Guineas was too quick for him, career best effort at 1m4f when chasing home Australia in the Derby, and drop back in trip and how race developed didn’t suit when fourth in the Eclipse there although form of that effort still rates very highly today; This a step into unknown tripwise but only looked a stayer, ground not the issue many have suggested it to be, and the one to beat today.
Marzocco: Back at his ideal trip, having flagged late on in Queen’s Vase and looked as if he was in need of a step up in trip when fourth in the Voltiegur, but may be here to make the pace (along with others) for same connections Romsdal.
Odeon: Of interest if able to settle (his Dante fourth still stands up to the highest scrutiny) but hasn’t done so in any of his starts since and fail to see him lasting this trip.
Romsdal: Duly built on the promise shown on Doncaster debut when a clear cut winner at Kempton next time out and then looked progressive when a fast closer at Chepstow; Then ran massive race in Derby, coming a clear third behind Kingston Hill; Hoping that his stamina kicks in more than the favourite today but no reason he can’t make a very bold showing and terrific each/way chance.
Scotland: Left the impression that trip in this range would be the making of him at Royal Ascot but disappointing at Goodwood last time when he genuinely looked bereft of pace; Needs a big pace burn up but ground to make on Romsdal from earlier in the season and several others.
Snow Sky: Been a presence on the middle distance scene all season and the best of them from the Great Volitegur here but was all out to win at Goodwood and serious doubts about his stamina after fading badly at Royal Ascot the time before that as well; Can go well today but trip a worry.
Somewhat: Front running third in Eclipse followed by a close third at Goodwood but do not expect him to be as close to Kingston Hill today (or infront) and others make much more appeal especially with the lead likely to be so hotly contested.
Windshear: No win in his last 4 but taken a big step forward with each run and confirmed himself a leading contender when a fast finishing second in the Gordon Stakes, flashing home but failing to catch Snow Sky (second to Harnell the time before now reads well); Stronger the pace the better for him so the presence of many front runners augurs well here.
VERDICT: It goes without saying that this is a stamina test but with at least three front runners in the field stamina is likely to be at a premium here. That does not augur well for Snow Sky, who has fine form but has looked on the edge at the end of 1m4f this season. It is likely to be a big help for the progressive Windshear and Kings Fete, who has a wealth of potential. Both can go well but if Kingston Hill and ROMSDAL run to form the two should take some beating and John Gosden’s charge makes tremendous each/way appeal at the prices today with his King George run forgiven in a far more suitable race.