FIVE times St Leger winner Frankie Dettori believes Saturday’s running of the world’s oldest classic is more open than the betting suggests.
Aidan O’Brien’s Idaho is a strong favourite but Dettori feels odds of 5-6 overplay his chances on Doncaster’s Town Moor.
Dettori said: “Idaho brings the best form in the race but I thought he made hard work of it when winning the Voltigeur at York.”
Punters may want to look at one of O’Brien’s other runners in Sword Fighter for an each way value bet. He won the Queen’s Vase and is an out-and-stayer and I expect him to run a big race.
Last week we highlighted Luca Cumani’s Banksea as our horse to watch out for, and he lines up in the 4.50 at Doncaster tomorrow. This is a prep run for the Cambridgeshire and connections are expecting a promising run from the three-year-old colt.
Kevin Ryan is hoping rain stays away for The Grey Gatsby in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday.
The five-year-old needs fast ground to perform at his best and the going was yielding when he was sixth to Golden Horn in the ten-furlong showpiece last season.
Clerk of the course Lorcan Wyer yesterday described the outside track as the easy side of good and the inside track as good. But rain is forecast for today and Saturday which will ease the ground.
The Grey Gatsby’s last victory came in the Irish Champion two years ago when he got the better of Australia.
Since then, he has been a regular at the top level without quite getting his head in front and his latest effort came in the Juddmonte International when he was sixth to Postponed.
“He’s come out of his race at York really well and he has a few good targets before the end of the year, so as long as the ground comes for him, hopefully he’ll get his head in front,” said the North Yorkshire trainer.
But with safe ground anticipated Dermot Weld’s Harzand is likely to run and will be the horse to beat.
Connections are eyeing a trip to America for the Breeders’ Cup meeting for what could be The Grey Gatsby’s swansong before he retires to stud.
Ryan's Hambleton neighbour Bryan Smart's could be sending his smart juvenile Alicante Dawn to Newmarket next month for the £150,000 Tattersalls October Auction Sales race on October 1.
The Hambleton handler is knocking out the winners and paid just £5,000 guineas for the son of Equiano.
Smart has already turned down some big money despite admitting that the colt suffers from sore shins.
Last week I predicted a big run from Nonios at Kempton and he didn’t disappoint, coming from the clouds to grab third place at an SP of 11/2, but with eights on offer earlier in the day. Stay with this lightly raced three-year-old gelding as trainer David Simcock has him lined up for a race at the same track on September 21.
I also tipped up Mitchum Swagger last week and when the rain started to fall at Haydock my confidence grew and he had every chance to win before going down by a head to Hathal. But this horse is still improving and is definitely worth keeping onside especially on soft ground.
Karl Burke’s Quiet Reflection and Sandra’s Secret, trained by former Mirfield trainer Les Eyre did however oblige to make it a winning start for The Press racing column.
AUGUR’S TIP FOR THE WEEKEND
Doncaster 3.45 Saturday Ladbroke St Leger: SWORD FIGHTER each way.
AUGUR’S ONE TO WATCH
GUSTAVO FRING: Unraced two-year-old out of Kodiak owned by Rebel Racing and trained by Richard Spencer. Expected to make his racecourse debut in the next couple of weeks.