Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ladbrokes St Leger

On Friday Donald McCain's Ice Tea is a progressive sort running over two and a half miles in the 3.00 at Bangor. This is his first run after a break, his wins having come over further, but he looks worth keeping an eye on. With England playing South Africa in the Rugby World Cup later in the evening, Alan Lee reports that racegoers turning up for Sandown's afternoon meeting in either team's colours will be entitled to reduced admission of £10.

On Saturday the Irish and English St Leger races are scheduled to take place within twenty minutes of each other. At The Curragh Yeats will be unbackable at long odds on and he is expected to oblige.

Over at Doncaster it doesn't appear quite as clear cut. On Racing Post ratings Honolulu and Lucarno are some way clear of their rivals. In my eyes Lucarno's fourth in the Epsom Derby and subsequent victory in the Great Voltigeur at York read better than Honolulu's recent second in the Ebor. To muddy the waters a little, the O'Brien stable reports Honolulu has thrived since York, whereas John Gosden doubts the additional two furlongs of this race will suit Lucarno, despite the formbook stating the horse 'stayed on strongly' in the Great Voltigeur. Indeed the trainer describes Raincoat, his other runner, as the 'forgotten horse' of the race. You pays your money and takes your choice. In a race where the favourite has won eight of the last ten runnings, I'm prepared to risk Lucarno, currently priced at 4/1, and Raincoat each way at 10/1 or bigger, as both some offer value.


GeeDee said...

On Friday I was disappointed to see even money favourite Ice Tea finish four lengths third behind The Entomologist (9/4) in the novice chase. He doesn't appear to have jumped as well as last time and was probably tapped for toe from two out, racing over a slightly shorter distance than when gaining previous wins. I'll keep the faith with this one for the time being, provided he races over three miles.
On Saturday Lucarno, freely available at 9/2 on the morning of the race and sent off 7/2 second favourite, won the St Leger in taking style. Doubts about his staying the trip seemed foolish as he ran all the way to the line with an exemplary attitude. He will be one to look out for next season, although John Gosden is adamant that one and a half miles is the horse's trip. Honolulu (13/8 favourite) finished third.
Raincoat (12/1) raced wide and prominent for much of the race; the game was up three out, the horse being eased a furlong from home to finish last. Richard Hughes didn't get the necessary cover early doors - the horse is better than this.
For the record 4/7 shot Yeats won the Irish St Leger as expected.

Anonymous said...

You're not a bad judge, PG. I went for an O'Brien double at Doncaster and the Curragh, but picking Yeats for the Irish St Leger didn't require any great skill or insight.

GeeDee said...

Thanks for the kind words, Tom; my normal level of performance will be resumed in due course :-)
Did you feel Yeats' victory was a little laboured? For a fraction of a second I thought he wasn't going past Scorpion. In the brief thirty seconds airtime before the off, Francome told viewers the horse had been sweating in the preliminaries. For me, this performance raised concerns about The Melbourne Cup.