Turf Talk: Stradivarius primed to see off O’Brien string of St Leger hopefuls

St Leger contender, Stradivarius. PIC: John Walton/PA Wire
St Leger contender, Stradivarius. PIC: John Walton/PA Wire
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Capri heads a field of 11 for tomorrow’s William Hill St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday.

The grey son of Galileo took the coveted scalp of Cracksman in the Irish Derby but missed his intended prep race in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York last month after suffering a slight setback.

Stradivarius trainer, John Gosden. PIC: Tim Goode/PA Wire

Stradivarius trainer, John Gosden. PIC: Tim Goode/PA Wire

Capri spearheads a four-strong team trained by Aidan O’Brien, whose string comprises of Venice Beach, Douglas Macarthur and The Anvil. The Ballydoyle handler goes to Doncaster in search of a fifth success in the world’s oldest Classic.

O’Brien’s son, Joseph, saddles Rekindling just four years after steering Leading Light to Leger glory as a jockey.

Cracksman’s trainer John Gosden has four Leger wins to his name and is two-handed this time with Stradivarius and Coronet.

Sir Michael Stoute has a leading contender in Crystal Ocean, who warmed up for his big day with victory in the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

Trainers Joseph and Aidan O' Brien. PIC: Julian Herbert/PA Wire

Trainers Joseph and Aidan O' Brien. PIC: Julian Herbert/PA Wire

Roger Varian has a fascinating candidate in the progressive Defoe, winner of all his four starts this season, while Brian Meehan is expecting a big run from Bahrain Trophy scorer Raheen House.

Count Octave, trained by Andrew Balding, completes the line-up.

The two withdrawals at the 48-hour final declaration stage were Abyssinian and Air Supremacy, both from the O’Brien stable.

Hey Gaman, game winner of the Listed Denford Stakes at Newbury, is among eight two-year-olds declared for the Champagne Stakes.

Dream Today also takes the leap into Group Two company straight after making an impressive winning debut in the Convivial Maiden Stakes at York.

And last year’s winner Breton Rock faces seven rivals in the Park Stakes. David Simcock’s charge claimed the Group Two prize by a short head 12 months ago.

SOBOT’S SELECTIONS

DONCASTER: 1.50 Stake Acclaim, 2.25 Aclaim, 3.00 Dream Today (next best), 3.35 STRADIVARIUS (NAP), 4.10 Westerland, 4.45 Battered (treble), 5.55 Game Starter.

CHESTER: 1.30 Desert Ace, 2.05 Viscount Loftus, 2.40 My Reward, 3.15 Dan Troop, 3.50 Picture No Sound, 4.25 Thistimenextyear, 5.00 West Drive.

LINGFIELD: 1.55 Miss Inga Sock, 2.30 Our Cilla, 3.05 Give And Take, 3.40 Dream Of Dreams, 4.15 Pepita, 4.50 Hajjam, 5.25 Western Safari, 6.00 Rattle On.

MUSSELBURGH: 2.55 Hypnotic Dancer, 3.30 Gamesters Icon, 4.05 Set In Stone, 4.40 Pantera Negra, 5.15 Amelia Dream, 5.45 Red Forever, 6.15 Cosmic Sky, 6.45 State Residence.

Intellect ridden by Ryan Moore at Newbury in July. PIC: John Walton/PA Wire

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Trainer Sir Michael Stoute. PIC: Tim Goode/PA Wire

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