entries for the Ladbrokes St Leger, the world’s oldest Classic, close on Tuesday and the field for the Doncaster showpiece race is set to be headed by Mr Singh from the in-form John Gosden stable.
Mr Singh laid out his credentials for the 239th renewal of the St Leger, which takes place on September 12, with a decisive front-running victory under Frankie Dettori in an informative renewal of Newmarket’s Bahrain Trophy.
Gosden’s 2011 Ladbrokes St Leger victor Masked Marvel went straight to Doncaster after winning the Bahrain Trophy and put up a brilliant performance to beat Brown Panther by three lengths in a course record time of 3m 0.44s.
Mr Singh’s owner/breeder Lady Bamford also captured the Bahrain Trophy with Shantaram (2012) and Feel Like Dancing (2013), and saw her colours carried into sixth by Forever Now in last year’s St Leger.
Hugo Lascelles, racing manager for Lady Bamford, said: “Lady Bamford has had some nice staying three-year-olds recently and I feel Mr Singh has more improvement left in him than them at this stage.
“We liked the performance at Newmarket. He looked well, quickened well and pretty much dominated the race from start to finish. He has come out of it well and will go straight to the Ladbrokes St Leger now. He will be stepping up in trip but that won’t be a problem.”
Mr Singh, by High Chaparral out of Danehill mare Sundari, has only run five times so far during his career and finished second in the Group Two King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last month. Gosden – also responsible for this year’s horse of the year, Golden Horn – has won the Ladbrokes St Leger four times in all, with Shantou (1996), Lucarno (2007) and Arctic Cosmos (2010) besides Masked Marvel.
The ante-post favourite is Storm The Stars.
Trained by William Haggas, the colt has been placed in both the Epsom and Irish Derbies.
Excessable could be the pick of Great Habton trainer Tim Easterby’s three runners as he bids to win the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury for a fourth time.
“His form got a boost the other day at York when the horse who beat him at Beverley (Lydia’s Place), won again and we were giving her lumps of weight,” said Easterby, whose past winners are Flanders (1998), Good Girl (2001) and Body And Soul (2012).
“This has been the plan with him since day one, so let’s hope it comes off. Mininggold is a nice, big filly who shows plenty of speed. She might just lack a touch of class to win a race like this but she’ll run well. Midnight Malibu won last time and could run into a place. They’ve all got bits of chances, but Excessable is the main one.”
Meanwhile, Leyburn-based Karl Burke runs Moondyne Joe, winner of his only race at Carlisle, and he expects the horse to improve. “He has sharpened up for the run as many of ours do,” said the trainer.