THIS season’s leading trainer, John Gosden, aims to have three runners in the Ladbrokes St Leger next month as he looks to win the world’s oldest Classic for a fifth time.
The Newmarket handler is set to call on Derby third Romsdal, March Stakes winner Forever Now and also Marzocco for the Doncaster showpiece on September 13 in a bid to supplement his previous triumphs with Shantou, Lucarno, Arctic Cosmos and Masked Marvel.
“We’ve got three horses in the race who all belong in it,” said Gosden.
“Romsdal ran a great race in the Derby and ran very well at Chester. He didn’t run a good race in the King George. He got done on that looser ground and spun his wheels.
“He’s a legitimate horse for the race and we’ve always had the Derby, the King George and then the Leger as his plan.
“Forever Now won very well the other day in the March Stakes at Goodwood, which is a proper trial for the Leger. He stays well, the one-mile-six and 132 yards will not bother him one bit and he’s got a grand attitude. He’s an immature horse, but he’s an improving horse and he belongs in the race.
“Marzocco was staying on again in the Voltigeur. He’s a very idle horse, very laid-back and he doesn’t seem to wake up until the race is virtually over. The plan for the moment is those three horses will run. They all have legitimate claims.”
Gosden respects the claims of Roger Varian’s ante-post favourite Kingston Hill, but there is no guarantee any horse will stay the extended mile-and-three-quarters on Town Moor.
Middleham’s Mark Johnston is three-handed with Queen’s Vase winner Hartnell, who disappointed in the Voltigeur at York last week, Coral-Eclipse third Somewhat and March Stakes second Alex My Boy.
Highland Reel, the 2014 Epsom Derby favourite, heads the 45 entries for the At The Races Champagne Stakes at Doncaster on St Leger day.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained youngster impressed in the Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.