YORKSHIRE owner Sir Robert Ogden, one of the great names of National Hunt racing, has given the all-clear for Thomas Chippendale to seek Classic glory in next week’s Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster.
The son of Dansili, trained by Frankel’s cancer-stricken handler Sir Henry Cecil, won the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot before finishing only fifth of six behind Thought Worthy – John Gosden’s leading St Leger contender – in the Great Voltigeur Stakes last month.
However, connections feel the York race was not run to suit and expect a better display at Doncaster tomorrow week, although they concede it will be a tall order to defeat Aidan O’Brien’s Triple Crown-seeking Camelot.
“Thomas Chippendale, we are pretty certain, will be a declared runner for the St Leger,” said the owner’s racing manager, Barry Simpson.
“Sir Robert being a Yorkshireman would very much love to win the St Leger. Our view was that things didn’t run right for us in the Voltigeur and it probably wasn’t a true test, but if you take the favourite out of the race we go in there with a chance.
“Camelot will be difficult for any horse to beat, but I don’t think we have got any concerns about staying the trip.”
David Lanigan will wait until next week before deciding whether Main Sequence, runner-up to Camelot in the Derby and then second to Thought Worthy at York, will race at Doncaster. The gutsy three-year-old holds an alternative engagement at Longchamp the following day.
Darley July Cup winner Mayson will miss tomorrow’s Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock because of a dirty scope.
Richard Fahey admitted it was a blow having to rule the four-year-old out of the six-furlong Group One, with the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp now a possible target. “He just didn’t scope right so we can’t take a chance. It’s disappointing for everyone, but I suppose that’s how it goes sometimes,” said the Malton trainer.
Fahey will instead saddle Majestic Myles, while his rival Rydedale trainer Tim Easterby saddles Confessional.
Es Que Love and Hitchens, trained by Mark Johnston and David Barron respectively, complete a strong Yorkshire contingent with Bedale jockey Graham Lee on Stewards’ Cup winner Hawkeyethenoo.
The one to beat is Australian mare Ortensia, a spectacular winner of York’s Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes.
She will retain her partnership with red-hot William Buick – he has decided that there is sufficient time to race at Haydock and then fly by helicopter to Leopardstown to partner Eclipse victor Nathaniel in the Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes just over two hours later.