FRANKIE DETTORI has been handed an outstanding chance to add to his tally of St Leger winners after it was confirmed that ante-post favourite Logician is an intended runner at Doncaster next week.
The unbeaten grey, trained by John Gosden, has won all four starts this season – including an eyecatching win in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York’s prestigious Ebor festival.
Thirteen horses have completed the Voltigeur and Leger double, the most recent being the Gosden-trained and Jimmy Fortune-ridden Lucarno in 2007, and Logician is already expected to add to this tally.
Though the colt has yet to reach his peak, he was running on at York in a manner which suggests that he will take the extended St Leger trip of one mile six furlongs in his stride on Saturday week.
In the aftermath of the York win, the aforementioned Gosden stopped short of committing his charge to the Town Moor showpiece, saying: “We’ll see how he is in the next 10 days before we make any decision as to where he goes next.”
However, speaking yesterday morning, owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah’s racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe gave the green light. “Logician is an intended runner in the St Leger,” he confirmed.
“We’re always nervous of confirming these things straight after a race in case we didn’t get the right answer. We wanted to make sure Prince Khalid is happy and the horse is happy and that is the case. The horse is in good form.”
This is another boost to Dettori. He has already won the St Leger five times and is in the form of his life after recording 14 Group One wins in 2019 – the most recent being Enable’s sublime success in the Yorkshire Oaks.
Meanwhile Gosden’s great rival, Aidan O’Brien, has suggested Ryan Moore could stay in Britain to partner Sir Dragonet in the William Hill St Leger on what will be a busy afternoon on both sides of the Irish Sea for the Ballydoyle team.
O’Brien claimed his sixth victory in the world’s oldest Classic when Moore steered Kew Gardens home in front 12 months ago but the post-race celebrations on Town Moor did not last long.
Both O’Brien and Moore hot-footed it to Leopardstown for the opening day of Irish Champions Weekend, with Saxon Warrior narrowly beaten by the Oisin Murphy-inspired Roaring Lion in an epic finish to the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes just a few hours later.
However, Moore will be unable to do the double this year after it was announced race times for Leopardstown would be brought forward to avoid a direct clash with the All-Ireland senior football final replay on the same day, as well as helping Japanese television coverage of Champion Stakes runner Deirdre.
The changes mean the Irish Champion is now due off at 4.15pm – just 40 minutes after the big race at Doncaster.
“The jockeys are going to be a problem. We have plenty of jockeys here, but they are not going to be able to do the two,” said O’Brien.
“We always did the two, but we won’t be able to do two this time. This is the first time we can’t do the two and it doesn’t do any favours to anyone.”
Sir Dragonet, a close-up fifth in the Epsom Derby, could be joined at Doncaster by stablemate Il Paradiso who put up a career-best performance when third behind star older stayer Stradivarius in the Lonsdale Cup at York.
O’Brien added: “I don’t know where Ryan will go. It wouldn’t surprise me if he would like to go to the St Leger.
“I will leave it to him to decide what he rides, but I’d imagine it might be him (Sir Dragonet),” he added.
Ten Sovereigns could sidestep Saturday’s Sprint Cup at Haydock on account of the rain-softened ground.
After being a beaten favourite in both the 2000 Guineas and the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, Aidan O’Brien’s colt belatedly delivered on his juvenile promise with a dominant display in the July Cup at Newmarket.
The colt could finish only sixth to Battaash in the Nunthorpe at York, but looked set to return to six furlongs in this weekend’s Group One. “He is a real fast ground daisy cutter. If he doesn’t run, Fairyland might run instead. That’s what we are thinking at the moment,” said the trainer.