James Doyle aims to cap dream season with St Leger glory
Trainer John Gosden has an excellent recent record in the St Leger having won it in 2007 with Lucano, 2010 with Arctic Cosmos and 2011 with Masked Marvel. Shantou had given him his first victory in the race back in 1996 and Excess Knowledge looks to have every chance of giving him a fifth Leger success.
The son of Monsun won on his debut as a two-year-old but always looked likely to make a better three-year-old and has been brought along slowly this season. He did not reappear until Sandown in July when he ran on strongly over a mile and a quarter to finish third to Mandour and Afsare.
On his next start he was stepped up to a mile and a half for the first time but endured a troubled passage before finishing well in second behind Cap O’Rushes. It will be a major surprise if he does not reverse the placings with that horse on Saturday.
David Wachman is leaving it as late as possible before deciding whether Galileo Rock will line up here or in Ireland on Sunday. If he is diverted to the Curragh, the main threat could come from Aidan O’Brien’s lightly raced Foundry.
The son of Galileo was having only his second career start when second in the Great Voltigeur Stakes and has the assistance of Ryan Moore in the saddle. Although he never looked likely to get to Telescope, he ran on in determined fashion and may have more scope for improvement than stable companion Leading Light.
The Champagne Stakes at 2.05 could go the way of Godolphin’s Outstrip who ran a fine race when second to Toormore at Goodwood. He looked sure to collect when kicking clear inside the two furlong market but was just touched off by the late flourish of Richard Hannon’s colt.
The Great Gatsbsy was narrowly beaten by Treaty Of Paris at York whilst Hannon relies on Newmarket July Stakes winner Anjaal. The Park Stakes at 3.15 could feature a rematch between Aljamaaheer and Gregorian, second and third in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Roger Varian will not be afraid to take out Aljamaaheer if he feels that the going is too soft whilst the more rain the better for Irish challenger Viztoria. Godolphin enjoyed double success on Friday and will be hoping that Lockwood can continue his progress following a fluent victory at Goodwood.
Selections: 2.05 Outstrip (NAP), 2.40 Bogart, 3.15 Gregorian, 3.50 Excess Knowledge (nb), 4.25 Bishop Roko, 5.00 Heskin, 6.05 Ascription