STRADIVARIUS IN TUNE
Stradivarius has become a little bit of a forgotten horse in the William Hill St Leger, but he can make his presence firmly felt at Doncaster by lifting the final British Classic of the year tomorrow.
John Gosden’s charge has been on a stellar trajectory this year, winning off a mark of 78 at Beverley before going on to add a Royal Ascot triumph and Group One honours.
He lines up at Doncaster on a rating of 116, which does give him a bit to find with Irish Derby hero Capri, but it was hard not to have been impressed by his staying credentials as he just edged out Gold Cup hero Big Orange in the Goodwood Cup last time.
Admittedly, he had a chunky pull in the weights that day, but the way Stradivarius picked up from off the pace certainly caught the eye and he clearly has the heart for a fight after outbattling one of the toughest horses in training.
While that victory came over two miles, Stradivarius’s previous success in Royal Ascot’s Queen’s Vase shows a mile and six furlongs holds few fears as he picked off the reopposing Count Octave in the final furlong, with possibly a little more in reserve than the neck verdict suggests.
Gosden set his sights on this race some time ago with Stradivarius and, given the Newmarket handler has won three of the last 10 renewals, he obviously knows a Leger candidate when he sees one.
Any drying of the Doncaster ground would be in his favour, but Stradivarius nevertheless makes plenty of appeal.
Dream Today made quite an impression when winning the Convivial Maiden at York last month and he can secure a quick double in the Howcroft Industrial Supplies Champagne Stakes, despite the swift and sizeable step up to Group Two company.
Martyn Meade’s Aclaim hit the crossbar at Group One level in France last time but can finally get his head in front in the Alan Wood Plumbing And Heating Park Stakes.