Dettori picks Coronet for St Leger
Frankie Dettori’s attempt to win a sixth William Hill St Leger at Doncaster tomorrow will be on board Coronet rather than the shorterpriced Stradivarius, her Goodwood Cup-winning stable companion, who will now be ridden by James Doyle.
That was the main news ahead of the oldest Classic, for which 11 horses stood their ground.
As they have been all week, Aidan O’brien’s Irish Derby winner Capri and Sir Michael Stoute’s impressive Gordon Stakes victor Crystal Ocean are vying for favouritism.
Dettori, who has not ridden either Coronet or Stradivarius in a race since May, said he based his decision on the ground.
Speaking to BBC radio, he said: “It was a hard choice. She has finished every race strong and has been racing in Group Ones all year.
“He’s won over two miles but his best form is on top of the ground and, with showers around, it is not going to dry. I left it to the last minute. It’s a good Leger – all the good stayers are in it.”
Andrea Atzeni, who has won two of the past three Legers and the past four Racing Post Trophies, continued his love affair with Doncaster when Laugh A Minute won yesterday’s Weatherbys Racing Bank £300,000 Two-year-old Stakes at 12-1. The jockey will don the same silks on Defoe in the St Leger. Atzeni completed a quickfire double aboard 11-4 chance Euginio in the following four-runner handicap.
Today’s action centres around the Doncaster Cup, one of the season’s great staying races. Montaly took Andrew Balding through the £2million-in-a-season barrier when he won the Lonsdale Cup at York last month and the six-yearold, who has been thriving this year on soft ground, can defy a 3lb penalty.
Karl Burke, who has a terrific bunch of juveniles this season, won the William Hill May Hill yesterday when Laurens got up in the last strides to beat Dark Rose Angel by a head. The trainer should go close in the Wainwrights Flying Childers today with Havana Grey.