Stradivarius ready to call the tune in Classic
length and a half in the style of a horse who will stay any trip.
“It’s not like driving a car around the M25,” Elsworth said. “You can’t just pull out and go. They’ve got to dig deep and work hard. There’s not a lot of him and it’s quite a big call to run a three-year-old over two-and-a-quarter miles, but he’s tough. You’ll hear more from him next year.”
Heartache, the Queen Mary winner at Royal Ascot, came out on top with something to spare in her duel with Havana Grey in the Flying Childers Stakes and could now have one more run this season in the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes.
“That’s very much on the cards,” Clive Cox, Heartache’s trainer, said. “We’ve got nothing to lose and the way she’s developed and grown, she’s an awfully nice filly for next year. She’d be a Commonwealth Cup filly if she gets six furlongs.” One of the most competitive fields for many years will go to post for the St Leger, the final Classic of the season at Doncaster today and Frankie Dettori’s decision to reject Stradivarius, the Goodwood Cup winner, in favour of Coronet has added another twist to an already wide-open betting market.
It opens an opportunity for backers too, as Stradivarius (3.35) has drifted to a very attractive price. There was no fluke at all about his Goodwood defeat of the admirable Big Orange. He has class as well as deep reserves of stamina and a top-notch pilot in James Doyle.
Crystal Ocean and the Aidan O’Brientrained Capri also have solid credentials but their odds reflect their chance, and Stradivarius, one of only two Group One winners in the field, is the clear value bet at around 8-1.
Trainer Dean Ivory took the Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood with the hardy Lancelot Du Lac and is double-handed as he tries to land another of the season’s top sprint handicaps. Lancelot Du Lac and Frankie Dettori should make a bold bid from stall two but preference this time is for Stake Acclaim. The five-year-old finished third at Windsor last time in a race that has produced four subsequent winners already. Stake Acclaim can underline the strength of that form again today.
was not up to Group Two standard in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot but ran out a convincing winner when returned to lesser company at Pontefract last time. He should prove very difficult to peg back from his good draw near the rail.
has clearly not been an easy horse to train but he put up one of the best performances to finish third in the Ormonde Stakes at the big May meeting here and will appreciate the ease in the ground following the recent rain. Across The Stars would be a big player on his best form but his win in the King Edward VII at Royal Ascot last summer seems a long time ago.
Doncaster 3.00 A race that is all about potential rather than proven form, and Dream Today looks worth backing to take the step up in class in his stride from his debut. The maiden race he won at York was the most valuable race of its type in the Flat racing calendar and the third horse home that day, Laugh A Minute, went and won the valuable sales race here at the Leger meeting on Thursday.
Chester 3.15 The draw has been very kind to Dan Troop, who is the form horse in the race in any case based on his seven-length win over track and trip last time out. He is 13lb higher but goes well for 7lb-claimer Connor Murtagh and should have a clear run around the famously tight Roodeye track from the inside in box one.
Doncaster 1.50 Chester 2.05 Viscount Loftus Chester 2.40 Duretto