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Leger field starting to take shape as Logician and Sir Dragonet confirmed for season’s final Classic

Jonathan Vine 5 Sep 2019
Logician (right) bounds clear to win the Great Voltigeur Stakes.

The field for this year’s final Classic is starting to take shape, after connections of leading contenders, Logician and Sir Dragonet confirmed they would both be running at Doncaster.

The stand-out performer in the various trials for the St Leger was undoubtedly Logician. John Gosden’s grey carried an unbeaten record into the Great Voltigeur at York’s Ebor Festival and comfortably held market rival, Constantinople at arm’s length to secure a first pattern-race victory.

There was little doubt as to whether Logician would head to Doncaster after that Group Two victory, so there was no surprise when Teddy Grimthorpe - racing manager for owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah - came out and confirmed his colt’s Classic participation at the start of the week.

“Logician is an intended runner in the St Leger." Grimthorpe revealed. "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.”

Logician’s principle rival in the market is now Sir Dragonet, despite an underwhelming return to action in the Royal Whip Stakes at the Curragh. Making his first appearance since finishing fifth as the favourite in the Epsom Derby, Sir Dragonet went off as the 4/7 favourite to return with a win. Ryan Moore, however, was left powerless in the saddle, as Sir Dragonet failed to pick up the bit from the rear, trailing over the line a disappointing fourth.

"He's had a break and the plan was always to go to the Curragh, we thought we'd start there." Aidan O'Brien told the Racing Post on Wednesday. 

"He was just ready to start and he got a little bit tired, which he was entitled to do. I was being very careful and very gentle with him. He's a very decent horse."
"He's never run over anything less than a mile and a half other than last time and we started him at a mile and a half, so there's a good chance he will get the trip, but he's not short of pace."

 "We have been very happy with him since the Curragh, so it will be exciting to see how he runs (In the St Leger)."

Stablemate, Il Paradiso came in for some St Leger support after York, where he ran a fine race to place third behind Stradivarius and Dee Ex Bee in the Lonsdale Cup. The master of Ballydoyle also confirmed Il Paradiso would join Sir Dragonet at Doncaster and the riding tactics for both are likely to be completely different.

"He looks like a horse who will get the Gold Cup trip but I think he will be happy enough," O'Brien continued. "He will go forward, he doesn't mind that.”

"We will be riding him like we're sure that he will stay and we will take our time with Sir Dragonet."

Japan, the former ante-post favourite for the St Leger, will not head to Doncaster, with a seismic clash with Enable in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in the pipeline for O’Brien’s Juddmonte International winner. Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck will not make an appearance at Doncaster. Neither will Epsom fourth Broome – who has been sold to Japanese owners – nor Constantinople, who’s drift down the betting in recent days suggests the Irish version of the St Leger will be his primary objective.

Logician comfortably leads the way in the St Leger betting with race sponsors William Hill, who list John Gosden’s charge as the 5/4 favourite. Sir Dragonet is their 7/2 second favourite, with Il Paradiso a general 6/1 shot.

Spanish Mission’s American owners have decided to bring their Bahrain Trophy winner over to US soil for the first time to bid for Group One glory this weekend, instead of a run in the Leger. The gap he’s left in the betting has been filled by Sir Ron Priestley and Technician – winners of two trials races at Goodwood and Newbury – who’ve been backed in to 11/1 and 14/1 respectively.

*Current St Leger (14/9/19 Doncaster) betting with William Hill*
5/4 Logician, 7/2 Sir Dragonet, 6/1 Il Paradiso, 11/1 Sir Ron Priestley, 14/1 Technician, 16/1 Buckhurst, Search For A Song, 20/1 Moonlight Spirit, 25/1 Bar

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*Terms & Conditions apply. Gamble Responsibly. 18+.

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Leger field starting to take shape as Logician and Sir Dragonet confirmed for season’s final Classic

The field for this year’s final Classic is starting to take shape, after connections of leading contenders, Logician and Sir Dragonet confirmed they would both be running at Doncaster on Saturday 14th September

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