By James Burn
Sunday: 3.55 Doncaster
Prix Cazoo St Léger (Group 1) | 1m6½p | 3 year old colts and fillies | ITV4/SKY
Godolphin and Charlie Appleby started this season with a classic blow through Coroebus in the 2000 Guineas, but his death at the Mill last week and Newmarket’s disappointing efforts as second Native Trail since may have tarnished the campaign.
However, in St Leger’s favorite New London, the royal blue operation is likely to be back in the big time.
Considered a Derby prospect at one point, he was a disappointment in the Chester Vase but won the Goodwood Gordon Stakes in convincing fashion last time out.
Appleby, who won the St Leger with Hurricane Lane last season, said: “We’re not lacking in confidence with the trip.
“The only blip he had was in the Chester vase and I don’t think it was the trip and the ground. He had a good, solid run in his first start at the Craven meeting and that was only three weeks later – it’s better fresh.
“That’s why I didn’t manage it from the Gordon, I always said we wanted to get into that freshness.”
Haskoy ‘sure to stay’
York winner Haskoy is unbeaten in her two starts and has done enough to convince her connections to complete her for £50,000.
Juddmonte’s line is trained by Ralph Beckett, who said: “I don’t remember ever having a filly that could do what she did in such a short time. She didn’t even get here until last week. in May because she was very immature.”
Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
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Haskoy: the filly defied inexperience to win at York last time out
Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
The last filly to win the St Leger was the 2015 heroine Simple Verse, who was also trained by Beckett.
Speaking as part of a promotion for the Qipco British Champions Series, he said: “I don’t remember having a filly with enough natural awareness to do what she did at York when only her second start. She had never even been on the grass before, except for stall practice at home.
“I’d be surprised if she hadn’t made the trip, because she’s by Golden Horn from a Nathaniel mare who raced in the Oaks, so the pedigree is all about endurance.”
What they say
Roger Varian, trainer of Eldar Eldarov
I think it’s going to be a test of endurance as they got more rain after racing there on Thursday and the jockeys riding there were saying it was on the soft side of good to soft. We haven’t had drying conditions since but he has proven his endurance and I think he will do well on the pitch as he would rather have it soft than firm. He won in soft at Nottingham last year, but he hasn’t raced on it since. He goes there in good shape and with a decent cry.
Paddy Twomey, trainer of French Claim
He is in great shape. He has trained very well since the Irish Derby. I think he will love the track and the trip, and the rain that fell will only help him. It has settled in well and I’m really looking forward to racing.
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Marco Botti, Giavellotto’s coach
Marco Botti, coach of Giavellotto
He has improved very well in each race and remains solid. On the sides it has a few pounds to find but as long as the ground doesn’t get heavy it should be fine. He’s not a complete outsider and we always thought he would be a Group horse.
George Boughey, coach of Hoo Ya Mal
I am delighted with his condition and couldn’t be happier. I don’t think easier terrain will be a problem, although it looked like it was getting quite choppy at the end of the race on Thursday. Having two days off can mean it’s cooler, so there are no excuses. I think his form is pretty good and we weren’t far behind favorite New London in the Gordon Stakes when Ryan [Moore] lost his stick. It’s a different trip now and I was thrilled with this race, but Ryan thought he could have raced better. He is physically better now and mentally he has also advanced.
Aidan O’Brien, coach of Emily Dickinson
She seems to be in good shape and we were happy with her last race at Goodwood. It was a similar distance to this race and it seemed like she could see the trip well there.
Ivan Furtado, trainer of Lizzie Jean
We know how important progression is, but she’s a pretty filly that hasn’t done anything wrong and we think she’s pretty good. She won’t dishonor herself and I think the ground should be good. We are convinced that it will remain the trip. She has never run on grass, but that’s not a problem because she’s a filly that moves well. I’ll be thrilled if she’s in the top six, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she does a little better than that.
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‘Forget Chester blip’ – Appleby betting on fresh New London to shine at St Leger | Horse racing news