The Group Two Great Voltigeur Stakes is often one of the leading trials for the Ladbrokes St Leger and this year’s renewal, staged at York last week, held plenty of clues for the final Classic, which takes places at Doncaster next month were I am working for the Racecourse in most of the corporate boxes. What great news that Yarmouth is back in the diary I have missed my work on the East-coast course with my paddock views and hospitality work. I must congratulate the Don with his hat pin 50/1 winner at York he must be the only tipster in the land who won on the week because all the good judges I talk to every day done there B…… at the meeting.
Storm The Stars survived a stewards’ enquiry to score by half a length from Bondi Beach and the duo head the ante-post market for the Ladbrokes St Leger. Ladbrokes make Storm The Stars the 4/1 favourite, with Bondi Beach next in the betting at 7/1.
Other horses who contested the Great Voltigeuer Stakes and hold entries in the Ladbrokes St Leger are the third home Giovanni Canaletto,Medrano (fifth), Balios (sixth) and Aloft (seventh).
Medrano, trained not far from Doncaster at Averham Park in Nottinghamshire by David Brown, was uncharacteristically keen in the Great Voltigeur Stakes, leading the field until approaching the three-furlong pole before fading into fifth.
The son of Archipenko has previously shown a good level of form, finishing a staying-on fourth in the Group Three Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and scoring an impressive six-length victory in the Listed Glasgow Stakes at Hamilton Park on July 17. Earlier in the year, he was third to Storm The Stars in a Listed contest at Goodwood and also occupied the same finishing position in the Group Three Chester Vase.
Brown believes there were valid excuses for Medrano’s performance at York and is still keen to run the colt in the world’s oldest Classic.
He said: “Medrano is still being aimed at the Ladbrokes St Leger.”
“All I can say in regard to his York performance, is that he seemed to get lit up by something before the race.”
“Maybe it was walking down to the start, I am not sure, but it was not like him as he is usually slowly away and you can position him where you want.”
“He was like a sprinter in the race at York and then he got a bump from one of Aidan O’Brien’s horses – after that there was no chance.”
“I think you have to draw a line under that performance. I think he should be suited by the step up in trip at Doncaster – he just doesn’t need to go a million miles an hour!”
“The plan is to go straight to Doncaster now. Hopefully, Fergal Lynch will be back on him in the Ladbrokes St Leger and we can just drop him in. His mother won over a mile and three quarters so you would have every hope he would get the trip.”
Hugo Palmer won the Group Irish Oaks at the Curragh on July 18 and went down by a neck when runner-up to Pleascach in the Yorkshire Oaks. She remains engaged in the Ladbrokes St Leger along with Jack Naylor and Easter, who were sixth and ninth respectively in the Group One York contest.
I have backed Dutch Connection E/W at 5/1 with Hills for the Celebration Mile at Goodwood on Saturday.
Yours in sport.
Back Next Thursday.
Kevan Minter – The Colonel.