Great Voltigeur one-two Idaho and Housesofparliament in St Leger mix
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Andrew Dietz 12:42PM 5 SEP 2016
THE opposition to red-hot Ladbrokes St Leger favourite Idaho was whittled down on Monday with Algometer and Robin Of Navan missing from the 15 confirmations for Saturday’s Classic at Doncaster.
As well as Idaho, whose odds have shortened to 10-11 (from evens), Aidan O’Brien could field a strong team after leaving in Housesofparliament, Kellstorm, Sword Fighter, The Major General, Triplicate and Unicorn.
John Gosden, who as expected removed Wings Of Desire, has pinned his hopes on 6-1 second-favourite Muntahaa as he goes in search of a fifth victory in the world’s oldest Classic.
The absence of the David Simcock-trained Algometer, who finished seventh in the Investec Derby on his last start, means general 8-1 shots Red Verdon and Housesofparliament are the others quoted at single figures.
Shades of Camelot
Idaho beat stablemate Housesofparliament in the Betway Great Voltigeur Stakes at York last month and looks on course to be the shortest-priced St Leger favourite since the O’Brien-trained Camelot was sent off 2-5 favourite in 2012 before suffering a shock defeat to Encke.
David Williams, director of media for sponsors Ladbrokes, said: “In betting terms, the entire race is framed around Idaho and Ballydoyle running plans.
“Punters appear convinced that the Great Voltigeur was undoubtedly the stand-out performance in the build-up to the final Classic. Since his York win, support for Idaho has been unrelenting and he has now gone odds-on.”
St Leger day kicks off with the Group 2 At The Races Champagne Stakes, which could feature a clash between Group 2 winners Boynton and Mehmas.
The pair would have to give away 3lb to the likes of Capri, who has scored at Listed level for O’Brien, and the William Haggas-trained duo Rivet and Lockheed.
Godolphin trio Dutch Connection, Richard Pankhurst and Toormore head the field for the same day’s Group 2 Saint Gobain Weber Park Stakes.
O’Brien has Breeders’ Cup winner Hit It A Bomb among his three possibles, while fillies Lumiere and Nemoralia are also among the 16 confirmations.
Like the coverage of Doncaster on Thursday and Friday, Saturday’s action will be screened on More4 as Channel 4 is showing the Paralympics in Rio.