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ST LEGER: Capri leads Aidan O'Brien's Leger bid
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Farming Classifieds
ST LEGER: Capri leads Aidan O'Brien's Leger bid
on 11 September 2017
Capri and the Sir Michael Stoute trained Crystal Ocean head the market for Britain's oldest classic

IRISH Derby hero Capri is one of six runners still entered for Aidan O'Brien in the William Hill St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday.

The grey Galileo colt looks likely to lead a three-strong team and appears the Ballydoyle handler's biggest hope, having been given a break since he defeated Cracksman at the Curragh at the start of July.

O'Brien has also left in Abyssinian, Air Supremacy, Douglas Macarthur, The Anvil and Venice Beach, but that squad is likely to be trimmed down at the final declaration stage on Thursday.

Coolmore UK representative Kevin Buckley told At The Races: "The St Leger has a very high standing at Ballydoyle - it's the final Classic and we want to win it. I'm getting the vibe we'll run three - Capri, Venice Beach and Douglas Macarthur."

The Ballydoyle handler first won the Doncaster classic with Milan in 2001 and since added to his tally with Brian Boru (2003), Scorpion (2005) and Leading Light (2013).

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Crystal Ocean is Challenging Capri for favouritism. The son of Sea The Stars was placed in the Dante at York and the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot before he impressed in last month's Gordon Stakes at Goodwood. Jim Crowley has been booked to partner Crystal Ocean.

Stoute's assistant James Horton said: "We were very pleased with Goodwood and we're very pleased with where he is now. He's still a big, weak, frame of a horse who we think is going to be a better horse next year. He won on soft ground at Goodwood, but stepping up against a better class of opposition, the better the ground the better for him."

John Gosden, who has claimed the St Leger four times, is set to saddle Goodwood Cup winner Stradivarius. Gosden has also left in Coronet, who is the only filly in a potential field of 13 runners.

The grey daughter of Dubawi was last seen chasing home esteemed stablemate Enable in the Yorkshire Oaks.

Speaking at a St Leger press event, Gosden's wife Rachel Hood said: "The plan is to run both Stradivarius and Coronet. We're not worried about the ground for her (Coronet). I think she's very ready for the race."

Defoe has won his last four starts for Roger Varian and steps up to Group 1 level for the first time.

Raheen House is also a major contender for Brian Meehan, having won the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket in July.

Trainer Brian Meehan said: "Raheen House is a knockout price at 12-1 but it's a massively open St Leger and his preparation has been good."

Andrew Balding's Count Octave and the Joseph O'Brien-trained Rekindling were also left in contention at the confirmation stage.

The official going at Doncaster on Monday was soft, heavy in places, but clerk of the course Roderick Duncan is expecting predominantly dry weather in the second part of the week.


Capri 3/1, Crystal Ocean 7/2, Defoe 5/1, Stradivarius 5/1, Coronet 8/1, Raheen House 10/1, Rekindling 10/1, Venice Beach 10/1

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