St. Leger Competition | Desert Hero Eyes Royal Glory

St Leger, Desert Crown, Royal

So we’re below method for St. Leger week at Doncaster.

As flat racing competition season involves a conclusion, Saturday’s principal occasion sees the ultimate traditional of 2023, the St. Leger Stakes.

Now approaching its a hundred and fiftieth anniversary, the greats of thoroughbred racing boast wins on this race; Nijinsky, Conduit and final 12 months, Eldar Eldarov took the successful put up.

Nevertheless, simply as soon as within the post-war period has a royal winner been topped within the form of Dunfermline method, method again when Willie Carson rode to glory in 1977.

Some 46 years on, may Desert Hero be about to vary all that?

Ascot majesty

Winding again the clock three months to a baked Royal Ascot, one of many highlights of the week noticed Desert Hero and Valiant King full a well-known royal 1-2 within the King George V Stakes.

The primary Royal winner for the reason that passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the win was equally particular with King Charles in attendance.

Royal winner at #RoyalAscot! Desert Hero wins the King George V for King Charles, Queen Camilla, @TomMarquand and William Haggas! @Ascot

— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) June 22, 2023

Having backed up a memorable Royal meet with the Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Superb Goodwood final month, Desert Hero now makes the step up in each class and journey.

Not solely will the St. Leger be the colt’s first Group 1 outing, the 3yo travels over 1m4f for for the primary time.

This actually is a litmus take a look at for the 3yo, however having received three of the final 4 races since October, Desert Hero has actual possibilities with Tom Marquand on board.


A traditional Dettori swansong?

Standing in the way in which of what can be a momentous win for coach William Haggas, lies a sure Frankie Dettori.

Broadly anticipated to leap on Gregory for the Leger, it’s Arrest who will get the nod, maybe on account of anticipated tackier floor in Donny this weekend.

Regardless, that is the veteran’s ultimate competition look after a storied 35-year profession, and Dettori has already loved Group 1 and classics success this 12 months.

After yet another 2000 Guineas winner in his former adopted residence of Newmarket on Chaldean, victory adopted within the form of Braveness Mon Ami within the Ascot Gold Cup.

Dettori was denied a Derby farewell in flaming June, however additional Group 1 success got here within the Queens Vase – on the shunned Gregory.

Drawing an elite clean at Superb Goodwood, the Italian once more stormed again to win the Juddmonte on Mostahdaf.

Searching for a outstanding twenty fourth winner on Saturday, Dettori most lately tasted St. Leger victory with Logician 4 years again.


The pretenders

Come late Saturday afternoon, the 2023 version of the classics might be written, however who will etch their title into the ultimate chapter?

Mawj, Soul Sister, Auguste Rodin adopted within the footsteps of Chaldean with a traditional win and if Arrest obliges additionally, Dettori may have bagged three classics as his ultimate swansong.

In current days, Aidan O’Brien has seen a Steady 11/4 antepost transfer for his sturdy hope, however is presently again to round 4/1.

Winner of the Voltigeur at Ebor, the colt additionally boasts a runner-up from the King Edward Stakes in June.

Maybe going in opposition to him would be the floor – unlikely to something near his 4 outings this time period – however with that stated, Steady does have a French win within the moist to fall again on.

O’Brien’s different three within the race, Tower of London, Alexandroupolis and Denmark, though friendless within the markets, may all see nibbles.

While the King of Ballydoyle has 4 entries, John and Thady Gosden have two others possibilities, and a scorned Gregory may need a factor to say with Kieran Shoemark in tow.

Certainly, the 3yo’s solely loss in 4 was final day out, albeit to Steady.

Dettori is likely to be the romantics favorite come Saturday, however wanting a poetic send-off from Doncaster for Frankie, Desert Hero would possible seize the larger headlines with victory.

Racing historical past beckons.


The Betfred St. Leger Stakes takes place over 1m6½f on Saturday at 15:35.

Author: Patrick Thomas