The Rab Havlin Blog – Doncaster St Leger Meeting – Day Four Special - (2022)
Leicester, Kempton, Chepstow, Sandown and Salisbury all done and dusted, Chester to come for me today as I head to the north west for a book of four good rides, including Ben Vrackie in the listed Stand Cup Stakes at 2.05pm.
It’s been a busy week and one where I’ve amassed a mile or two into the bargain, but it was great to get through the half century for the season on Royal Line last Saturday, and a ‘cross the card’ treble at Sandown and Salisbury yesterday was an obvious highlight. I’ve always maintained I don’t mind going anywhere to ride good horses and try and bag a winner, and yesterday just underlined that.
My intentional policy of being a bit more selective and trying to go for quality over quantity has left me fresher and sharper, meaning there’s stacks to look forward to as we steam into the final stage of the season.
The boss, John Gosden, continues to supply me with lots of great ammunition, and that combined with support from a number of other good stables leaves me in a fortunate position, getting to ride talented horses for some great people.
That extends to what I ride at home and brings me neatly on to today’s big race in England, the St Leger (3.35pm).
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The extended mile and three quarter Doncaster Classic is a massive prize and one that down the years has been kind to our stable. Mr Gosden last won it in 2011 with Masked Marvel, the most recent of his four Leger victories so far.
I’m obviously biased, but the one I’d love to be riding in this year’s race is our runner, Logician.
By the mighty Frankel out of a Daylami mare, I’ve spoken a lot about him in my FansBet blog previously, especially before his victory in the Great Voltigeur last month. I’ve had the enjoyable job of riding Logician out all this week and he feels in great order, although a little ease in the ground would ideally be to his liking.
If it stays quick I don’t think it’ll stop him though. He’s a very powerful horse who appears to still be on the improve, and maybe he’s got a bit more under the bonnet than people give him credit for. Don’t be shocked to see him back at a mile and a quarter in 2020 as he’s blessed with plenty of speed to go with his good looks and stamina.
On paper I’d suggest Sir Dragonet is the biggest threat in today’s race, but Frankie has a superb record in the Leger and fingers crossed Logician can give him a sixth career win in the race.
In-between races at Chester my colleagues in the weighing room will definitely see me cheering on Azano on the television in Doncaster’s Group 2 Park Stakes (2.25pm).
A talented colt who I know well after winning on him at Yarmouth in 2018, he then gave me a Group 3 success at Chantilly in June. I’d love to see him run a massive race here under Frankie, but unless some rain materialises he might struggle to show his best.
With that in mind, one of the other three year olds in the race, Andrew Balding’s Shine So Bright, looks the one to beat.
By the same sire as Azano, this Oasis Dream colt is lightly raced this year and ran really well to be sixth in the 2,000 Guineas, cutting out much of the running up the stands’ rail.
Before that he won Newmarket’s Free Handicap first time out, and has since backed that up with a very gritty victory, beating Laurens in a tight finish in the Group 2 City Of York Stakes.
He looks an uncomplicated ride and might well have the edge with conditions in his favour.
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