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Tuesday, July 12, 2005



BRILLIANT LADBROKES ST LEGER IN PROSPECT




Walk In The Park, the Vodafone Derby runner-up, heads the 39 entries for this year's final British Classic, the £450,000 Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday, September 10, it is revealed today Tuesday, July 12.


The three-year-old Montjeu colt, who is trained by Englishman John Hammond in France, found only Motivator too powerful at Epsom Downs in early June.

Others to have participated in the Derby and whose connections will be hoping that the longer trip at Doncaster will bring out the best in their charges include the David Wachman-trained Fracas (fourth), Hattan (sixth), trained by Clive Brittain, John Dunlop's Unfurled (seventh), the David Elsworth-trained The Geezer (eighth) and Kong (13th), also handled by Dunlop.


Walk In The Park and Fracas subsequently disappointed in the Budweiser Irish Derby, which may have come too soon for them, but Scorpion and Shalapour, second and third in the Irish Classic, head the ante-post market of the new St Leger sponsors Ladbrokes at 3/1 and 6/1 respectively.


Scorpion, one of seven entries from Ireland's champion trainer Aidan O'Brien, was beaten only half a length by Hurricane Run at the Curragh, while the John Oxx-trained Shalapour was a further four lengths in arrears, with British raider Brahminy Kite fourth, Fracas seventh and Walk In The Park eighth.


Indigo Cat, another of the O'Brien horses, won the Listed Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot at York last month in good style.

Playful Act, trained by John Gosden who sent out the 1996 St Leger winner Shantou, had a terrific year in 2004, winning three out of four including the Group One Meon Valley Fillies' Mile at Ascot and Group Two May Hill Stakes at Doncaster.


The filly was ante-post favourite for the Vodafone Oaks but had to miss that Classic because she was slow to come to hand this season. Playful Act made a winning seasonal bow in the Group Two Lancashire Oaks at Haydock earlier this month.


Godolphin has a tremendous record in the St Leger, winning the Doncaster Classic four times, courtesy of Classic Cliche (1995), Nedawi (1998), Mutafweq the following term, and Rule Of Law last year.


This season the Maktoum family's racing entity has six entries including Dubai Surprise, runner-up to Helios Quercus on her last start in a top-class French juvenile contest in 2004, Northern Splendour, also unraced this year and a winner of two of his three starts last season, and Perfectperformance, off the track since October having previously won the Group Two Hackney Empire Royal Lodge Stakes at Ascot in September.


Godolphin's squad is completed by Sunday Symphony, runner-up on his last two starts including in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot at York, where he found just Munsef, a third Dunlop entry, two and a half lengths too good, Where With All, a six-length winner on his last start in 2004, and Queen Of Poland, who was beaten less than three lengths by star French filly Divine Proportions in the Group One Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp on Arc Day last year.


The other powerhouse of European racing, Coolmore, has seven entries trained by O'Brien who has twice been successful in the St Leger with Milan in 2001 and Brian Boru two campaigns later.


Besides Scorpion and Indigo Cat, there is the unraced Avalon, who cost one million guineas as a yearling, and Yehudi, runner-up in a Group One French two-year-old event in November. The Ballydoyle contingent is completed by easy Wexford winner Streets Of Gold, Portsmouth, and Hippodrome.


This year's Ladbrokes St Leger could also feature Thakafaat, another trained by Dunlop who has sent out three St Leger winners in Moon Madness (1986),Silver Patriarch (1997) and Millenary (2000).

She rewarded connections for supplementing her for the Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot at York by winning, while Plea Bargain, Gosden's second entry, was victorious in the King Edward VII Stakes at the same meeting by three-quarters of a length and the same again from Brahminy Kite and The Geezer.


Brahminy Kite's trainer, the Yorkshire-based Mark Johnston has also entered Melrose Avenue, winner of the Group Three Queen's Vase over two miles at Royal Ascot at York from Mr Vegas who franked the form by winning the Listed Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket last week, and Hearthstead Wings.


The Ladbrokes St Leger is the one Classic to elude trainer Sir Michael Stoute, who has sent out five seconds including Quiff last year. His one entry this year is Hard Top, a promising fifth to Proclamation on his only start at Newmarket in October.

The 229th running of the world's oldest classic, the Ladbrokes St Leger, takes place over one mile, six furlongs and 132 yards.

Ladbrokes' sponsorship has boosted the St Leger prize money by £50,000 this year to £450,000.


The Classic is the feature event on Saturday, September 10, the final day of the four-day St Leger Festival at Doncaster.

Ted Taylor, Managing Director of Doncaster Racecourse, said: "We are delighted with the quality of the entries for the Ladbrokes St Leger and urge racegoers to book in advance as the Members Enclosure on the Saturday is already sold out, a month earlier than last year.


"GNER Ladies' Day (Thursday, September 8) is also sold out in Members and so we are looking forward to a great St Leger Festival."

The latest Ladbrokes St Leger betting is: 3 Scorpion, 6 Shalapour, 7 Plea Bargain, 10 Indigo Cat, 10 The Geezer, 12 Munsef, 12 Walk In The Park, 14 Brahminy Kite, 14 Playful Act, 16 Behkiyra, 16 Fracas, 16 Kong, 16 Melrose Avenue, 20 Hard Top, 20 Mr Vegas, 25 Perfectperformance, 25 Streets Of Gold , 25 Tawqeet, 25 Thakafaat, 25 Unfurled, 33 Dubai Surprise, 33 Ehsan, 33 Gold Gun, 33 Hippodrome, 33 Queen Of Poland, 33 Yehudi, 40 Bar (1/4 odds 1,2,3)

Mike Dillon of Ladbrokes commented: "We are very pleased with the entries for the first Ladbrokes St Leger.

"It is encouraging to have the seconds from both the Epsom Derby and Irish Derby, Walk In The Park and Scorpion. The latter is putting his credentials on the line in the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp on Thursday evening.


"There are also high-class fillies like Playful Act entered which is good news."

THE LADBROKES ST LEGER
Class 1, Group One, Total Prize fund £450,000. Doncaster, Saturday, September 10, 2005, 1m 6f 132yds. For three-year-olds only, entire colts and fillies. Weights: colts 9st; fillies 8st 11lb. Entries closed Wednesday, July 6, entries revealed Tuesday, July 12 (39 entries). Forfeit stage Tuesday, August 23. £25,000 supplementary entry stage Monday, September 5. Five-day confirmation stage Monday, September 5. Final 48-hour declaration stage 10.00am, Thursday, September 8. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and include the racing of Monday, July 11, 2005. May not include some overseas form.


Form Horse Age Owner Trainer
AVALON 3 Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE
3- BAY HAWK 3 Winterbeck Manor Stud Andrew Balding
412- BAYEUX DE MOI (IRE) 3 Lady Clague Amanda Perrett
11 BEHKIYRA (IRE) 3 HH Aga Khan John Oxx IRE
21-24 BRAHMINY KITE (USA) 3 Gainsborough Stud Mark Johnston
31102- DUBAI SURPRISE (IRE) 3 Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
15 EHSAN (IRE) 3 HH Aga Khan John Oxx IRE
5-(2)135 FIRST ROW (IRE) 3 Joe L Allbritton Brian Meehan
11140 FRACAS (IRE) 3 Joseph Joyce David Wachman IRE
00-1 GOLD GUN (USA) 3 Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum Michael Jarvis
5- HARD TOP (IRE) 3 Ballymacoll Stud Sir Michael Stoute
603165 HATTAN (IRE) 3 Saeed Manana Clive Brittain
400534 HEARTHSTEAD WINGS 3 Hearthstead Homes Ltd Mark Johnston
012 HIPPODROME (IRE) 3 Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE
121 INDIGO CAT (USA) 3 Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor Aidan O'Brien IRE
43-210 KONG (IRE) 3 Neil Jones John Dunlop
154-131 MELROSE AVENUE (USA) 3 Sheikh Mohammed Mark Johnston
5 MINA A SALEM 3 Saeed Manana Clive Brittain
032121 MR VEGAS (IRE) 3 V Covone Peter Chapple-Hyam
03-211 MUNSEF 3 Hamdan Al Maktoum John Dunlop
13(6)-(4)13 NATALIE JANE (IRE) 3 Woodcote Stud Ltd Gerard Butler
311- NORTHERN SPLENDOUR (USA) 3 Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
451 NUWARA ELIYA 3 Chris McFadden Gerard Butler
12110- PERFECTPERFORMANCE (USA) 3 Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
2111-1 PLAYFUL ACT (IRE) 3 Sangster Family John Gosden
31-121 PLEA BARGAIN 3 Sheikh Mohammed John Gosden
414 PORTSMOUTH (USA) 3 Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor Aidan O'Brien IRE
1126- QUEEN OF POLAND 3 Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
1202 SCORPION (IRE) 3 Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor Aidan O'Brien IRE
2113 SHALAPOUR (IRE) 3 HH Aga Khan John Oxx IRE
0-31 STREETS OF GOLD (IRE) 3 Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor Aidan O'Brien IRE
2115-22 SUNDAY SYMPHONY 3 Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
01-415 TAWQEET (USA) 3 Hamdan Al Maktoum John Dunlop
516-121 THAKAFAAT (IRE) 3 Hamdan Al Maktoum John Dunlop
112031 THE GEEZER 3 Jeff Smith David Elsworth
62-110 UNFURLED (IRE) 3 Heather Slade John Dunlop
213-220 WALK IN THE PARK (IRE) 3 Michael Tabor John Hammond FR
101- WHERE WITH ALL (IRE) 3 Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
112-4 YEHUDI (IRE) 3 Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE
39 entries
11 Irish-trained entries
1 French-trained entry

BREAKDOWN OF LADBROKES ST LEGER ENTRIES BY TRAINER WITH PAST ST LEGER WINS

SEVEN ENTRIES
Aidan O'Brien IRE (2001 MILAN, 2003 BRIAN BORU)

Avalon
Hippodrome
Indigo Cat
Portsmouth
Scorpion
Streets Of Gold
Yehudi

SIX ENTRIES
Saeed bin Suroor (1995 CLASSIC CLICHE, 1998 NEDAWI, 1999 MUTAFAWEQ, 2004 RULE OF LAW)

Dubai Surprise
Northern Splendour
Perfectperformance
Queen Of Poland
Sunday Symphony
Where With All

FIVE ENTRIES
John Dunlop (1986 MOON MADNESS, 1997 SILVER PATRIARCH, 2000 MILLENARY)

Kong
Munsef
Tawqeet
Thakafaat
Unfurled

THREE ENTRIES
Mark Johnston
Brahminy Kite
Hearthstead Wings
Melrose Avenue

John Oxx IRE
Behkiyra
Ehsan
Shalapour

TWO ENTRIES
Clive Brittain (1978 JULIO MARINER, 1992 USER FRIENDLY)

Hattan
Mina A Salem

Gerard Butler
Natalie Jane
Nuwara Eliya

John Gosden (1996 SHANTOU)
Playful Act
Plea Bargain

ONE ENTRY
Andrew Balding

Bay Hawk

Peter Chapple-Hyam
Mr Vegas

David Elsworth
The Geezer

John Hammond FR
Walk In The Park

Michael Jarvis
Gold Gun

Brian Meehan
First Row

Amanda Perrett
Bayeux De Moi

Sir Michael Stoute
Hard Top

David Wachman IRE
Fracas


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