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14 stand their ground for ultra-competitive Ladbrokes St Leger

9 Sep 2013

The Investec Oaks winner, Talent, and the Investec Derby second and third, Libertarian and Galileo Rock, feature amongst a host of high class horses left in the last British Classic of the season.

Can Talent claim her second Classic of the year on Saturday after landing the Investec Oaks under Richard Hughes at the end of May? Image courtesy of 

This year’s Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday promises to be a pulsating, wide open race as a raft of high class horses have been confirmed for the last Classic of the British season.

Talent, impressive winner of the Investec Oaks at the end of May, and Libertarian and Galileo Rock, who ran second and third in the Investec Derby on the following day, bring strong Classic form to the race.

Talent disappointed when last in the Irish Oaks, but she has been freshened up for this and hopes will be high in the Ralph Beckett camp that she can come good again.

Libertarian was a similar disappointment when second-last in the Irish Derby, but he too has been freshened up under the care of his new trainer, Charlie Appleby.

Galileo Rock, meanwhile, ran a cracker in the Irish Derby when finding only Trading Leather too good and his trainer, David Wachman, will have high hopes that he can claim Classic glory this time.

They are by no means the only three with chances, however.

John Gosden knows exactly what it takes to win the Leger having saddled the winner three times in the last six runnings and he could be double-handed with Excess Knowledge and Feels Like Dancing.

The latter needs to find plenty of improvement, but Excess Knowledge disputes ante-post favouritism with Galileo Rock after a luckless run when beaten a head by Cap O’ Rushes in the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

Cap O’ Rushes, a stablemate of Libertarian, may also take his chance while Aidan O’Brien, who has won the race three times, has three classy horses left in the race – Eye Of The Storm, Foundry and Leading Light.

Foundry, in particular, takes the eye having run second to the QIPCO Champion Stakes-bound Telescope in the Great Voltigeur at York.

The Saeed bin Suroor-trained Secret Number, who was a close third in the Great Voltigeur, is another to be confirmed today.

The 14 confirmations are completed by Great Hall, Havana Beat, London Bridge and Ralston Road.

It is going to be a fascinating showdown over an extended mile and three-quarters on the fantastic Doncaster turf – if you can’t get along to Doncaster, make sure you’re near a TV at 3.50pm on Saturday when the race will be shown live on Channel 4.