With just two weeks to go before the start of the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival, there’s a buzz around the course as preparations continue apace and the interest in the betting markets for some of our top races continues to hot up.
Sea Moon stormed to the head of the betting last week with sponsor Ladbrokes at 6/4 for the final British Classic of the season, the £500,000 Group One Ladbrokes St Leger, at Doncaster on Saturday, September 10.
In winning the Group Two Great Voltigeur Stakes at York by eight lengths, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Sea Moon emerged as a potential superstar and left the impression that the extended mile and three quarters at Town Moor next month will be well within his scope.
The Richard Hannon-trained Census is now 6/1 second-favourite with Ladbrokes, having won the Group Three Geoffrey Freer Stakes on August 13 from the Michael Owen owned Brown Panther, who is 12/1. And Premio Loco could attempt to land the prize that so narrowly eluded him in 2010, the £100,000 Group Two Park Stakes. Premio Loco enjoyed a fantastic campaign in 2010, winning the Group Two Summer Mile and finishing third to Canford Cliffs in the Group One Sussex Stakes before going down by only half a length to Balthazaar’s Gift in the seven-furlong Park Stakes, which is staged under Group One race conditions at Doncaster.
Chris Wall’s charge appeared set for another fine season when finishing third once again to star miler Canford Cliffs, this time in the Group One Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May, but after failing to fire at Epsom in June, he has been seen only once since, when an unlucky sixth in the Group Three Sovereign Stakes over a mile at Salisbury on August 11.
Other notable entries for the Park Stakes include the Freddy Head-trained Moonlight Cloud, who defeated the James Fanshawe-trained Society Rock to land the Group One Prix Maurice de Gheest.