Stoute chance for ‘Moon’

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Sea Moon, ante-post favourite at 6/4 with sponsor Ladbrokes, heads 17 horses going forward for the £500,000 Group One Ladbrokes St Leger (3.05pm) at Doncaster on Saturday, September 10, following the August 23 scratchings deadline.

Sir Michael Stoute’s lightly-raced charge earned his position at the head of the market for the world’s oldest Classic with a stunning eight-length triumph in the Group Two Great Voltigeur Stakes over 12 furlongs at York on August 17. That win was his third from four career starts.

Stoute saddled his first Ladbrokes St Leger winner in 2008 when Conduit prevailed. The brilliant colt went on to win the Group One King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes as well as back-to-back renewals of the Grade One Breeders’ Cup Turf.

A fantastic renewal of the Leger is on the cards with the news that Godolphin’s Blue Bunting (9/2 second-favourite), who added the Group One Darley Yorkshire Oaks to Classic victories in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas and Darley Irish Oaks, is a possible starter.

Mahmood Al Zarooni’s charge could bid to become the first 1,000 Guineas heroine to win the race since the extraordinary Oh So Sharp in 1985. The most recent filly to win the race, the outstanding User Friendly, was also the last to complete the Irish Oaks, Yorkshire Oaks and Ladbrokes St Leger treble when successful in 1992.

The Richard Hannon-trained Census (5/1) landed the Group Three CGA Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury on August 13, from Brown Panther (12/1) who is owned by Manchester United and England striker Michael Owen.

Another with the Leger on his agenda is the Andrew Balding-trained Whiplash Willie (33/1). The Phoenix Reach colt could attempt to improve upon the effort of his triple Group/Grade One-winning sire, who was third for Balding behind Brian Boru in the 2003 renewal.

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