John Gosden will be looking for his fifth win in the William Hill St Leger when Logician lines up for the final Classic of the year at Doncaster on Saturday.
Doncaster – Logician can maintain his unbeaten record by providing John Gosden with a fifth victory in the William Hill St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday.
The Clarehaven handler celebrated his first success in the world’s oldest Classic way back in 1996 with Shantou, but then had to wait until 2007 before Lucarno provided him with a second.
Arctic Cosmos and Masked Marvel secured Gosden back-to-back wins in 2010-11, and he was second 12 months ago with Lah Ti Dar.
Logician brings flawless credentials to the Classic, having won all four of his races to date. In fairness, until his smooth success in the Great Voltigeur last time out, it would have been hard to prove he was up to anything like this class – after winning three weak races.
But stepped up to Group 2 company at York, he dispatched some decent rivals with disdain and looks sure to be suited by going even further.
The giant grey should be even better next year, and the future looks incredibly rosy.
Shine So Bright showed a very willing attitude when holding off the top-class filly Laurens at York, and a reproduction of that effort will make him the one to beat in the Hird Rail Group Park Hill Stakes.
He started the season with a win over seven furlongs in the Free Handicap at Newmarket, beating subsequent Jersey Stakes winner Space Traveller. Given that race is used as a Guineas trial, he then went to the Classic but failed to see out 1600m.
Andrew Balding gave him plenty of time to get over that, and the career best last time out suggests he is still improving.
Royal Crusade can give Charlie Appleby victory in the Pommery Champagne Stakes, having created a nice impression on his winning debut at Newmarket. Appleby and William Buick were fulsome in their praise of the Shamardal colt afterwards and while Gimcrack winner Threat is respected, further improvement is expected from the Godolphin runner, who could have taken up an easier option 24 hours earlier.
Fresh from a Group 1 success with Hello Youmzain, Kevin Ryan can land the William Hill Portland Handicap with the unbeaten Bielsa. Clearly fragile, the four-year-old has had only three runs but has won them all – and last time he accounted for some talented handicappers in a very quick time.
He does not seem to have been unduly punished for that success and should be stuck with until he is beaten.
Huboor has been off for a while since winning second time out at Chepstow, but she looks worth the wait in the MBNA/EBF Stallions Novice Stakes at Chester. Mark Johnston’s filly was third to Summer Romance on debut, before winning in fine style.
Durston looked sure to go close in the Geoffrey Freer last time out, before seemingly his stamina gave way in top company. The winner, Technician, has a live chance in the Leger, but David Simcock’s Durston was travelling all over him at one point.
The drop in trip for the Sportpesa Stand Cup Stakes looks just what he needs at this stage of his career – and as a course winner, the Roodee holds no fears.
Irish Champions Weekend kicks off at Leopardstown, where Headman can continue his ascent through the ranks in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes. Roger Charlton has been patient with his three-year-old, and two Group 2 wins in France have proved the Kingman colt is blessed with a good degree of ability.
While he faces some solid older horses, there are no real superstars among them.
The clash between Laurens and Hermosa in the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes looks a belter, but preference is for the older horse. Hermosa needs to put a bitterly disappointing run at Goodwood behind her, whereas Laurens just fell short over 1400m when carrying a penalty at York so looks a solid bet to repeat last year’s win. – Press Association