Man On The Spot: Logan to peak
Man On The Spot previews day one of the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival at Doncaster.
Mount Logan is fancied on day one of the St Leger Festival
None of the last six winners of this have started bigger than 7/2 and the last two were odds-on chances. Akhlaaq won't be that short but may start favourite as he bids to add to his victory in a Salisbury maiden which has already been franked. Paul Hanagan prefers him to Battaash, who steps up a furlong. Town Charter may be the pick of Mark Johnston's two runners, ahead of Jacquard, but we're going to give another chance to DREAM OF DREAMS. Kevin Ryan's colt lost his action in Gimcrack and was pulled up by Jamie Spencer. But he's worked fine since and an earlier third in the Railway Stakes at the Curragh is the best form on offer. Ernststavroblofeld's win at Yarmouth has proved to be nothing special.
Michael Bell won this with a 25/1 chance 12 months ago but his Notalot will be among the market leaders this year as he arrives on a hat-trick after a couple of victories at Chepstow – he'll handle the give in the ground. ANDOK had to be switched around a wall of horses on debut over this trip at Redcar but quickened smartly to land the spoils. The second has won since and the fourth was narrowly beaten next time so the form looks decent and a mark of 80 here looks workable. Despite top weight, Mutawatheb shouldn't be far away again but Mr Hobbs and Appointed came up short in this grade last time and the latter's stablemate Our Charlie Brown takes a steep rise in class.
Equimou is a speedy filly and gets all the allowances but no two-year-old has won this in 30 years and she's up against some tough sprinters who are proven at this level and higher. Three-year-olds have won the last two renewals but Priceless, the highest rated of a quartet taking part this time, doesn't look good enough. Pearl Secret would have every chance if in the mood, however, as he drops into this grade for the first time since successful at Beverley in August 2014 and he won a Group 2 at Haydock in May 2015. MUTHMIR's connections will not have welcomed the weekend's rain but hopefully the ground will be quick enough for the classy six-year-old to take his chance. A high draw did for him at Beverley 11 days ago but he still finished ahead of Line Of Reason and deserves compensation. Bath Listed winner Demora and Thesme, who ran better than expected in the Nunthorpe at York, look best of the rest.
Last year's winner Gannicus has only secured a reserve spot this time. Yarmouth winner Dark Wonder will need a couple to drop out but fellow three-year-olds Hijran and Mon Beau Visage are guaranteed a run with David O'Meara's charge 3lb better off than when beaten a length-and-a-quarter by Mike Appleby's filly at Thirsk. Jockeyship is traditionally as crucial as form in this legends race, however, so Joseph O'Brien's mountPhosphorescence is worth a second look, despite an absence of more than a year. BLUFF CRAG will be partnered by Richard Hughes and he'll appreciate an easier surface having disappointed a couple of times on good going since scoring at Newbury in June. He gets the nod, though the likes of Chiswick Bey, Pike Corner Cross and Sakhalin Star could also play a part.
This is a tricky affair, despite the small field. Roll On Rory is bidding for a fourth victory in five starts and has twice been placed over shorter trips here. Battlement is back over his best trip after failing to complete his hat-trick over 6f at Windsor but is still creeping up the weights. War Glory has done all of his winning on Polytrack so far but only found one too good at Chester in July and Stamp Hill, Shanghai Glory and Dream Mover could all figure if forgiven modest efforts last time. TAKE THE HELM has yet to win on anything but Tapeta but is weighted to reverse Newmarket running last time with Dream Mover and he could be some value if his turn has come around again.
Windshear, fourth in the 2014 St Leger and a winner here last year, was placed in a couple of Group 3 races later but has been a huge disappointment this year. Last month's Windsor winner Landwade Lad has a lot to find on these terms while Oasis Fantasy often flatters to deceive.Revolutionist could bounce back at any time but MOUNT LOGAN clearly wasn't himself last time at Goodwood. If judged on earlier fourth behind Dartmouth in the Hardwicke Stakes at Ascot, he's the one to beat despite conceding the others 6lb.
Outrage and Sandra's Secret both arrive in form but step up a grade for this. Top Boy's recent victory came on Polytrack but the consistent Pea Shooter is respected on his latest fourth at Ripon, though that was over 6f. Ziggy Lee only found one too good when joint favourite last time at Newmarket and Seve usually keeps better company than this. LOVE ON THE ROCKS (NAP) ran in the Flying Childers at this meeting last year and has only had two starts since. She was only collared close home under Michael Murphy at York last month and could take some catching here if breaking smartly again.
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