Racing: Dushyantor is Leger favourite

The home straight in the 1996 Flat season came into view yesterday with entries announced for many of the biggest races of the autumn months. Chief among those tests is the St Leger, the prize-money for which could decide the destination of the trainers' championship.

Henry Cecil and Saeed bin Suroor hold five of the 21 Leger entries for the Leger. The pair, servants past and present to Sheikh Mohammed's racing empire, are separated by a little over pounds 40,000 in the race for the title, some pounds 300,000 clear of third-placed Mark Johnston.

Cecil, who has won the Leger four times, is three-handed for the pounds 225,000 Pertemps-sponsored Classic, with the Oaks winner Lady Carla, Derby second Dushyantor and the progressive Flying Legend.

Bin Suroor, responsible for last year's winner, Classic Cliche, has Pricket, second to Lady Carla at Epsom, and the March Stakes winner, Sharaf Kabeer, lined up for the race.

"Sharaf Kabeer has still got a lot to prove but we were very pleased with him at the weekend and he is an intended St Leger runner," Godolphin's spokesman, Simon Crisford, said. "We will make a decision on Pricket next week."

Peter Chapple-Hyam holds five entries, with Chief Contender, Desert Boy, Heron Island, High Baroque and Camporese representing the Manton trainer, while others to stand their ground include Dermot Weld's Queen's Vase victor Gordi, John Gosden's Derby third Shantou and Michael Stoute's Clerkenwell, winner of York's Ebor Handicap last Wednesday.

But it is Cecil's Dushyantor that heads the betting market, with Ladbrokes making the colt the 3-1 favourite for the race. "Dushyantor ran on with such purpose in the Derby that the St Leger looked the obvious target even then," the firm's spokesman, Ed Nicholson, said.

The deadline for supplementary entries, made at a cost of pounds 18,000, falls on 7 September.

ST LEGER (Doncaster, 14 September): Entries: Chief Contender, Clerkenwell, Desert Boy, Double Leaf, Dushyantor, Flying Legend, Gordi, Heron Island, High Baroque, Jack Jennings, Mongol Warrior, Mons, Samraan, Shantou, Sharaf Kabeer, Spartan Heartbeat, St Mawes, Wilawander, Camporese, Lady Carla, Pricket.

BETTING: Ladbrokes: 3-1 Dushyantor, 7-2 Mons, Sharaf Kabeer, 8-1 Heron Island, 10-1 Gordi, St Mawes, 14-1 Clerkenwell, 16-1 Chief Contender, Flying Legend, Jack Jennings, Shantou, 25-1 Camporese, Mongol Warrior, 33-1 Desert Boy, Double Leaf, 40-1 High Baroque 50-1 Samraan, Spartan Heartbeat, Wilawander. With a run: 5-1 Lady Carla. Doubtful runner: Pricket.

CHAMPION STAKES (Newmarket, 19 October) Entries: Alhaarth, Android, Annus Mirabilis, Bequeath, Bijou D'Inde, Bint Shadayid, Bosra Sham, Carling, Damancher, Dance Design, Darazari, Definite Article, Ela-Aristokrai, Even Top, First Island, Flemensfirth, Glory Of Dancer, Grape Tree Road, Gunboat Diplomacy, Halling, Khalisa, Last Second, Manninamix, Mark Of Esteem, Oscar Schindler, Parfait Glace, Pilsudski, Polaris Flight, Pricket, Ragmar, Riyadian, Ruznama, Shaamit, Singspiel, Skilberie, Sorbie Tower, Spectrum, Spinning World, Strategic Choice, Tamayaz, Tamure, Timarida, Valanour, Wall Street, Wixim, Zagreb.

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