Leading Light illuminates O'Brien St Leger chances

 

Ruler of the World and Trading Leather, the English and Irish Derby winners, were conspicuous by their absence at today’s entry stage for the St Leger, connections opting  instead to go the Irish Champion Stakes route and a drop back in distance. However, a profusion of  prospective late-bloomers stood their ground for the Doncaster classic,  including no fewer than 12 from Aidan O’Brien’s powerful stable.

Leading Light, game winner of the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot last month, would appear the most likely to provide the trainer with his fourth St Leger triumph and has been  installed as the 5-1 joint favourite with Galileo Rock, who was placed in both the English and Irish Derbies.

But others from Ballydoyle jump off the list, too, not least the one-eyed Eye of the Storm, who might well  enhance his already fair claims in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York next month.

O’Brien sees the St Leger as the  natural autumn target for Leading Light, while Galileo Rock’s trainer, David Wachman, is confident that his colt is both still improving and liable to benefit further from a step up in trip.

As vets fought to save O’Brien’s St Nicholas Abbey in Tipperary, Corine Barande-Barbe, trainer of Cirrus des Aigles, now the hot favourite for Saturday’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, yesterday delivered a strikingly upbeat bulletin from her Chantilly base.

Many were left underwhelmed by the seven-year-old’s comeback effort after injury at Saint-Cloud last month when he plodded home in fifth place behind the German-trained colt, Novellist, who takes him on again this weekend.

But Mme Barande-Barbe insisted that Cirrus des Aigles was no more than 60 per cent fit then and will be a vastly different proposition for the rematch. “I am sure he as good now as he has ever been,” she said.

This week’s storms have missed Ascot and the ground looks like remaining on the quick side of good, which is more of a concern for Barande-Barbe than his fitness, but not, she said, crucial to his chances: “This horse knows how to swim and is happy on deep ground, but it was fast when he won in Dubai, so he doesn’t mind that either.”

Black Caviar, the recently retired Australian phenomenon, is to be mated with top stallion Exceed and Excel, who stands at Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Stud.

The “Wonder From Down Under” won all of her 25 starts, almost exclusively over sprint distances, while Exceed and Excel could shift a bit as well, winning Grade One events over six furlongs before embarking on his successful stud career. Australian race fans cannot wait for the new  offspring. They might even start betting on its name.

Turf Account

Chris McGrath's nap

  Qawaasem  (3.05 Sandown)

No surprise when she won at Newmarket this month after such a promising debut run and expected to take this step up in grade in her stride.

Next best

Go Nani Go  (6.35 Epsom)

Back to his best and gave the impression there is more to come when scoring at Salisbury last time.

One to watch

Gallic Breeze (John Quinn) gave an odds-on favourite a real scare on his introduction at Musselburgh on Tuesday.

Where the money's going

Hillstar was supplemented this week for £75,000 for Saturday’s King George VI, and the Royal Ascot winner is now in to 7-1.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Furyon London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
News
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam