O'Brien masses forces in quest for Crown and Classic sweep


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The Independent Online

There is more for the history books at stake in this year's St Leger than a possible Triple Crown winner, the 16th in all and the first since Nijinsky in 1970. Yes, the 2,000 Guineas and Derby winner Camelot is odds-on favourite to complete his set at Doncaster in September. But victory would also make his trainer Aidan O'Brien the first of his profession to win all five English Classics in the same year.

O'Brien, perfectly mindful of the frailty of the thoroughbred, is taking no chances with his own record attempt. As well as Camelot, he has 10 other charges among yesterday's 36 entries for the Town Moor test, including the Grand Prix de Paris winner, Imperial Monarch.

But take that one and Camelot out of the equation and the quality of the Ballydoyle contingent rather tails off. And the presence of the superstar notwithstanding, other stables are not fighting shy of the challenge.

The three who followed Camelot home at Epsom – Main Sequence, Astrology and Thought Worthy – are there. The last-named's trainer John Gosden, who has won the last two St Legers, can field a trio perceived as better than the Derby fourth in Great Heavens, whose Irish Oaks victory on Sunday took her to second favouritism, Michelangelo and Shantaram.

Ryan Moore drew 10 clear of Richard Hughes in the race for the jockeys' title with a four-timer at Lingfield yesterday afternoon. Moore rode a further two winners at Sandown last night, without reply from Hughes.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Mysterious Man (2.30 Sandown) Has run into some decent performers en route to his maiden win and there should be more to come with the step up to today's longer trip.

Next best

Perfect Step (7.50 Doncaster) Had a tough task against a smart sort last time and looks most feasibly treated to find compensation.

Where the money's going

Kaldoun Kingdom was the punters' choice yesterday, cut to 14-1 for Saturday's Sky Bet Dash at York.