I DON’T have a runner in today’s St Leger — so I can give my whole-hearted backing to Desert Hero.
If he can win the race for King Charles and Queen Camilla it will be absolutely incredible for the sport.
We all know how much Queen Elizabeth loved her racing and, for decades, she was one of the industry’s greatest supporters.
The new Royal era started with a fantastic win by Tom Marquand and Desert Hero in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot and the pair then went on to win the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
If the William Haggas-trained colt can find a way to continue his winning streak by ending the long Royal wait for a Classic victory — with a horse bred by the late Queen — it would be a great story.
Failing that, Frankie signing off in the St Leger with a win on Arrest, would be a pretty decent back-up.
Frankie and Tom riding out the finish is what I’d love — with (sorry, Frankie!) Tom getting the nod in a photo!
It’s a shame we don’t have anything for the race this year as it has long been one I’d love to win.
It’s got a very rich history and when they increased the prize-money about ten years ago it really gave the race a new lease of life.
We’ve come close a few times — Berkshire Rocco was second in 2020 — and it’s on my bucket list for sure.
In other news, I had an unexpected but pleasant arrival recently when I was sent a beautifully-bred, unraced two-year-old colt by James Wigan.
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There is only one problem — he’s called Portsmouth.
As a big Southampton fan, I’ve received no end of grief about it.
I’ve thought about changing his name by deed poll but apparently that’s bad luck.
Hopefully he turns out to be a superstar and it will just about make up for it.
However, given I scribble my thoughts for you guys in this paper every week, I do have a rather brilliantly-named horse running at Chester today.
PAGE THREE, who we recently picked up from Keith Dalgleish, goes in the lucky last and I hope she will run a big one!
But our main chances of the day come at Donny, and we start with good old KING’S LYNN (2.25) in the Portland Handicap.
We haven’t seen him since the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood which was run on atrocious ground.
He has been a great servant to the yard over the years and he is in good form at home, and he has a great record at the track.
I fancy him to run well, for all he is still high enough in the weights off a mark of 104.
The very talented SANDRINE (3.00) has a big chance in the Group 2 Park Stakes.
She was just taking life a bit easy at home and on the track, but it was great to see her respond well to a visor at York last time.
She ran a cracker to finish a close third behind Kinross and Audience, who she takes on again here, and we are hoping she can build on that.
And one thing is for sure — she will love the soft ground.
MASEKELA (4.10) runs in the ten-furlong handicap but you’re better off asking him how he is going to run!
He has become a very frustrating horse, but he has run well at this track in the past and I thought he shaped with a bit of promise at York last time.
It’s his second run since a wind op but, I’ll be honest, we have no idea what to expect.
And we run a lovely two-year-old called BELLUM JUSTUM (4.45) in the mile maiden.
He is a very good-looking son of Sea The Stars and he has shown us a good deal at home.
He was a good second at Newmarket last time out and I’d be hopeful he will take another step forward this afternoon.
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September 15, 2023 at 09:27PM
from The Sun