EASY-AS-ABC ST LEGER GUIDE: Daqman’s unique ABC guide matches the runners to the stats in his horse-by-horse analysis of Saturday’s big race:
A: 9 OF THE LAST 12 HAD RUN IN A EUROPEAN DERBY
B: 7 OF THE 12 WERE IN THE FRAME IN THE GREAT VOLTIGEUR
C: 10 OF THE 12 HAD A SIRE’S STAMINA INDEX OF 11.0 to 11.9
D: 9 OF THE 12 WERE TRAINED BY STOUTE, O’BRIEN, GOSDEN, BIN SUROOR
E: 9 OF THE 12 WERE FIRST OR SECOND LAST TIME OUT
DAQMAN LANDS 9-4 NAP: Daqman yesterday landed a 10-point nap with Cappagh (WON 9-4) and also had Jawhar (WON 9-4) at the same price to profit by 28 points on the day.
The Leger is back big time on Saturday. Blue Bunting and Wonder Of Wonders, both getting the fillies’ allowance, square up to the colts but how do they all rate on the stats that are listed above?
ABCD Seville: Failed to act at Epsom when as short as 13-2 but, as runner-up in the Dante, the Irish Derby and the Grand Prix de Paris, he set up a 120 rating, clear of the rest of the field and, therefore, 6-5 on for the Great Voltigeur at York last month.
There was juice in the ground that day, which he likes, but it seemed all squeezed out of Seville. After showing narrowly ahead two out, he was pipped a furlong later and stayed on only at the one pace as the winner, Sea Moon, then went right away from them as though they were standing still.
ACDE Masked Marvel: Seemingly outclassed in the Sandown Classic Trial, he showed that running, behind Genius Beast, to be all wrong as he took another Derby test, now called the Cocked Hat (the old Predominate), at Goodwood 24 days later.
Connections always regarded him as more a Leger horse, and he was not disgraced when eighth in the Epsom Derby in a fast time on firmish ground.
He was perhaps fortunate to then beat Census (not clear run) by a head in the Bahrain Trophy (1m 5f Group 3) at Newmarket and afterwards stayed on the same 109 rating, though winners of that race recently have been placed in the St Leger.
BDE Sea Moon: Considered a Derby horse by Sir Michael Stoute but took time to come right and had won only a handicap, on top of his late-season maiden last term, when lining up for the Great Voltigeur off just 103.
The handicapper’s literal translation of his scintillating performance that day at York, as he strode eight lengths clear, was to raise him 18lb. That puts him level with the Derby winners and only 6lb behind some people’s horse of the season, So You Think.
The possible downsides are that Sea Moon has not been seen in a Classic and his sire, Beat Hollow, has only a 10.3 stamina index, a figure below the norm for a Leger winner.
But his dam, Eva Luna, is already responsible for a Leger winner (Brian Boru) and herself made all the running in the ‘fillies’ St Leger’, the Park Hill Stakes, over the same course and distance.
B Genius Beast: It started so well, as the son of a Sinndar mare who herself won the Irish Oaks, took the opening Classic Trial at Sandown, only to be beaten by the French when favourite for the Prix Hocquart.
Those who then stepped in and backed the French for our Derby – Pour Moi won it – were a tad lucky, in that the early genius faded again: the beast was beaten at Royal Ascot and was then only fourth in the Voltigeur with a telescopic view of Sea Moon, and more than three lengths behind the third, Seville. Sire’s stamina index only 9.9.
CD Buthelezi: Handicapping in the Spring but has improved not merely the proverbial stone but that amount precisely – in the official view – as he moved up to place in a Group 2 at the July Meeting.
But limitations seemingly exposed when only fourth behind Census and Brown Panther at Newbury in the Geoffrey Freer last month. The only colt in the race with a Doncaster course win (1m).
CD Wonder Of Wonders: Though her sire, Kingmambo, has a only a 9.9 stamina index, and will be remembered for great milers Henrythenavigator and Dubai Destination, he has produced winners of 18 races at 1m 6f and more, and her dam, Galileo’s full sister All Too Beautiful, was also half-sister to Sea The Stars.
Winner (at Chester) and placed (second at Epsom, third at The Curragh) in three Oaks, Wonder Of Wonders led three out in yet a fourth Oaks (at York) but was run out of it, third to Blue Bunting.
CE Blue Bunting: One of only two Doncaster course winners in the race, she surprised her stable, and students of breeding, when getting up on the rail to win the 1,000 Guineas over a mile.
As a half-sister to a 2m-plus winner, she was expected to come into her own in the Oaks. She did, but not entirely according to plan.
She failed at Epsom, more than four lengths behind runner-up Wonder Of Wonders, after an injudicious ride by Dettori, but Frankie and the filly redeemed their reputation with a blue-lightning dash to the line to win the Curragh version, with Wonder Of Wonders now relegated to third, albeit less than a length behind.
CE Brown Panther: Not a horse I’ve taken to, and my lays bank is already happy with him after his defeat in the Germany Derby, admittedly on heavy ground.
His breeding suggests bags of stamina, and he went some way to reestablishing himself when runner-up to Census in the Geoffrey Freer.
CE Census: Another to emerge from the handicapping ranks, in which he was six lengths adrift of Brown Panther (Royal Ascot), finding so much improvement – from a rating of 94 to 117 – that he turned around the Brown Panther form in the Geoffrey Freer.
He ran on far too strongly for that one, and left the favourite, disqualified 2010 Oaks runner-up Meeznah, trailing in his wake, which prompted connections to describe their ‘baby’ as a ‘big raw horse who can only get better and better.’
D Freedom: By a stallion with a stamina index of 9.9 out of the daughter of one with 7.7, the Group-3 third – already acting as pacemaker in that race – looks set to wear himself out in front, on behalf of Seville and Wonder Of Wonders.
D Rumh: The German-bred filly would get 2m on breeding but, over 1m 4f, was a total of 53 lengths behind Blue Bunting in two Oaks. Supplemented for the Leger but it seems a rum way to spend money when the pace already seems assured.
BET (to win 20 points): 0.8pts win and place LADY VICTORY (2.10 Lingfield)
BET 4.7pts win OIL STRIKE and 4.1pts win WATCH AMIGO (3.10 Lingfield)
BANKER: 20pts win PRICELESS ART (2.50 Sedgefield)