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Centennial St Leger bid depends on rain

CENTENNIAL will need plenty of rain at Doncaster if connections are to decide to pay £45,000 on Monday to supplement the sonof Dalakhani for the St Leger.

The John Gosden-trained colt, who handled good to soft ground well when he won the rearranged Great Voltigeur Stakes at Goodwood 11 days ago, was in exercise onthe Limekilns long gallop yesterday morning shortly before Newmarket was subjected to a deluge.

Gosden will be hoping Town Moor experiences similar conditions and said: "No decision has been made at the moment, but if we get plenty of rain at Doncaster we will give the St Leger plenty of consideration. He has the alternative of the Prix Niel at Longchamp the following day."

Clerk of the course David Williams on Wednesday described the going as good at Doncaster, which stages the Ladbrokes-sponsored Classic on Saturday week.

Williams said: "The long-range forecast is unsettled this week and if we do have any significant rain it would possibly fall on Friday. The weekend also looks unsettled, but next week appears a lot more promising."                    

The identityof Unsung Heroine's Leger partner is unlikely to be known until days before the race after first-choice jockey Wayne Lordan's appeal against the suspension that threatens to rule him out of the Classic was provisionally scheduled for a yet to be identified day next week.

Lordan has partnered the unbeaten Tommy Stack-trained filly to both her wins, but he will be unavailable for Doncaster unless Turf Club stewards reverse the decision taken at Tipperary last week to ban the riderfromSeptember 11 to 13.

Lordan, who will be replaced by Jamie Spencer if unsuccessful in his appeal, was punished after his mount, 20-1 shot Fastnowfast, was relegated to second after beating Lime Tree Valley by a neck in a 7f handicap.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained Irish Derby winner Frozen Fire continued to be popular for the Leger yesterday and the favourite was cut to 5-2 (from 3) by the sponsors.

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