Michelangelo (yellow cap): heavily supported for St Leger on SundayPICTURE: Getty Images
Michelangelo cut for St Leger as Gosden rolls on
THE momentum behind John Gosden and William Buick, which began at Royal Ascot and has been given plenty of fuel since, continued to build on Sunday when the trainer was quoted at just 9-4 to catch Aidan O'Brien in the trainers' title, while his Michelangelo was a major market mover for the St Leger.
After Nathaniel's brilliant winning return in the Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday, the dormant trainers' title market was enlivened by Paddy Power going 9-2 about Gosden winning the championship for the first time and on Sunday Coral opted to quote just 9-4 about Gosden being able to successfully eat away at the £450,000-plus lead the Ballydoyle trainer currently has.
Firm spokesman David Stevens said: "Although Aidan O'Brien retains a substantial lead in the trainers' standings, John Gosden's recent run of big-race successes has breathed new life into a contest that looked all over following the Epsom Derby meeting.
"The upcoming King George at Ascot has a huge prize fund, and a win for either O'Brien's St Nicholas Abbey or Nathaniel would have a huge impact on the title race, while there will be plenty of prize-money on offer on British Champions day, so this is a race that could run for a while yet."
Nathaniel vs St Nicholas Abbey in the Betfair-sponsored King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes, worth a total of £1 million, would go a long way to determining if the Newmarket trainer has realistic title hopes.
But Gosden repeated on Sunday that the short gap between the Eclipse and King George was a factor in whether Nathaniel would turn up at Ascot on July 21.
John Gosden: 9-4 for trainers' titlePICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Speaking on At The Races on Sunday, Gosden said: "Because of the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics there are only two weeks, it's compressed, between the Eclipse and King George, and that is not ideal when you've had a layoff and a tough race like yesterday.
"We are going to be watching and monitoring him daily before saying it is definitely the King George. It's all very open at the moment. The horse will tell us, I think."
A tipping line on Sunday advised punters that Gosden's Michelangelo was the colt to be on for the Ladbrokes St Leger and the Fred Archer winner was subsequently cut to 7-1 or 8-1 across the board, having been available at 14-1 on Sunday morning.
The sponsor's Hayley O'Connor said: "There seems to be no chink in Camelot's armour for the Ladbrokes St Leger, which has created a handsome market for each-way punters, who today turned their focus to Michelangelo, backing him into second favourite."
Buick, meanwhile, is just six winners behind Ryan Moore in the jockeys' title, but he remains only third favourite to take the crown for the first time. Buick is available at around 4-1, with Moore 1-2 and Richard Hughes, who is in third place in the race, generally 5-2.