Look Here ready for shot at history in St Leger
RALPH BECKETT reports Look Here to be in fine shape as she bids to become the first filly to for 16 years to complete the Juddmonte Oaks-Ladbrokes St Leger double at Doncaster on Saturday.
Look Here has not been in action since her emphatic victory at Epsom in early June when she beat subsequent Irish Oaks winner Moonstone, with the likes of Lush Lashes well in arrears.
A slight setback last month denied her the chance of running in the Yorkshire Oaks, but Beckett said: "She's very well and we're on track. We had a short hold-up but her fitness is not a concern.
"I think she'll get the trip, she's won on soft ground and I think she'll handle it as well."
That runcame at Salisbury last October on her only outing as a two-year-old when she defeated fellow Leger rival Doctor Fremantle by two and a half lengths.
"What price would you have got on that at the time? I think you'd have got 1,000-1 about them both showing up tomorrow, but it will be great to renew rivalry," the trainer went on.
Another filly, Unsung Heroine, will be in the line up as she also bids to emulate the success of User Friendly in 1992, the last filly to land this famous prize.
Beckett added: "She put up an impressive performance when winning her Group 3. She is a serious force to be reckoned with and looks a smart filly to me."
Beckett revealed how surprised how he had been bythe ease of Look Here's victory in the Oaks.
"I thought if we got in the first six that day we would do well," he continued.
"I remember afterwards talking to Lady Howard de Walden and saying how I felt numb. She said she felt the same after Slip Anchor won the Derby.
"The form of the Oaks seemsto have worked out well, especially with Lush Lashes and Moonstone. I didn't realise until afterwards what a good time it was."
With her Oaks jockey Seb Sanders nursing a broken leg, Eddie Ahern has been given the chance to open his Classic account.
"Eddie doesn't ride much for us, but he is a good rider and I think he will suit her," Beckett remarked.
But Beckett is only too aware how difficult it will be to beat the colts in the world's oldest Classic.
"The opposition looks strong. Frozen Fire was very impressive in the Irish Derby and looks as if he will stay the trip," he said.
"But our filly has only had the three runs and hopefully there will be more improvement to come.
"This is arguably the best field for a St Leger assembled for a few years and is worthy of a Classic."
Irish Derby winner Frozen Fire leads a five-strong team from the powerful Aidan O'Brien stable.
The Ballydoyle trainer said: "Frozen Fire is a horse who has always shown a lot of class and just got beat in the Dante (by Tartan Bearer).
"He then got caught back at Epsom in a slowly-run race, but then went to the Irish Derby and we all saw what he did there.
"We were delighted with him that day and have been happy with him since.
"We think Washington Irving stays well and his last race was a mile-and-a-half Group 3 at Leopardstown.
"Two horses went past him and he stayed on again to be second and you would think the mile and six would suit him well.
"He is a horse who is progressing all the time and getting stronger every day."
O'Brien hopes conditions will not be too testing.
"You don't want to see extremes of ground when horses step up in trip," he added.
Frankie Dettori has four St Leger victories to his credit and connections of his mount, Conduit, are hoping the jockey can weave his magic on the Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt.
"He doesn't ride for us very often but he has a good enough record whenhe does and I was very impressed with the ride he gave that two-year-old (Awinnersgame) on Thursday," said Peter Reynolds, racing manager for owners Ballymacoll Stud.
"He's an excellent big-race jockey, he's won the race in the past which is a help, but the ground isreally the thing that would worry me a little bit.
"We would prefer better ground, but hopefully he can improve the record of some of the other members of his family that have been competing there.
"Hard Top was a bit disappointing (in 2005) after winning in the Voltigeur and he's a very close relation (to Conduit).
"I wouldn't be concerned about the distance. He has shown his best form on good ground and it was pretty fast at Ascot when he just got beaten and Frankie rode a brilliant race to beat us (on Campanologist) so he owes us one."
Conduit did win his St Leger trial, the Gordon Stakes, though he was not particularly impressive as he was unsuited by the track.
"Goodwood was a muddling sort of race. Some horses just don't act on the track. He was lugging and didn't seem happy down the hill, so it's fingers crossed," Reynolds added.
Stoute's stable jockey Ryan Moore had the pick of mounts from the Newmarket yard and plumped for Doctor Fremantle.
"Ryan (Moore) has chosen him. That's nice, let's hope he's got it right," said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah.
The Derby fourth is in top form again after missing the Great Voltigeur Stakes because of a bruised foot which at one stage put in doubt his participation in St Leger.
Grimthorpe added: "He's gone well and seems to have pleased his trainer. We are hopeful for a big run.
"In theory he should like the distance and the ground as he's by Sadler's Wells out of a Rainbow Quest mare."