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Ground influenced St Leger decision - Moore

RYAN MOORE on Thursday evening revealed that it was the prevailing soft ground that influenced his decision to choose Doctor Fremantle over Conduit in the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday.

The former champion jockey finally made up his mind after putting both horses through their paces on Thursday.

"I rode them both this morning and they both felt great and I didn't make up my mind until about 8.30am," he said. "It's a nice position to be in to have the choice of two good horses, and I suppose the ground made a difference to my choice."

Moore has yet to win a British Classic, although he went close when runner-up on Tartan Bearer in the Derby this summer. On that occasion he discarded Doctor Fremantle, who finished fourth.

The horse Moore rejected, Conduit, is a plum spare ride for Frankie Dettori, who has lifted the St Leger four times.

"Ryan had the choice of which to ride but Conduit is a good ride to get and he is third favourite," Dettori said. "I have not sat on him and I won't do before the race as it is only two days away, but I'm looking forward to it.

"It's been a great race for me in the past - Conduit is a good horse and it looks an open Leger.

"Six of the field could win the race and I wouldn't want to swap him for anything else."                      

Both horses, plus third-string Warringah, are trained by Sir Michael Stoute, who has yet to win the St Leger despite tasting success in the other four British Classics.

Moore's decision has seen further support for Doctor Fremantle and the Chester Vase winner is 7-1 now from 10-1 with both Ladbrokes and Totesport.

Johnny Murtagh is also chasing his first St Leger triumphand the Irish ace will ride ante-post favourite Frozen Fire.

The Ballydoyle team have decided to send Murtagh to the South Yorkshire track rather than have him stay at home to ride in the Irish Field St Leger at the Curragh onthe same day.

IrishDerby winner Frozen Fire, the 9-4 favourite with the sponsors, heads a team of five trained by Aidan O'Brien, already a three-time St Leger winner.

Jamie Spencer will partner Alessandro Volta, Jimmy Fortune gets the leg-up on Bashkirov, with David McCabe on Hindu Kush and Colm O'Donoghue on Washington Irving.

Among the 14 declared were Ralph Beckett's Look Here, winner of the Juddmonte Oaks, and Tommy Stack'sunbeaten Unsung Heroine who will both try to become the first filly to win the Leger since User Friendly 16 years ago.

Completing the line-up are Top Lock, Whistledownwind, Enroller and Maidstone Mixture.

The Luca Cumani-trained Savarain and the O'Brien trio of King Of Westphalia, New Zealand and William Hogarth, were withdrawn at the 48-hour final declaration stage.


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