Hard to ignore Galileo's rock-solid record in the St Leger
Ollie O'Donoghue runs the rule over Saturday's 12-strong line-up
Leading British Flat sire Dubawi is responsible for two of the top three in the betting for today’s St Leger with hot favourite Lah Ti Dar and dual Group 2 winner Old Persian.
His first runner in the race was Coronet, who finished an admirable fifth to Capri last year.
Capri’s sire Galileo has been represented by 29 runners since the 2006 edition run at York, when Sixties Icon led home The Last Drop and Red Rocks to give him a 1-2-3. Bondi Beach and Fields Of Athenry, also by the Coolmore linchpin, were second and third in the 2015 renewal.
Many of Galileo’s other runners were placed - Mahler, Kite Wood, Midas Touch, Michelangelo, Galileo Rock and Housesofparliament - but it wasn’t until last year when Capri became his second winner.
Galileo has three chances of bringing up the hat-trick today with Kew Gardens, Southern France and The Pentagon, but more importantly he could match the all-time record of top-flight winners set by Sadler’s Wells should either Southern France or The Pentagon land the prize.
Dee Ex Bee
Pedigree: b c Farhh - Dubai Sunrise (Seeking The Gold)
Dee Ex Bee may have a pedigree that screams class, being by a Lockinge and Champion Stakes scorer out of unraced sister to the brilliant Dubai Millennium, but there is also evidence of stamina on his page with granddam Colorado Dancer a half-sister to Mazzacano, winner of the 1989 Goodwood Cup, then a Group 3 run over 2m4½f.
Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley operation has a strong record of breeding St Leger winners, among them Oh So Sharp, Mastery, Shantou and Encke - who ended Camelot’s Triple Crown bid.
b c Galileo - Chelsea Rose (Desert King)
Should Kew Gardens prevail on Town Moor, he would become the second winner in four years bred by Barronstown Stud, who also produced the 2015 winner Simple Verse, the first filly to win the Classic since User Friendly in 1992.
Kew Gardens became the 72nd elite scorer for his sire when winning the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp in July, and coupled with his success in the 1m6f Group 2 Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot, should see out the trip.
b c New Approach - Lady Marian (Nayef)
It takes an exceptional filly to defeat the colts in the St Leger, but New Approach - sire of this year’s Derby hero Masar - almost managed the feat when his Oaks-winning daughter Talent chased home Leading Light in 2013. Another daughter Asyad was third over the St Leger trip in the 2015 Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster.
His son Loxley, a Godolphin homebred, is out of the German-bred Prix de l’Opera winner Lady Marian and earned his placing in this year’s Classic when winning a 1m4½f Group 2 contest at Deauville last month - a performance which indicates he may have the stamina in reserve to be there or thereabouts.
b c Frankel - Moonstone (Dalakhani)
Orpendale, Chelston & Wynatt
Coolmore’s homebred Frankel colt Nelson took out the Ballysax Stakes earlier this season but has failed to show the same sparkle when tested against stronger opposition, with his third to Kew Gardens in the Queen’s Vase his best performance in the interim.
Nelson is a descendant of Athasi and Musidora Stakes scorer Arctic Melody, also the ancestress of the 2005 St Leger scorer Scorpion, by Montjeu.
b c Dubawi - Indian Petal (Singspiel)
Old Persian - winner of this year’s King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot and Great Voltigeur at York - is one of two brilliant performers in this race bred on the Dubawi-Singspiel cross along with Lah Ti Dar.
Yet to be tested beyond 12 furlongs, his ability to see out races suggests he could pose a threat here. Despite his half-brother Chapelli being Listed-placed over the minimum trip, Old Persian is out of a half-sister to the Singspiel filly Silkwood, who landed the 1m4f Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot.
ch c Declaration Of War - Notable (Zafonic)
Lynch Bages Ltd
Should Proschema spring a major surprise in today’s St Leger, he would become the third winner of the race bred by Lynch Bages in recent years, with the Coolmore entity also responsible for Leading Light and Capri.
While no doubt having to show marked improvement on his previous form, Proschema has a likeable page with his Montjeu half-brother Red Cardinal a high-class two-mile stayer.
b c High Chaparral - Dancing Shoes (Danehill)
Lynch-Bages & Rhinestone Bloodstock
Another bred by Lynch-Bages, at least in part, Raymond Tusk is bred on the same High Chaparral-Danehill cross as Prince of Wales’s Stakes scorer Free Eagle. Second on his last start in a 1m5½f Group 3 race at Newbury, Raymond Tusk might have gone closer had he not met with trouble in running.
His closely related Galileo half-brother Let’s Twist Again has won three hurdle races up to three miles for Joseph O’Brien, but Raymond Tusk may need to outrun his pedigree if he is to play a part here.
b c Galileo - Alta Anna (Anabaa)
Lynch-Bages & Rhinestone Bloodstock
Bred on the same cross as last year’s winner Capri, Southern France also counts Lynch-Bages as part-breeder.
Southern France was keeping on when fourth to Flag Of Honour in the Irish St Leger Trial at the Curragh, suggesting he could play more than a bit part here, while his granddam Anna Edes produced Aubergade, who was third in a 1m5½f Group 2 race at Deauville.
b c Galileo - Vadawina (Unfuwain)
Completing the Galileo trio is The Pentagon who, like Kew Gardens, is bred by Barronstown Stud. A creditable fifth to Latrobe in the Irish Derby, his pedigree offers clues that he has the stamina and class for this race.
His Dalakhani half-brother Vadamar won over 1m6f at Longchamp, while his brilliant dam Vadawina was a runaway winner of the Prix Saint-Alary.
Vadawina is one of five black-type performers out of the Zafonic mare Vadaza, who also produced Vayakhan, who was Listed-placed over 1m4f at Longchamp.
b c Frankel - Moonlight's Box (Nureyev)
Flaxman Stables Ireland Ltd
Ignoring this regally bred son of Frankel has cost each-way punters in the past, after he snuck onto the podium in the Dante Stakes at York. Unfortunately though, he hasn’t quite built on that promise in two starts since.
His further family may consist of mostly sprinters and milers, but considering Zabriskie is a half-brother to Arc winner Bago, this Niarchos family homebred may be worth siding with to finish in the frame once again.
Lah Ti Dar
b f Dubawi - Dar Re Mi (Singspiel)
Watership Down Stud
The Lloyd-Webbers’ exceptional mare Dar Re Mi has proved equally brilliant in her second career as a broodmare. Memories of her Yorkshire Oaks triumph may be fresh in the memory, but she has already produced four black-type performers including Musidora Stakes heroine So Mi Dar and star two-year-old Too Darn Hot.
While Derby third Dubawi never won beyond a mile, Lah Ti Dar’s page is replete with high-class middle-distance performers - Dar Re Mi being a sibling to the likes of Rewilding, River Dancer, Dariyoun and Rhagaas, which gives confidence that the favourite will stay.
gr f Mastercraftsman - Complexion (Hurricane Run)
Brightwalton Bloodstock Ltd
What a success story it would be if the grey Mastercraftsman filly Maid Up defies the odds for her owner-breeder Brightwalton Bloodstock. She has already proven she can stay when winning the 1m6f Group 3 March Stakes at Goodwood, while her sire also produced the 2014 St Leger winner Kingston Hill.
She has gone somewhat against the grain of her pedigree, with Mastercraftsman a Classic-winning miler, though she does count Oaks winner Reams Of Verse as her third dam.
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