Logician the new Leger favourite after impressive Great Voltigeur success
An unbeaten roan set the tone for the all-conquering triumvirate of Frankie Dettori, John Gosden and Khalid Abdullah at the Ebor festival as Logician assumed St Leger favouritism with a ready victory in the Sky Bet Great Voltigeur.
Logician was shortened to a best-price 9-4 market leader (from 7) with Betfred after his length-and-three-quarter win over Constantinople in the £170,000 event, that was last won by a subsequent St Leger winner in 2007 when the similarly Gosden-trained Lucarno initiated the Yorkshire double.
The next ten days will be crucial as to whether Logician is aimed at the William Hill-sponsored Classic but there is no doubt in Dettori's mind as to where the son of Frankel should go.
The winning jockey said: "When you win a trial like this you’ll always be tempted to have a go at the St Leger. I’m not going to put connections off though – I was impressed and he did everything I asked him to. If it was down to me he’d go for the Leger, but it’s not down to me!
"There was still a bit of greenness but he hit the line well and galloped out strongly. He’s not the finished article but with every race he’s improving and he’s taken another leap forward."
Ever the crowd-pleaser, Dettori produced a trademark flying dismount on returning to the winner’s enclosure, resulting in a firm pat on the cap from Gosden just a day before superstar mare Enable contests the Darley Yorkshire Oaks.
Gosden said: "I gave him a little telling off but he's enjoying it and the crowd expect it. I said the trouble is, you become a slave to your own behaviour!"
On the winner, he added: "There’s a couple of options for Logician, one obvious one at Doncaster and the other being to stay at a mile and a half, but we’ll see how he comes out of this in the next ten days before we decide.
"He’s learning a lot but I couldn’t be more pleased with him. He’s still a young horse and it was a big jump in class but he’s very much going the right way."
For Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to Abdullah, it was a big-race winner at the track where he is chairman and there may well be another at the top level on day two.
Grimthorpe said: "Logician is a nice horse and has a lovely stride so to see him win how he did was very pleasing. We’ll have to think about the St Leger but there are various other options.
"Big winners, wherever they are, for Prince Khalid are huge for me but York ones are extra special as it’s a place that’s very close to my heart."
Runner-up Constantinople travelled sweetly into the race, in which his Ballydoyle stablemate Norway set a stern pace, but when push came to shove it was Logician who asserted to make a big impression on punters and his star jockey.
It was a career-best effort from the son Galileo on his first crack at Group 2 level, but Betfair Sportsbook and Paddy Power lengthened his odds to 14-1 (from 10) for the Town Moor Classic with O’Brien expecting more improvement next year.
O'Brien said: "We were very happy with Constantinople and we'll see how he comes out of it. He's a big cruiser and still a little bit weak and he'll be a better horse next year. Norway ran well and is another in the [St Leger] mix."
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