Lah Ti Dar shoots to head of Leger market as Gosden confirms Classic quest
Impressive Solario winner Too Darn Hot bubbling for the Champagne
Lah Ti Dar is the new William Hill St Leger favourite with a number of firms after trainer John Gosden confirmed on Wednesday that the unbeaten filly will run in the final Classic of the British season at Doncaster on Saturday.
The Lord Lloyd-Webber-owned three-year-old, who missed a shot at the Oaks back in June with sickness, had the option of Sunday’s Group 1 Prix Vermeille at Longchamp on Arc Trials Day, but connections have opted for the 1m6½f contest that Gosden has won three times in the last 11 years and four times in total.
The trainer said: "After much discussion with the owners today it has been decided Lah Ti Dar will go for the St Leger."
Connections also confirmed exciting juvenile Too Darn Hot, a brother to Lah Ti Dar, will also run on Saturday's card.
Sponsors William Hill reacted by trimming Lah Ti Dar to a best-priced 2-1 (from 7-2), and spokesman Rupert Adams said: "We couldn't be happier that she's running. It's a great result for us. She's been hammered since the news broke and the market has changed rapidly. We didn't think she'd run earlier this week – so it's fantastic news.
"The only negative today is the market suggests Loxley and Latrobe aren't going to take part and we would've liked them to."
Kew Gardens remains the 7-4 favourite with the sponsors but has been pushed out to a best-priced 9-4 elsewhere, with firms evenly split over who should be favourite.
Bet365, Coral, Ladbrokes and BoyleSports join Hills in siding with Kew Gardens while Sky Bet, Paddy Power, Betfair and Betfred favour Lah Ti Dar, with the uncertainty only adding further intrigue to the blockbuster.
While Grand Prix de Paris winner Kew Gardens warmed up with defeat in the Great Voltigeur at York, Lah Ti Dar took her record to three from three with a brilliant ten-length success in the Listed Galtres Stakes at the same meeting. She has won herraces by a combined 18 and a quarter lengths after comfortable early-season victories at Newbury and Newmarket.
Simon Marsh, racing manager to Lloyd-Webber, explained the difficult decision was swung by the ground. He said: "It was a very hard decision to make, but we'll go to the St Leger.
"We ultimately we felt the ground in France was going to be a bit too quick for her and that we could run her on Saturday on lovely ground instead.
"We're hoping she'll run really well. She showed at York she's a high-class filly, but there are some extremely good horses in the race – Kew Gardens, Old Persian and Dee Ex Bee are very good colts.
"It’s shaped up to be a very good race, as it always is, but I think she's a very nice filly and she's shown she’s got the class."
On the same card star juvenile Too Darn Hot will warm up Town Moor in the Howcroft Industrial Supplies Champagne Stakes.
A convincing winner of both career starts, including a breathtaking four-length demolition in the Solario Stakes last month, he is as short as 1-2 for the Group 2 and a best-priced 4-7.
"Too Darn Hot runs in the Champagne and is very well," said Marsh. "John [Gosden] is extremely pleased with him and he’s done everything right."
With the two superstars being full siblings – being by Dubawi out of outstanding broodmare Dar Re Mi – Marsh added: "It's really quite incredible to have a full-brother and full-sister running in top-class races on the same day and within half an hour of each other. We can’t wait for it – it’s going to be a very exciting day."
The ground at Doncaster was described officially as good to soft on Wednesday night and clerk of the course Roderick Duncan said: "The jockeys thought it was just on the easy side of good, a bit dead. The forecast is for it to stay dry tonight and tomorrow but the Met Office say there is a 50 per cent chance of a shower on Friday."
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