Lah Ti Dar a Leger doubt as connections set sights on Vermeille and the Arc
Ante-post punters who piled into last week's runaway Galtres Stakes winner Lah Ti Dar for the St Leger must brace themselves for disappointment after it emerged connections are leaning towards the Prix Vermeille instead.
The one-time Oaks favourite could not have been more impressive when returning from a long absence to make it three wins from three starts at York, and her rider Frankie Dettori immediately nominated the William Hill-sponsored Doncaster Classic as a suitable target.
She is 100-30 second favourite behind Kew Gardens with the sponsor and 2-1 market leader with Paddy Power, with bet365 going 5-2 the pair, but Simon Marsh, racing manager to owners Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber, revealed the John Gosden-trained filly was far from certain to run at Doncaster and may wait for Longchamp the following day.
Marsh had a further warning for ante-post punters, saying the filly's two-year-old brother Too Darn Hot may miss Saturday's Solario Stakes at Sandown, for which he is a red-hot favourite.
He said: "Lah Ti Dar has come out of the race very well and is absolutely fine, but while she'll be left in both the Leger and the Vermeille we're leaning towards the Vermeille. If we were to go for the Vermeille, we would then look at running her in the Arc."
He added: "I'm not discounting the St Leger and we'll take a close look at both races. I think Lah Ti Dar will stay the Leger trip, and I don't think her inexperience would stop her from running very well, but it is still a big ask of a three-year-old filly to get nearly two miles."
The Prix Vermeille is a traditional stepping stone for fillies heading to the Arc, although until 2008, when Zarkava beat Lah Ti Dar's dam Dar Re Mi – a subsequent three-time Group 1 winner – no filly had done the double since Three Troikas in 1979. Treve did it again in 2013, and she ran in the Vermeille twice more.
A year after running into Zarkava, Dar Re Mi returned to contest the Vermeille, crossing the line first only to be controversially disqualified for interference and placed fifth.
Too Darn Hot, Dar Re Mi's fifth foal and a seven-length debut winner at Sandown this month, was heavily backed on Tuesday for the Group 3 188bet Solario Stakes, a race Gosden has won with top-class colts Raven's Pass and Kingman.
However, although Too Darn Hot is as short as even money from an early morning 7-4 he is far from certain to run.
Marsh said: "He's trained very well since his debut win and John is very happy with him, but there's a possibility we might wait instead for a novice race at Ascot on Saturday week."
News from Joseph O'Brien on Monday that his Irish Derby winner Latrobe is likely to step up in distance for the St Leger, rather than take on Winx in Australia, led to several firms cutting his Doncaster odds on Tuesday.
Paddy Power and Ladbrokes went 10-1 (from 16), with BoyleSports the only firm now offering 16-1.
Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com