Tom Collins examines the credentials of Logician ahead of Fred Archer 'plan B'
Close Brothers Fred Archer Stakes (Listed) | 1m4f | 4yo+ | ITV/RTV
Regression is almost guaranteed after an athlete sustains a serious injury and that does not differ between humans and horses. As a result, we may have set our expectations a little too high for 2019 St Leger winner Logician.
The imposing grey, who was considered the leading light of the staying division two years ago after his Doncaster Classic success took his unbeaten streak to five, suffered from the life-threatening abdominal condition peritonitis that winter and was saved at the Newmarket Equine Hospital. It was a great achievement to just get him back to full health.
It would be foolish to judge Logician on his three-year-old exploits. What we have seen since would not make him a short-priced favourite in this field and punters should not forget that.
He beat Mythical Magic in a two-runner race on his return last year at odds of 1-12, but looked in trouble for a few strides. The runner-up has not franked the form, beating just four of 17 rivals in two subsequent starts.
Logician then finished last of four at prohibitive odds in the Cumberland Lodge, in which he proved virtually unrideable close home as he hung right-handed, and third of five in the Aston Park last month. He showed signs of life that day despite never troubling Al Aasy, but an RPR of 107 was a stone short of his peak.
John and Thady Gosden have found the perfect opportunity for Logician to prove that he still has what it takes as this year's Fred Archer Stakes lacks depth.
On official figures, Logician has 5lb in hand of veteran Desert Encounter, who is on a 13-race losing streak and often shirks the issue, 7lb on Group 3 juvenile winner Max Vega and 8lb on the now-visored Pablo Escobarr.
However, St Leger winners since 2010 have subsequently competed in Listed company four times. Capri got turned over at a short price in the Saval Beg in 2019, Masked Marvel didn't get close for new connections at Caulfield, while Arctic Cosmos won the 2012 Magnolia Stakes at Kempton before finishing last of seven in similar company later that year. The notable class drop is not usually a recipe for success.
Race analysis by Tom Collins
'He's a big horse who is hard to get fit'
Torrential rain at the end of Royal Ascot threw plenty of running plans into disarray and Logician was one of those not asked to face the unsuitably deep conditions.
John and Thady Gosden have instead rerouted the 2019 St Leger winner to what, on all known form, is a much easier task.
"This is very much plan B for him as we took him out of the Hardwicke Stakes when the ground went soft," said John Gosden. "He ran well on his return at Newbury when he needed the run as he'd been off for a long time before that. He's worked nicely since then and should enjoy the ground."
With Frankie Dettori heading to the Curragh for the ride aboard Lone Eagle in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, Rab Havlin steps in on Logician for this Listed assignment.
Fresh from his Royal Ascot success aboard Loving Dream, Havlin said: "It is great to get back on him and he is a nice horse to pick up. I rode him on Wednesday and he felt in great shape and has come on since the last day.
"He's a big horse who is hard to get fit and the whole way through it has always taken a run to get him right. He seems to have come out of his race the right way."
What they say
David Simcock, trainer of Desert Encounter
He does what he pleases and he came out of Ascot well. These are the types of races that really suit him. You can never guarantee what he's going to do but hopefully he'll run very well.
Tom Marquand, rider of Pablo Escobarr
I galloped him in headgear ten days before Ascot and he went great in it. He feels great and I'm hoping we can put a line throughhis last run. It was his first run back and he is a big horse so he might have needed it a bit.
David Menuisier, trainer of Winter Reprise
I thought he ran a really good race at Goodwood to be beaten by a couple of Group 1 horses on what was not an ideal track. When he ran in the Gordon Richards I thought maybe he needed to go further and I wasn't brave enough to step him up for his next outing. Both times I thought he ran like a mile and four horse. It's really hot opposition again but I would expect him to improve for the step up.
Reporting by Scott Burton
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