Storm The Stars cements position at head of market for Ladbrokes St Leger as Brown draws a line under local hope Medrano’s latest performance

The Group Two Great Voltigeur Stakes is often one of the leading trials for the Ladbrokes St Leger and this year’s renewal, staged at York on Wednesday, August 19, held plenty of clues for the final Classic, which takes places at Doncaster on Saturday, September 12.

Storm The Stars (William Haggas) survived a stewards’ enquiry to score by half a length from Bondi Beach (Aidan O’Brien) and the duo head the ante-post market for the Ladbrokes St Leger. Ladbrokes make Storm The Stars the 4/1 favourite, with Bondi Beach next in the betting at 7/1.

Other horses who contested the Great Voltigeuer Stakes and hold entries in the Ladbrokes St Leger are the third home Giovanni Canaletto (Aidan O’Brien), Medrano (fifth), Balios (sixth) and Aloft (seventh).

Medrano, trained not far from Doncaster at Averham Park in Nottinghamshire by David Brown, was uncharacteristically keen in the Great Voltigeur Stakes, leading the field until approaching the three-furlong pole before fading into fifth.

The son of Archipenko has previously shown a good level of form, finishing a staying-on fourth in the Group Three Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and scoring an impressive six-length victory in the Listed Glasgow Stakes at Hamilton Park on July 17. Earlier in the year, he was third to Storm The Stars in a Listed contest at Goodwood and also occupied the same finishing position in the Group Three Chester Vase.

Brown believes there were valid excuses for Medrano’s performance at York and is still keen to run the colt in the world’s oldest Classic.

He said: “Medrano is still being aimed at the Ladbrokes St Leger.

“All I can say in regard to his York performance, is that he seemed to get lit up by something before the race.

“Maybe it was walking down to the start, I am not sure, but it was not like him as he is usually slowly away and you can position him where you want.

“He was like a sprinter in the race at York and then he got a bump from one of Aidan O’Brien’s horses – after that there was no chance.

“I think you have to draw a line under that performance. I think he should be suited by the step up in trip at Doncaster – he just doesn’t need to go a million miles an hour!

“The plan is to go straight to Doncaster now. Hopefully, Fergal Lynch will be back on him in the Ladbrokes St Leger and we can just drop him in. His mother won over a mile and three quarters so you would have every hope he would get the trip.”

Covert Love (Hugo Palmer) won the Group Irish Oaks at the Curragh on July 18 and went down by a neck when runner-up to Pleascach in yesterday’s Yorkshire Oaks. She remains engaged in the Ladbrokes St Leger along with Jack Naylor (Jessica Harrington) and Easter (Aidan O’Brien), who were sixth and ninth respectively in the Group One York contest.

O’Brien, successful in the Ladbrokes St Leger four times, will be represented in tomorrow’s Ebor at York by the favourite Fields Of Athenry, who is currently 10/1 with Ladbrokes for the Ladbrokes St Leger following his impressive victory in the Group Three Ballyroan Stakes at the Curragh on August 6.

There is a scratchings deadline for the Ladbrokes St Leger, plus the Group Two Saint-Gobain Weber Park Stakes and the Group Two At The Races Champagne Stakes, at noon on Tuesday, August 25, details of which will be revealed the following day.

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