Storm The Stars “is the one they all have to beat” in the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster

The start of the 2015 Ladbrokes St Leger Festival at Doncaster is now just two weeks away and the countdown steps up a gear today with the unveiling of the latest acceptors for Britain’s final Classic of 2015, the Ladbrokes St Leger, plus the Group Two At The Races Champagne Stakes and the Group Two Saint Gobain Weber Park Stakes.

All three contests take place on Ladbrokes St Leger Day, Saturday, September 12, which is the fourth and final day of the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival at Doncaster.

Order Of St George is one of six horses going forward for Ireland’s champion trainer Aidan O’Brien in the £650,000 Group One feature, the Ladbrokes St Leger, and is now the 3/1 favourite for the Classic with Ladbrokes following a facile seven and half-length victory in the Group Three Irish St Leger Trial at the Curragh on August 23.

Storm The Stars (William Haggas) is next best at 7/2 after cementing his credentials with a gutsy half-length victory over Bondi Beach (5/1, Aidan O’Brien) in what is usually the best trial for the Classic, the Group Two Great Voltigeur Stakes at York on August 19.

It was a deserved success for the son of Sea The Stars, who was Classic-placed in both the Investec Derby and Irish Derby over 12 furlongs. He finished third to Golden Horn in the Investec Derby at Epsom Downs on June 6 and came second to Jack Hobbs in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby on June 27. Storm The Stars then ran third in another Group One contest over a mile and a half, the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp on July 14.

He now steps up in distance to the one mile, six furlongs and 132 yards of the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster on September 12.

The Great Voltigeur Stakes has proved a key trial for Doncaster, with Enke (2012), Mastery (2009) and Lucarno (2007) all using it as a stepping stone to Ladbrokes St Leger glory in recent years.

Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Sheikh Juma Dalmook Al Maktoum, said: “Storm The Stars has come out of York in great form and everything is fine with him.

“I thought it was a good performance in the Voltigeur. He was game and really stuck his head down in the final furlong.

“The form of that race looks strong and I think he is the one they all have to beat at Doncaster. The others need to improve to beat him – I’m not saying they won’t but they need to.

“I think he will be more effective over a mile and three quarters. He wants this trip.”

John Gosden has won three of the last eight renewals of the final Classic, most recently with Masked Marvel in 2011, and is set to rely on Mr Singh (6/1). The son of High Chaparral has not run since making all to win the Group Three Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket on July 9.

France has two contenders going forward in the shape of Sumbal (12/1, Francis Graffard), who has not run since staying on into fifth in the Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) in May, and the Mikel Delzangles-trained Vengeur Masque (25/1). Toulon in 1991 was the last French-trained winner of the Ladbrokes St Leger.

Aidan O’Brien’s sextet also includes Group Three scorer Fields Of Athenry (8/1), Irish Derby third Giovanni Canaletto (16/1), Melrose handicap third Outspoken (20/1) and impressive Dundalk maiden winner Hobart (25/1).

Listed Glasgow Stakes winner Medrano (33/1, David Brown) and Proposed (33/1, Richard Hannon) complete the 12 confirmations for the Ladbrokes St Leger.

Ladbrokes St Leger – Ladbrokes bet: 3/1 Order Of St George; 7/2 Storm The Stars; 5/1 Bondi Beach; 6/1 Mr Singh; 8/1 Fields Of Athenry; 12/1 Sumbal; 16/1 Giovanni Canaletto; 20/1 Outspoken; 25/1 Hobart, 25/1 Vengeur Masque; 33/1 Medrano, 33/1 Proposed.
EW 1/4 odds 1-2-3

Saint Gobain Weber Park Stakes

Owner Hamdan Al Maktoum accounts for seven of 41 remaining entries in the £100,000 Group Two Saint Gobain Weber Park Stakes over seven furlongs.

The septet is headlined by recent Group Two Hungerford Stakes victor Adaay (William Haggas), Mustajeeb (Dermot Weld) and Fadhayyil (Barry Hills), who returned to winning ways in the Listed City Of York Stakes last week.

Champion trainer Richard Hannon has six horses going forward, notably Toormore and Ivawood, while Jersey Stakes winner Dutch Connection (Charlie Hills) and Commonwealth Cup runner-up Limato (Henry Candy) are other high-profile acceptors.

At The Races Champagne Stakes

Impressive Group One Phoenix Stakes winner Air Force Blue (Aidan O’Brien) headlines 41 confirmations for the £75,000 Group Two At The Races Champagne Stakes over seven furlongs.

Group Two scorers Birchwood (Richard Fahey), Galileo Gold (Hugo Palmer) and Herald The Dawn (Jim Bolger) are also engaged along with last week’s decisive Acomb Stakes victor Recorder (William Haggas).

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