St Leger predictions: Continuous the one to beat for O'Brien
- Frankie Dettori partners Arrest in his final ride in a British Classic
- Recommended bets:
- Selection: Continuous @ 7/2 with LiveScore Bet
The Classic season in Britain draws to a close on Saturday afternoon as Doncaster hosts the St Leger, the oldest and longest of Britain's five crown jewels of Flat racing.
It will be the Classic farewell for Frankie Dettori, the veteran rider is set to hang up his boots come year-end, and he is on Arrest for John & Thady Gosden as he aims for a seventh career St Leger win.
Aidan O'Brien is another man aiming for St Leger win number seven in his glittering career and the Ballydoyle supremo saddles four contenders – with Great Voltigeur hero Continuous seemingly leading the charge for the Irishman.
Frankie's farewell may come unstuck on Arrest
This summer saw Frankie Dettori embark on the sort of 'farewell tour' that only he could muster up.
He won the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May – the first British Classic of the season – on Chaldean for Andrew Balding and Juddmonte and will sport the same iconic colours here after siding with Arrest over fellow Gosdens inmate Gregory.
Dettori has added to his catalogue of major success with wins at Epsom, Royal Ascot Newmarket and Glorious Goodwood and it is dangerous to write him off anywhere the way things have been going.
Arrest thrives on soft going and signed off his 2YO term with a close second in a French Group 1. He romped to victory in the Chester Vase on soft ground in his comeback but came crashing down to earth in the Epsom Derby.
He was held again at Royal Ascot, but a return to slower ground paid off with a front–running win in the Geoffrey Freer at Newbury last time. A repeat of those tactics might set this race up for the closers.
Gregory, meanwhile, sampled defeat for the first time last month in the Great Voltigeur at York, a race in which he and Dettori had cut out most of the running.
He is now the mount of Kieran Shoemark and while the return to a longer trip on slower ground can be deemed a positive, he needs a personal best to win this.
Continuous looks ominous for O'Brien and Moore
In that Great Voltigeur at York, it was Ryan Moore and CONTINUOUS who prevailed. Trainer Aidan O'Brien has always spoken highly of this colt and, while beaten on his first three runs this season, he came good at York having been ridden very patiently out the back by Moore.
They were impressive in the latter part of the race and this extra distance promises to suit them well.
The Ballydoyle handler saddles Alexandroupolis, Denmark and Tower Of London but the York form is the best on offer and Continuous has plenty upside coming to Doncaster off the back of that effort.
His stamina is almost certain to be an asset here and he will be at home on the softer ground. Once again, Moore is liable to be looking on at his rivals from the rear before summoning up a challenge when things get gruelling late in the race.
O'Brien celebrated his 4,000th winner as a trainer last Sunday and his tally of Group 1 wins is well over 400 – a staggering achievement. His seventh St Leger may be the next.
Chesspiece can make a move on Town Moor
Desert Hero and CHESSPIECE were first and second in the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood last month and the Simon & Ed Crisford–trained runner–up might be able to avenge that now.
The Nathaniel colt was third behind Gregory in the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot and gained the second win of his career next time out at Hamilton in the Listed Glasgow Stakes in July.
He has been making the running in his recent starts and, while he was game at Goodwood, Desert Hero had a wet sail coming at him late and got the verdict, though only by a neck with James Doyle's partner rallying.
He looks like he will have no worries stepped up in distance now and, having won under more patient tactics earlier in the season, there is a good chance Doyle will opt not to get involved in the early skirmishes now as this race may set up well for those seeking to play their cards late.
The Godolphin–owned inmate is one of the more interesting each–way angles in the St Leger as such.