The St Leger contenders talk
Quotes from the connections of every one the 14 horses left in the line-up for Saturday's Ladbrokes St Leger.
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Aidan O'Brien (Eye of The Storm, Foundry and Leading Light):
"Eye Of The Storm is just coming back after a long break and runs in a Listed race at Galway on Monday night.
"The St Leger is probably going to come too quick for him but we left him in just in case he bolted up on the bridle.
"He is a class horse and we always thought that this race would suit. But it looks like we have run out of time with him.
"We were delighted with Foundry's run last time in the Great Voltigeur at York. That was his first run of the season and he was still running for experience, so we were delighted with how forward he was.
"He has had three weeks since York and is in good form.
"You would hope that the extra trip at Doncaster will be within his compass. He is a big, long-striding, good-moving horse and came home very well at York.
"Leading Light had only gone as far as a mile and a quarter before the Queen's Vase but he got the trip well at Ascot.
"We thought of going to the Voltigeur with him but he was not 100 per cent and gave him a couple of weeks off. We have been very happy with him over the last three weeks though and we always thought that Doncaster would suit him. He has not disappointed us yet, travels well and always finds plenty off the bridle.
"We will just get the horses into the race first and see. It will not be a problem to get jockeys. We have Joseph (O'Brien), Seamus (Heffernan) and hopefully Ryan (Moore). Things are just up in the air at the moment.
"Good ground should suit every horse. We'd be happy with good ground."
Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford (Cap O'Rushes, Libertarian and Secret Number):
"Encke was a great winner of the Ladbrokes St Leger in 2012 and he was our sixth success in 20 years so we have a great track record in the Classic. It is a race we love and a fantastic heritage race - being the oldest Classic and part of the fabric of British racing.
"It is very much on the radar each year. We have a lot of horses who fit the profile of the race and naturally get drawn towards it. The Ladbrokes St Leger is one of the highlights of the whole year for us.
"Secret Number is bred to be a mile and a quarter horse and he looks to be one of these nearly horses - he does not seem to win on the big occasion. For me, I would be surprised if he was good enough to win on Saturday. He is in good form and, indeed, did his best piece of work ever leading up to this race. But I would be a bit surprised to see him in the winner's enclosure.
"Cap O'Rushes was disappointing last time in the Great Voltigeur but the ground on the Knavesmire was very quick. I would suggest you take a line through him and Excess Knowledge who is one of the contenders to be favourite, while Cap O'Rushes is an unconsidered outsider. But Cap Of Rushes beat him at Goodwood. Though Excess Knowledge was an unlucky loser, there is no doubt that Cap O'Rushes, given his ground, is the most interesting of our three contenders at the prices.
"Libertarian was bought with the Ladbrokes St Leger very much in mind. We thought he would be an ideal candidate for the Classic. But, having said that, I cannot help wondering if that will backfire. His run in the Irish Derby was too bad to be true, but the ground was very quick that day and he didn't like it. It has taken him a long time to get over that race, while he had a very hard campaign in the spring.
"Karl Burke, very generously, told us everything we needed to know about the horse. Libertarian never shows anything in his work and has never showed us anything either - I think we are going there guessing. The jury is out and he still has a lot to prove.
"We will have to wait and see what the jockey arrangements will be in the next 48 hours. We have got Silvestre (de Sousa), we have got Mickael (Barzalona) and we will hopefully get the best available for the third horse, whoever that may be.
"Silvestre will ride Secret Number, while Mickael will either be on Libertarian or Cap O'Rushes. Going into the race, you have got to fancy Galileo Rock. He was beaten half a length by Libertarian in the Derby but will take all the beating. I also like the filly Talent. I think her Oaks win was superb and you can put a line through her race in Ireland - they went so slow and her chances were mitigated. If they go a proper gallop, then she will be bang there."
David Wachman (Galileo Rock):
"Galileo Rock seems well and we are happy with him.
"He has run well in two Derbys and is very much entitled to take his chance on Saturday. His three-parts brother, Saddler's Rock, stays well and hopefully he does too.
"Good ground will be fine though fast going would be better. Wayne Lordan, who is a top-class jockey, will ride Galileo Rock again. The horses are running well."
John Gosden (Excess Knowledge and Feel Like Dancing)
"The Ladbrokes St Leger is fantastic race, with a great track and a great crowd. It is probably the best galloping track in Europe.
"Feel Like Dancing is fine after his Bahrain Trophy win - it is a route I have taken before with Masked Marvel. He is a solid horse and stays well. William Buick will be on board.
"Excess Knowledge will be ridden by James Doyle. He was making a nice run down the outside in the Gordon Stakes and there was horse wandering around in front of him every time we made a move. He flew at the finish but was just beaten.
"That is racing. I like him and, bred the way he is, the distance of a mile, six and a half furlongs should be within his compass. Good ground will be fair for everybody, but both horses will be appreciate any rain that comes."
Andrew Balding (Havana Beat):
"He was unlucky in the Bahrain Trophy as he got caught in a pocket and only finished up getting beaten two necks. He stays very well.
"For whatever reason, he ran badly at Goodwood but he really pleased me with the way he worked on Saturday.
"If he had won the Bahrain Trophy and was going straight for the Leger he certainly wouldn't be a 33/1 shot. Looking at previous St Legers, it looks like the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot is a pretty good guide and he was a staying-on fifth in that race. He stayed on all the way to the line and there are some clues that suggest he might have a chance.
"The Ladbrokes St Leger is a race I would love to win. There have been plenty of St Leger winners trained at Kingsclere but none for a long time. His owners Mick and Janice Mariscotti have been tremendous supporters of the yard over the last four or five years and hopefully this horse will give them a run for their money."
Ralph Beckett (Talent):
"Look Here ran a very good race for us in the St Leger when she was third [in 2008]. I wasn't sure she got home and it was probably a very good Leger, won by Conduit.
"Talent is in good shape. She has not had the ideal preparation, as I was keen to run her in the Yorkshire Oaks but the ground was too quick. I think she would be better with a run under her belt.
"She galloped at Kempton over a mile last week and we were pleased with the way it went. She doesn't knock herself out in her work.
"We have always felt she is a strong stayer and that the St Leger is the right race for her under the right conditions. She needs a bit of juice in the ground, not like the ground when she ran in the Irish Oaks. I am not convinced that the ground was the only reason for her poor performance in Ireland but I wouldn't want to run her on fast ground again until I knew for sure."
Jo Hughes (London Bridge):
"As long as there isn't a lot of rain at Doncaster, London Bridge will run. I was slightly disappointed with his run in France, but he has come out of it well. I don't think the French style of racing suited him because they are inclined to go slower and try and quicken, whereas our horse is an out-and-out galloper.
"I wouldn't be at all concerned about the trip in the St Leger and the English style of racing should suit him better.
"Before his run in France, he had been improving with every run and I don't think he has achieved his full potential yet. He is still improving in himself and I don't think it will be the best St Leger there has ever been, so we have to give it a go."
Brian Meehan (Red Rocks):
"We have quite a few stayers in the yard this season.
"He hung a bit left and hung a bit right and was green at Haydock last time, but he actually won with plenty in hand. It probably looked a bit more pressured than it was.
"Kieren Fallon takes the ride and the ground should be fine for him."
Pat Shanahan (Ralston Road)
"He ran a very good race at Ascot and was not beaten far despite meeting interference.
"It is great to have him and I expect a big run as he is in super form and is a great galloper. Tadhg O'Shea will ride him again."