Ed Chamberlin on why he expects Kew Gardens to win Saturday's St Leger.

Racing
Read Ed Chamberlin's latest column
Read Ed Chamberlin's latest column

I’m very, very sweet on Kew Gardens for Saturday’s William Hill St Leger at Doncaster – and not because I’ve been brainwashed by Jason Weaver.

He’s the president of the colt's fan club and has been ever since he backed him to win the Investec Derby at the start of the season. He should finally be able to toast Classic success at the weekend.

The moment I thought he’d win the Leger was when he put his field to the sword in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot. Immediately afterwards Aidan O’Brien told Oli Bell that all roads led to Doncaster and the ITV podium was a hive of activity with various people looking to snap up the 10/1 that was on offer.

Kew Gardens Wins The Queens Vase | Royal Ascot 2018

He went on to win what now looks a weak Group One in France so I was looking for him to lay down a significant Leger marker in the Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes at York. And thankfully he did.

During my six-month sabbatical between leaving Sky Sports and ITV Racing launching I immersed myself in the sport, trying to serve a quick apprenticeship.

I was fortunate to spend an afternoon with Aidan O’Brien at the 2016 York Ebor Meeting and he ran Idaho in the Voltigeur. He was at pains beforehand to stress how this race was very much a stepping stone to Doncaster for the horse and it was obvious he would improve for the outing.

The fact he won the Voltigeur – plus the five pounds or more improvement to come- made him a rattling bet for the Leger and I had my biggest wager for a very long time on him for the final Classic.


Sky Bet Festival Fever: 6/4 (from 4/6) Aidan O'Brien wins Saturday's St Leger


It was a painful day at Doncaster when he unseated Seamie Heffernan just as he looked to be coming with a winning run.

Kew Gardens can help erase at least some of that pain on Saturday. Johnny Murtagh was the first to point out in the paddock at York that he looked on the tubby side and would come on a bundle.

The fact he ran so well in third behind Old Persian, making good headway from the rear of the field, was very encouraging. His stable were under something of a cloud at the time and they were delighted with the performance.

On good or fast ground I think he’s a certaintity at Doncaster – but on anything softer then doubts would start to creep in.

Jason Weaver and myself will be casting an anxious eye skywards over the next few days.


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