Horse-by-horse guide to Saturday's William Hill St Leger

Il Paradiso can serve it up to Logician, according to David Ord
Il Paradiso can serve it up to Logician, according to David Ord

David Ord expects Aidan O'Brien to win Saturday's William Hill St Leger and has horse-by-horse guide to the final Classic of the season for which there are eight runners.

DASHING WILLOUGHBY: Followed up his Royal Ascot win with a sound run behind Communique in the Princess Of Wales’s Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket (had run of the race from the front) but made little impact in the Qatar Goodwood Cup next time. Strong stayer but his best form is with some cut and unless (for the second week running) I’m reading the forecast wrong, he won’t get that on Town Moor.

Dashing Willoughby wins the Queen's Vase
Dashing Willoughby wins the Queen's Vase

IL PARADISO: Thriving right now and followed up impressive win in Curragh handicap (12 lengths winner form mark of 89) by finishing third to Stradivarius in the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup at York. Was only a nose off runner-up Dee Ex Bee there and that form puts him bang in the frame for this with the potential for further improvement.

LOGICIAN: Unraced at two and made rapid strides in an unbeaten four-race, three-year-old campaign. Took the step to Group Two company in his stride when winning the Sky Bet Great Voltigeur at York last time and a worthy favourite here. The only negative is the price as he heads up in trip here. His pedigree is mixed on that front but his racing style suggests it won't be an issue.

Logician coasts home under Frankie Dettori
Logician coasts home under Frankie Dettori at York

NAYEF ROAD: Beat Constantinople by a neck in the Gordon Stakes but last of five behind that colt – and the winner Logician – at York next time. He's the sort to quickly bounce back form a clear off day but even on his best form has a bit to find.

SIR DRAGONET: Another not to see the racecourse in 2018 but shot to prominence after winning the Chaser Vase and was last off the bridle when fifth (beaten less than a length) behind stablemate Anthony Van Dyck in the Investec Derby. Rusty on return from break at the Curragh, outpaced over a trip short of his best, he'll be a different proposition here but for all he looks a Group One colt in the making, he didn't look one crying out for staying trips at Epsom.

Sir Dragonet is a striking winner of the Chester Vase
Sir Dragonet is a striking winner of the Chester Vase

SIR RON PRIESTLEY: A typically teak-tough, progressive Mark Johnston three-year-old who’s five form six this season, winning handicaps from marks of 86 through to 98 and landing the March Stakes at Goodwood last time. The slow pace there didn't suit him but he was still a clear-cut winner and this front-runner hasn't stopped improving yet. He'll take some passing in any company, relishes a stamina test and will expose any flaws in these rivals.

Sir Ron Priestley - Leger material?
Sir Ron Priestley - Leger material?

TECHNICIAN: Showed improved form when overcoming trouble in running to beat Morando in the Geoffrey Freer at Newbury last time. Clearly useful and should relish this step up in trip but already disappointed in the Chester Vase and Gordon Stakes this season and isn't always the easiest to predict.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Used as a pacemaker for Japan in the Grand Prix de Paris last time and a similar role looks to lie in wait here.


VERDICT

An intriguing renewal of the William Hill St Leger. Logician deserves his place at the head of the market but is short enough for a first venture into Group One company and over a mile and six. Sir Dragonet is his main market rival but whether a proper test at this trip is what he wants remains to be seen.

Preference is for stablemate IL PARADISO who is thriving right now and ran a huge race to finish third in the Lonsdale at York. He has no stamina questions to answer, a remark which also applies to Sir Ron Priestley who will take some pegging back form the front and he makes each-way appeal at a double-figure price.


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