St Leger day live: Doncaster tips, videos, previews and reaction on the final day of the Leger Festival

Oisin Murphy celebrates on Roaring Lion
Oisin Murphy celebrates on Roaring Lion

Roaring Lion won the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes from Saxon Warrior, after Kew Gardens landed the William Hill St Leger. Relive Saturday's stunning action.

St Leger day recap


1840: ROARING LION wins the Irish Champion Stakes!

What a brilliant horse over 10 furlongs, John Gosden's star adding to his wins in the Dante Stakes, Coral-Eclipse and the Juddmonte International.

And another brilliant battle with Saxon Warrior. This is all class from Roaring Lion, as it looked briefly like Saxon Warrior had nicked it after getting first run.

But the Lion powered home under a strong drive to edge in ahead by a neck on the line. Fantastic performance and a fantastic ride from Oisin Murphy, who must feel like he can walk on water right now.

1825: Almost time for the Irish Champion. Best of luck if you're having a bet but I'm hoping for a positive showing from French challenger Study Of Man ahead of the Arc.

1812: Back at Doncaster, the final race of the St Leger Festival went to Ian Williams and Byron Flyer under William Buick.

And I Can Fly has won the Group 2 Boomerang Stakes at Leopardstown in yet another one-two for Aidan O'Brien - Ryan Moore riding the 7/2 winner after getting the chopper from Doncaster this afternoon. You couldn't make it up.

Ryan Moore runs across the track after getting the helicopter from Doncaster
Ryan Moore runs across the track after getting the helicopter from Doncaster

1810: Karl Burke has spoken to our Mike Vince at the course in Leopardstown and he is BUZZING. Understandably so.

1800: Fingers firmly crossed Alpha Centauri is okay following that run in the Matron. Jessica Harrington feels she got to the front before taking a bad step.

1750: What sort of time is 6.25 for a Group 1 anyway?

Interesting to see the money continues to come for Saxon Warrior in the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes. He's just about 9/4 across the board now as he looks to give Ryan Moore a Group 1 double on the day.

He got here in time for the Matron which is quite remarkable given he rode in the Leger at 3.35, but he didn't have to battle with the ferry.

If you click on the image below you'll see Sky Bet's live Irish Champion market, with favourite Roaring Lion currently being boosted to 4/5.

Saxon Warrior (far side) does battle with Roaring Lion in the Eclipse
Saxon Warrior (far side) does battle with Roaring Lion in the Eclipse

1738: In other news, the well-supported Nap finishes second at Lingfield. I'm not sure I can see this out for another hour now!

1735: Serious drama as Laurens, well-fancied for the Yorkshire Oaks last month, relishes the drop back to a mile to land the Matron Stakes under Danny Tudhope.

Alpha Centauri has to go down as disappointing - she just didn't pick up and seemed to almost stumble when really asked to challenge long-time leader Laurens in the final furlong.

1730: Laurens beats Alpha Centauri!

1720: Alpha is 1/4 to get the job done but Sky Bet have enhanced the odds on her winning by five lengths or more, from 3/1 to 7/2.

It's tempting, but I'd be going for three and a half lengths here.

1715: How's the stamina? Our Nap of the day is still to come at Lingfield (5.30), while there's still over an hour until the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes.

And before all that we've got one of the best horses in the world - Alpha Centauri - running in the Matron Stakes (5.25).

So grab another quick cuppa and get back in your seat - could be some special races still to come on this Classic Saturday.

Here's a reminder of what she did when we last saw her in action.

2018 Prix Jacques le Marois - Alpha Centauri

1700: Meanwhile at Leopardstown, Rostropovic leads home an O'Brien one-two in the Group 3 over a mile and a half.

That's on the back of Kevin Prendergast's Madhmoon enhancing his tall reputation in the juvenile race and Limini leading a one-two for Willie Mullins in the big middle-distance handicap.

1648: Ostilio does the business!

1635: Another for Atzeni here on Town Moor?

Ostilio has already enjoyed a great season and seem to be holding his form well. He's 7/4 market leader with Sky Bet and you can click on the image below for all today's live odds and offers.

Ostilio wins the Britannia at Royal Ascot
Ostilio wins the Britannia at Royal Ascot

1630: Worth noting that Sky Bet make Kew Gardens 20/1 (from 33/1) for the Arc de Triomphe next month.

Interesting one. Unless Capri wins well on his comeback tomorrow then Ballydoyle might not have much else to throw at the race, barring Magic Wand and Forever Together, so it wouldn't be a shock to see the Leger winner go that way. He's already won a Group 1 in France this year and there's enough time to run today and the first Sunday in October.

I could see that price halving in the next couple of weeks if all's well with Kew Gardens.

John Gosden, reflecting on Lah Ti Dar's second, said: "In the end the best horse won - make no mistake - but I like the way she was closing him down late on. She was getting to him and getting to him.

"There was a period at the three (furlong marker) where you said 'she's not going to be placed', but then she got balanced and organised.

"She's never raced against other horses before. We'll freshen her up and go for the fillies' and mares' race on Champions Day at Ascot and then put her away for next year. That's the plan."

1618: If you've been craving Andrea Atzeni winners at Doncaster this week (he's normally had at least nine by the Saturday!) - then he's just notched another on Richard Hannon's Leroy Leroy.

Just the two winners for Donny maestro Atzeni, but there's time for another. He rides Ostilio in the next and Dubawi Prince in the finale, both of whom hold strong chances.

1610: Group 2 juvenile event coming up at Leopardstown next and Sky Bet have enhanced the odds on the hot favourite, Madhmoon, to win by two lengths or more from 7/2 to 9/2.

Click here to check out the latest odds and offers.

1558: Ryan Moore full of praise (in his own way) for the Leger winner, Kew Gardens.

The winning jockey told ITV Racing: "It was very smooth. He's a very uncomplicated horse and he tries very hard. He's got a great attitude to life and he picked up really well.

"He's a super horse."

1545: Tremendous stuff on Town Moor as the two main market principals fill the first two spots.

It's a sixth Leger victory for trainer Aidan O'Brien and a second in the last two years as Kew Gardens prevails under Ryan Moore.

Lah Ti Dar is clearly a hugely talented filly who will win plenty of Group 1s if kept in training, but Kew Gardens was just too classy on the day and put his top-level experience and proven stamina to full use.

Moore had the handy assistance of all the other Ballyboyle boys teeing it up nicely so Lah Ti Dar's wicked turn of foot was perhaps blunted, but the winner has done it on merit, by two and a quarter lengths in the end.

O'Brien's Southern France ran a huge race in third at 20/1

Click here for the full result and free video replay.

1542: KEW GARDENS wins the 2018 St Leger!

1530: Lah Ti Dar is wearing a hood in the parade ring in a bid to just keep a lid on things. She's taking the preliminaries very well as things stand, but the extended mile and three-quarters will ask a new question of her on the track.

I'm a fan of Kew Gardens and given he's drifted a fair bit in the past couple of days I can't desert him now.

Five minutes to post time - good luck in the Leger, folks.

1525: John Gosden says Too Darn Hot's next race will be decided in 10 days or so, but said: "He was very impressive and it took Frankie a long time to pull him up. He and Seamie went past the Leger start and up to Rose Hill.

"It's a long way to gallop out after a seven-furlong two-year-old race. Maybe they were trying to find out if they'll stay middle-distances next year!"

Too Darn Hot storms clear in the Champagne
Too Darn Hot storms clear in the Champagne

1520: After everything he's been through, and everything he has achieved, Frankie is still very much the man for the big day isn't he?

And he's on the favourite for the St Leger, Too Darn Hot's full-sister Lah Ti Dar. Surely that price is going to collapse now with plenty of people invested in the big-race Dettori double today.

Sky Bet have enhanced the odds on the filly from 2/1 to 9/4.

1518: Frankie Dettori cannot get enough of this horse, understandably.

He said: "What he did between the three and the one blew me away.

"I guess the next step is a Group One, but he is very talented. When you run him on a flat track you can really feel his gears. He's learning how to race and everything he did today was amazing."

1508: Suspect Too Darn Hot is anything the Gosden team they want him to be, but Phoenix Of Spain has run a very commendable race in second there to keep the distance down if you played that market.

The second will surely be back here for the final Group 1 of the season as stepping up to a mile will suit him perfectly.

Sky Bet make Too Darn Hot 3/1 from 6/1 for the 2000 Guineas and 7/2 from 6/1 for the Derby next year. Sounds mad but there are much worse bets than that 7/2 for Epsom next June!

1505: Too Darn Hot is just that in the Champagne!

Click here for full result and free video replay

1456: Remarkable to think that his full sister - Lah Ti Dar - could be winning a Classic in around 40 minutes' time. What a dam Dar Re Mi is turning out to be.

I've had a couple of quid on Phoenix Of Spain as he looks a fraction over-priced to me.

1448: Blakeney Point wins the Listed race at Chester, with the gallant Hochfeld second. The runner-up appeared to take a bit of a false step turning in so extra credit to him but Blakeney Point was just too good. He looks likely to go back up in trip again now on this evidence and remains a horse to be interested in despite that Ebor fifth last month.

1442: Big fan of Too Darn Hot? Sky Bet go 3/1 the odds-on favourite wins by three lengths or more - just click on the image below to take advantage.

This race is a massive one in the two-year-old programme and whatever comes out on top will be right up there towards the top of the betting for next year's 2000 Guineas.

Too Darn Hot is away and clear at Sandown
Too Darn Hot won easily at Sandown last time out

1440: A little bit of reaction from Charlie Hills after he won the Portland with A Momentofmadness.

Hills said: "William gave him a great ride. He showed some speed from the gates - I think he nicked a couple of lengths and it was always going to be hard to peg him back.

"He seemed to be in front for a long time, but you don't want to disappoint him. He's come down a couple of pounds and that has obviously helped."

A momentofmadness and William Buick win the Portland
A momentofmadness and William Buick win the Portland

1429: Mustashry wins the Park Stakes!

Sir Michael Stoute's charges really toughs it out at Doncaster to grind out victory from D'bai who looked sure to collect when hitting the front. The old quirks may have returned there but credit to the winner whose stamina saw him home.

Good boost to form of Lord Glitters who runs in the top-class Woodbine Mile later on.

Click here for the full result and free video replay.

1428: Mike Vince in Ireland with the latest from the track, where James Doyle won't be appearing later today.

1410: The Group 2 Park Stakes is next up at Doncaster and Mustashry was supplemented into this event after his second to Lord Glitters at York. That looks sharp form to me and he's very interesting dropping right back from 1m1f to 7f in trip.

The big Sky Bet offer here is Mustashry OR D'bai to win - was 11/8, now 13/8.

Unfortunately - the mount of Frankie Dettori - the Linfoot choice in today's Value Bet column (click on the image below for full preview).

Check out Ben Linfoot's latest Value Bet selections
Check out Ben Linfoot's latest Value Bet selections

1404: Some reasonable feedback from our friend Henry on Twitter, who feels a bit aggrieved about Wentworth Falls not actually winning there.

They were all probably caught on the hop a little but A Momentofmadness did appear to be going too quickly and he was an out of form outsider, so was presumably expected to come back to them a little quicker. It's a tough one to take but you pays your money and takes your chance in these sprint handicaps. I'm sorry it's not quite worked out on this occasion.

1358: Ever wondered what the St Leger trends over the past 10 years would suggest? Wonder no more by clicking on the image below...

Big-race trends for 2018 St Leger
Big-race trends for 2018 St Leger

1355: A Momentofmadness wins the Portland Handicap!

What a brilliant ride. William Buick grabs the Portland by the horns on Charlie Hills' horse and blazes away at an unstoppable rate. They were closing, but the line came in time for the 25/1 chance.

Click here for the full result and free video replay

It's an each-way return for Value Bet followers as 20/1 selection Wentworth Falls finishes off really well for third.

1345: Golden Apollo the latest mover in the Portland betting. Tim Easterby's charge is 11/1 having been double that at the start of the day. Lancelot Du Lac the other one backed at big prices.

Best of luck if you've played the ITV7 or have an almighty placepot lined up for Doncaster today. You may need it to navigate leg one!

It's MONEY BACK with Sky Bet if your selection is 2nd, 3rd OR 4th. Click here to bet.

1336: And we're off...

1330: Maid Up is a lively outsider in the Leger today.

Her Goodwood form didn't work out well with Ben Vrackie well beaten here yesterday but he didn't look right at all and Maid Up had cruised by him to be fair when they clashed in that small-field Group 3.

Amazing to think Andrew Balding's three-year-old filly was beaten off 67 earlier this season, but that is the game we play. Timing is everything and she's now developed into a real Classic hope for the red-hot Balding.

1325: Here are the Doncaster market movers from Sky Bet:

Doncaster

13.50 – Wentworth Falls 9/1 from 20/1
15.35 – The Pentagon 16/1 from 28/1
16.10 – The Trader 7/2 from 5/1
16.45 – Aquarium 9/2 from 6/1
17.55 – Highbrow 5/2 from 4/1

Click on the image below for full details...

Get all today's market movers
Get all today's market movers

Marnie James is the only non-runner at Doncaster so far but you can keep track of all those that aren't going right here.

1322: Kew Gardens may be a negative in the betting but Simon Holt and Mike Cattermole (see below) both remain sweet on him.

I'd be inclined to agree, given the horse's Group 1 form in the book already. Lah Ti Dar may be a superstar, but you're taking a skinny enough price around 15/8 to find out for sure, and personally I just prefer the O'Brien horse. Loxley the obvious each-way alternative.

1310: George Baker's riding career may have been curtailed by the injuries he sustained in a terrible fall in St Moritz but nobody can take away the brilliant moments he enjoyed in the saddle.

Here he is celebrating after his 2016 St Leger success on Harbour Law.

Stand by for a Sporting Life exclusive video interview with the great man, after our David Ord recently caught up with him on the back of Baker writing a book of his life story.

George Baker after winning the St Leger on Harbour Law in 2016
George Baker after winning the St Leger on Harbour Law in 2016

1308: Speaking of star columnists, it was good to see Fran Berry keep up the good work with a winner at Sandown yesterday. It really has been a good year for Berry, who is one of the true gents of the weighing room.

I've ghosted a few columns in my 12 years in racing, including Paul Nicholls and gentleman Jimmy Fortune back in the Channel 4 Teletext days, and Fran tops the lot to deal with.

He was really sweet on a Lucy Wadham horse that he rode last time which reappears at Lingfield tonight. He's not riding it today as the booking didn't quite work out but he said it's one to be interested in. Horse in question: Dance To Paris (5.30 Lingfield).

1300: Spoke to Richard Fahey on Thursday for this weekend's preview and he sounded quite sweet on Clubbable in the valuable handicap at Chelmsford.

He's also got a massive team heading to Chester, where Gabrial The Wire got a nice write-up. He's currently 12/1, which looks a bit big. The old stick Rene Mathis is also in really good form heading up to Chester, according to our star columnist.

Sporting Life columnist Richard Fahey on his weekend team
Sporting Life columnist Richard Fahey on his weekend team

1245: I little over an hour until the first race on Town Moor and it's some race to try and unravel. The Portland Handicap. It used to be quite a rare spectacle - the five and a half furlong handicap - but they seem to be popping up all over the place and Holmeswood was a fine third in one at York last month.

He's pretty well handicapped now and Silvestre De Sousa keeps the ride which looks significant, though trainer Michael Dods is fearful of the ground drying up a bit.

Now is probably a good time to remind you that the going at Doncaster is Good (from Good to Soft), with Good to Firm the official description at Leopardstown.

Dakota Gold, Udontdodou and the aforementioned Value Bet pick Wentworth Falls are all popular against the favourite, with Blue De Vega and Abel Handy backed at bigger prices.

1230: Time for a few more tips? Always.

This is Oli Bell's Saturday Yankee, in Twitter form, for your enjoyment.

D'bai is a bit of an enigma isn't he? He must work well, that's all I'll say. But he's clearly entitled to be thereabouts in this company and Oli is keen on him putting his best foot forward. #prayforbell

1218: Over in Ireland this is truly an epic day/night.

The QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes has taken on a new mantle in recent seasons and has another fantastic field assembled.

The big juvenile race sees brilliant prospect Madhmoon looking to take the step up to Group 2 level and then there's the small matter of Alpha Centauri in the Matron Stakes.

I don't buy into the idea that it's all about the Breeders' Cup Mile now for her. She'll be dead straight for this, make no mistake, and I'd be looking into the distances markets with her. Sky Bet go 7/2 she scores by five lengths or more, which may be pushing it, but I wouldn't be keen to put anyone off that price.

The dapper Donn McClean has provided an in-depth preview so I'll cut to the chase... Here it is.

1200: This mammoth sporting day has already thrown up a bit of a shock, with South Africa defeating the All Blacks, so could there be a few more surprises in store?

There's clearly plenty of opposition to the 'big two' in the Leger, with Lah Ti Dar eased to 2/1 this morning and Kew Gardens now on offer at 7/2 having started the week more like 5/4. Quite a shift.

We've touched on The Pentagon, but improving filly Maid Up is also being backed and who could blame punters for siding with Andrew Balding here after his amazing across-the-card seven timer yesterday?

Our excellent Catching Pigeons feature has gone for Voltigeur winner Old Persian but admits few in the Appleby camp can split him and Loxley, which may explain why the latter is now a shade shorter around 8/1.

It's a fantastic puzzle to try and solve on this dizzying Saturday. Especially after you've spent the morning struggling with Where's Wally and then power-hosing maggots out of your grey bin. But enough of my personal strife.

Over to you, Simon Holt (we'll have to get him in HD next time)...

Simon Holt - St Leger preview

1155: Good question GBR, good question. Firstly, it has to be said that the market is pretty one-sided here. Too Darn Hot is utterly scorching in the betting, no bigger than 1/2 as he bids to maintain his unbeaten record and follow up that Solario stroll.

But surely there's more depth to this than first meets the eye. I fancy Van Beethoven to go better than odds of 28/1 imply, while Phoenix Of Spain looks a proper RP Trophy horse (not called that any more, is it? I must learn the new name) to me. He's 7/1 under James Doyle.

And then there's Vintage Stakes winner Dark Vision, bought by Godolphin after initially costing Mark Johnston little more than a bag of chips and a can of dandelion and burdock.

But the Dubawi colt is clearly expected to take the world of beating. And who am I to oppose the Gosden juggernaut...

1150: Some fascinating market movers through this morning, according to Sky Bet's traders.

Saxon Warrior is remarkably being well backed to beat Roaring Lion, while Wentworth Falls is a major springer in the Portland. Good luck if you got the big prices (20/1) when tipped by Ben 'Value Bet' Linfoot at 5pm yesterday.

Sticking with Doncaster, it's The Pentagon who has attracted support in the Leger itself. Amazing.

I backed him for the Derby over the winter and I've been bitterly disappointed so far... Could stepping up to 1m6f and a bit unlock some improvement? I have my doubts now.

1145: Afternoon all. It's been a good week at Doncaster so far, hasn't it?

The legends Wednesday, the Park Hill/May Hill double-header on Thursday and, without taking anything away from the Mullins one-two in the Doncaster Cup, a star performance from Archie Watson's Soldier's Call yesterday. And not forgetting Sangarius, whose tall reputation went on another sharp growth spurt in the Listed race.

But today we're going up several notches, with the final Classic - the William Hill St Leger - topping the bill. I'm also loving the look of this Champagne Stakes where Too Darn Hot faces some pretty warm opposition the Group 2 heat. What a smash-up that could be.

And I can hardly wait for the Irish Champion. But, with a scheduled off time of 6.35, I guess I'm going to have to.

Roaring Lion is in sparkling shape according to our Newmarket moles and it's going to take something special to deny him another top-level victory. Could Study Of Man be the one? Having tipped him for the Arc, I'm hoping the French challenger can at least get close.

Bring it on.

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