John Gosden admits as he wants to give him a success at the William Hill St 26, Logician confronts a step.
It is 23 years since the master of Clarehaven first developed the world’s oldest Vintage with Shantou. He has since added to his tally with three wins in five years courtesy of Lucarno (2007), Arctic Cosmos (2010) Masked Marvel (2011).
At winning his first few starts the Khalid Abdullah-owned Logician created his racecourse debut in May, but created a significant impression – with a set of wins at Newbury sandwiching a similarly prominent screen at Newmarket.
Frankel’s son graduated with a facile success in the the Great Voltigeur at York to Group Two course and will line up as a favourite in the palms of jockey Frankie Dettori in Doncaster on Saturday.
“He’s been in good form since York. He’s very much a work in advance and didn’t start racing until late in life,” said Gosden.
“I believed back May he might be a Leger horse. He even won a maiden down at Newbury, a 0-90 handicap back at Newbury and then a novice, as it had been the first time he was ridden by Frankie. He’s come a long way in a short moment.
“He awakened again at the Great Voltigeur, and we’re very happy with him.
“He is fine in addition to the floor, there is no doubt he is a better horse on good, easy side of great, but that might opt for a couple others.”
Gosden believes the choice not to operate Logician as a two-year-old and give him enough time to mature has been crucial in his or her development.
He said:”He came to us pretty late, and I believe giving him that time has profited him.
“He’s a great horse to be around. He is a character and has a long loping stride.
“I feel that the fine, long straight at Doncaster must suit him well.”
The two obvious questions hanging Logician heading into the Town Moor showpiece are if his endurance will continue out within the space, and if his lack of encounter could prove his undoing.
Assessing both aspects, Gosden included:”We’ve been fortunate to acquire the Leger four occasions, and those horses were more seasoned than him. It’s a evaluation of a thoroughbred on that trip – that the one-mile-six is something, and also the 185 yards could be rather telling.
“You always understand you going into uncharted lands with a young horse like him. It is not like he’s obtained a trial over a mile and three-quarters.
“He gives me the signals, as he is very relaxed, he will stay well.”
As always, Gosden is respectful of their opposition – giving special mention to the Mark Johnston-trained Sir Ron Priestley, who claimed his fifth win from six starts this season in last month’s March Stakes at Goodwood.
He said:”I think it’s a good renewal. You have a horse on the market that won and stayed on. This has been a race I saw carefully, because we had been second in it (with Promissory).
“It will likely be an end-to-end gallop, which isn’t a bad thing as it thins the field out.
“You can get trouble in running, and I recall a couple of horses which have been unfortunate not to win there. That will be left by me to the horse and Frankie – they do not require any instructions.
“When you see the horses that are still rolling between the two-furlong marker and also the one, which will tell us what kind of quality Leger it’s.”
Dragon to fire
Il Paradiso and sir Dragonet give Aidan O’Brien a hand that is strong.
The Ballydoyle handler claimed his sixth victory from the Town Moor showpiece with Kew Gardens 12 months back – including to his previous triumphs with Milan (2001), Brian Boru (2003), Scorpion (2005), Leading Light (2013) and Capri (2017).
Chester Vase winner Sir Dragonet has already had this season tilts Classic glory , completing a close-up fifth when favourite in June.
He had been defeated at odds-on on his return from a midsummer break in the Royal Whip Stakes at the Curragh last month, but O’Brien believes his bill will strip much more powerful on Saturday – and is convinced the step up to a mile plus three-quarters won’t be an issue.
Assessing the most important market rival to the John Gosden-trained Logician, O’Brien said:”Sir Dragonet is a horse that has a lot of class.
“He was only ready to return in the Curragh. He received a little bit tired, which he had been entitled to perform. I was being gentle and really attentive .
“He has never run anything under a mile and a half, aside from the last day over a mile and a quarter. He was started by us in a time and a half and we all think there’s a chance he’ll get the trip.
“I don’t think he is earth dependent. That was good ground, and he only ran on tender earth before Epsom, and he also came out of that ideal.
“There is no doubt his very best run was his Epsom run”
Sir Dragonet’s stablemate Il Paradiso has proved his endurance, when behind celebrity stayer Stradivarius having generated a career-best performance.
“He remains really well and looks like a horse that will get a Gold Cup excursion – he looks like he will have two and a half miles,” O’Brien added.
“I think he is going to be happy enough. He does not mind being ridden forward. You’d be riding him like you are positive he will stay and the other (Sir Dragonet) you’ll be taking your time using a little, I’d imagine.”
O’Brien also saddles outsider Western Australia.
Sir Ron Priestley has won five of his six starts this year – his only blip. Mark Johnston’s fee is unbeaten in 3 subsequent appearances and measures up to Group One level for the very first time.
Johnston, with a second string to his bow in Nayef Road, stated:”He (Sir Ron Priestley) has got a lot to locate, and it might need to become a career-best, however, he deserves to be there.
“He has done almost everything right in the lower levels, with the exception of Royal Ascot. He has got to measure up to the significant one.
“I never underestimate the Leger, because I’ve run some high horses inside and they have been beaten. We understand he receives the excursion, so we don’t have any doubts about him there.
“Many of them in there will be getting the trip they are class horses, so that they ought to do. He stays the trip very well and is a genuine horse”
Martyn Meade’s Geoffrey Freer winner Tech and Dashing Willoughby, from the yard of Andrew Balding, finish the area.
Balding said of the Royal Ascot winner:”He’s run nicely at Newmarket on Goodwood on fast ground so he doesn’t need to have it soft.
“He’s run into a fair level all year and been really consistent, so I would expect he’d run well.”
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