14th September 2012
Doncaster Betting: Thomas Chippendale and Michelangelo look the best of the challengers to Camelot
Doncaster 3.40pm – St Leger – Group 1 – 1m6f132yds
It would be great for racing to see a Triple Crown winner in a season that has been all about Frankel. Camelot’s achievements should not be overlooked, a winner of a 2000 Guineas and 2 Derbies here and in Ireland. It now aims to take in the St Leger over a trip of 1m6f, a race largely ignored in the last few seasons as connections have often opted to miss this race and take in the Arc De Triomphe instead. Some see Camelot as a dead cert and odds of 4-9 with William Hill would suggest it can’t be beaten.
It won on debut last season and arrived at Doncaster for the Racing post Trophy with a lofty reputation and was sent off as an odds on favourite. It won at a canter and then showed that was no fluke when winning the 2000 Guineas, probably unsuited by a mile but still having the speed to take the race. It won the Derby at Epsom by 5 lengths and was eased down and then went on to win the Irish equivalent by 2 lengths.
No one is talking about this horse in the same vein as Frankel but it would be the one to watch as a 4 year old if it was to stay in training. If it has an easy race they could consider a trip to France in a few weeks or they may want to protect the horse for stud value and retire it straight after this race, we’ll have to wait and see what they have planned. It doesn’t offer much in the way of a betting opportunity for most punters and plenty feel there has to be some value elsewhere in the field.
I am a huge fan of Thomas Chippendale and I feel the Voltigeur form is best ignored. That page of the formbook can be ripped up and thrown away as a sedate pace was exploited by the intelligent William Buick and Thomas Chippendale was one of the horses that suffered most when they only set off at a crawl. This race was mentioned after it beat Noble Mission and Thought Worthy at Ascot and although that rival reversed form at York the race was a farce. It was expected to be a Derby horse but reportedly didn’t winter well and is expected to improve again, more so next year as a 4 year old. Odds of 28-1 look too big considering it has already beaten Thought Worthy and that is only 12-1. I feel it will have longer to settle, will stay and will improve the further it goes.
Ursa Major has attracted support in the last week and Johnny Murtagh has been riding quite well this week at Doncaster, especially in sprints though on Sole Power and Sir Prancealot. This horse hasn’t finished out of the first 2 in 6 starts, managing 4 wins. It would appreciate a drop of rain as its last 3 wins have been on ground the soft side of good. It won over 16f last time out when beating Hartani and that one is in the Irish Leger later on. It stays the trip strongly and I really hope there is a genuine pace this time that tests stamina properly.
Dartford, Thought Worthy and Michelangelo are all trained by John Gosden but stable jockey William Buick has opted to ride Thought Worthy. It was beaten 11 lengths in the Derby by Camelot and was then beaten by Thomas Chippendale. We didn’t get to see if it will possibly stay due to the slow pace set last time out on the horse and I am not convinced it will get 14f if they go off at a decent clip. Gosden could be using Dartford as a pacemaker as it is 300-1 and is a complete no hoper.
Michelangelo was only 3rd to Noble Mission last time out when sent off as a 6-4 favourite and expected to win that race as a stepping stone to this one. It is sired by Galileo and there is stamina in the other side of the pedigree. It has had 4 races so far and could come on plenty for this step up in trip. It is certainly open to plenty of improvement now and John Gosden has a knack of getting them ready for this race, having won it in 2011, 2010 and 2007. Dettori has taken the ride and has won this race 3 times in recent years. It doesn’t look a bad spare ride to pick up and he was at this best on Snow Fairy last weekend.
Main Sequence was probably unsuited by the slow pace in the Voltigeur and ran on really well to grab 2nd, just finishing closely behind Thought Worthy. It has been well beaten by Camelot in the Derby but was running on really strongly when 4th to Imperial Monarch in France. It has looked quite unlucky this season and probably deserves a big win. It is finishing its races full of running with plenty left in the tank and is respected here but has to reverse that Epsom form and that looks a tough ask.
Encke is the Godolphin representative and is ridden by Mickael Barzalona. It was 3rd in the Voltigeur but has been mentioned that form is best ignored. It was a very close 2nd in a Group 3 to Noble Mission but its 2 wins look short of this class, having got its head in front in a class 4 maiden and a class 3 handicap. Godolphin did win this race in 2009 and 2004 but Encke is a 33-1 chance and looks like a place prospect at best.
Guarantee is an interesting runner as they seemed unsure whether to let it take its chance. William Haggas has been in fine for lately and he has booked Philip Makin for the ride today, that jockey on board for the last 2 wins. It has only won class 2 handicaps over 12f and 14f but was staying on strongly last time out to win by 3 ½ lengths. The form looks quite ordinary and although the time was fast the rail had been moved to reduce the trip by 27 yards. It is certainly heading the right way and should stay the trip well enough and is seemingly unexposed, as are many in the race.
I expect Michelangelo to be spot on and primed to full fitness for this race and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Dettori in the winners enclosure rather than Buick but they all have Camelot to beat. Thomas Chippendale and Michelangelo look the best at the bigger prices and are favoured over the odds on chance to small stakes and Ursa Major is respected but has already raced 6 times this season and might have overdone it.
1pt EW – Thomas Chippendale 28-1 BetVictor (BOG)
1pt EW – Michelangelo 12-1 Bet365 (BOG)
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Author: Formbook Frank