Weld pins St Leger hopes on beauty after rite ruled out
THE ante-post favourite for Saturday's Irish St Leger, Rite Of Passage, is to miss the Curragh showpiece after disappointing connections on the gallops, WRITES THOMAS KELLY.
After Rite of Passage failed to please trainer Dermot Weld in his work, stablemate Profound Beauty was installed the 9/4 favourite.
"Rite Of Passage, ridden by Pat Smullen, worked over 10 furlongs this morning," Weld said. "I wasn't 100pc happy with him, so he will not be running in the Irish St Leger.
"Profound Beauty is very well and will run in the race, providing we don't get a lot more heavy rain."
Paddy Power made Profound Beauty 9/4 favourite (from 7/2), with Sans Frontieres 11/4 next best.
Rite Of Passage has not run since beating Age Of Aquarius by a neck in the Ascot Gold Cup in June. He is a 20/1 shot for the Melbourne Cup, for which Profound Beauty is quoted at 16/1. Weld said: "The fact that Rite Of Passage is out of the Irish St Leger does not mean that he will miss the Melbourne Cup. We will review the situation in a few weeks' time, but he won the Ascot Gold Cup without a prep race and there is no reason why he would have to have a prep race for Flemington."
Meanwhile, Gordon Elliott's Ebor hero Dirar steps up to pattern company in the Group Two Doncaster Cup tomorrow, when he will be accompanied by Noel Meade's Pointilliste.
Askar Tau and Darley Sun, first and second 12 months ago, are among 10 horses declared for the race on Town Moor. Opinion Poll is likely to start favourite.
Meanwhile, Richard Hughes is to ride 33/1 chance Theology in the English St Leger, a booking that looks to have put him out of contention for the mount on Snow Fairy if she takes her chance.