Tuesday 22 May 2018

Atzeni eyeing a St Leger hat-trick

Defoe ridden by Andrea Atzeni on the way to winning The Betfred Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury Racecourse yesterday. Photo: PA
Defoe ridden by Andrea Atzeni on the way to winning The Betfred Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury Racecourse yesterday. Photo: PA

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Andrea Atzeni has his eyes on a third St Leger in four years after Defoe booked his ticket to Doncaster next month with victory over older horses in the Betfred Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury.

Successful on Kingston Hill and Simple Verse in 2014 and 2015, Atzeni is once again looking towards the world's oldest Classic. Defoe is progressing at a rate of knots and took his 100 per cent record this season to four - though Roger Varian's colt, the 13/8 favourite, had to survive a stewards' inquiry before being confirmed the winner.

Atzeni said: "This horse is getting better and he could be anything. At least we know that he stays.

"The Leger will be a very good race, but this fellow will go there with a big chance."

Hey Gaman (100/30) was a game all-the-way winner of the Denford Stakes.

James Tate's colt would not let Red Mist go past and held on by a short head under Martin Harley.

"He will be aimed at the seven-furlong Group races now," said Tate.

"You have got the Solario, the Champagne at Doncaster and then you dream of the Dewhurst at the end."

Group Ones are likely to be on the agenda for Massaat (12/1) after he overcame a long absence to land the Hungerford Stakes for trainer Owen Burrows and jockey Jim Crowley.

Mattmu will now head to the Ayr Gold Cup after completing his comeback.

Sunday Indo Sport

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport