Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 18 March 2018

Foundry can prove mettle in St Leger

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Regardless of whether or not Galileo Rock participates in today's St Leger, the winner of the prestigious Classic is expected to come from another corner of Tipperary.

David Wachman's colt had the class to be placed in both the Epsom and Irish Derbies, but the Goolds Cross handler's apparent reluctance to run him at Doncaster on soft ground is surprising.

As a son of Galileo, he should be well equipped to cope with it and he did so with aplomb when winning by seven lengths on his Leopardstown bow.

Galileo Rock has never run on ground as testing as that since and neither has he won since, so it would be interesting to see how he might fare.


That said, for all that he has plenty stamina in his pedigree, as a keen runner he wouldn't appeal as a win material.

Aidan O'Brien is expected to saddle both Leading Light and Foundry in his bid for a fourth triumph in the mile-and-six-furlong Group One. Both are extremely attractive options for different reasons and they could well deliver the forecast.

Back in June, we advised Leading Light at 10/1 in the ante-post market. He had just shown an abundance of stamina to grind out a win on fast ground in the Queen's Vase over two miles at Royal Ascot, while he also has form on heavy ground.

With Joseph O'Brien having opted for Leading Light over Foundry, the gritty sort remains an attractive option at around 9/2, but the suspicion is that his stablemate might possess a touch more quality.

Extremely impressive on soft going on his Leopardstown debut last November, Foundry ran a blinder to be second to Telescope on his belated reappearance in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York.

Against race-fit horses, the Galileo colt travelled sweetly and kept finding and there was no shame in coming up just over a length short of Michael Stoute's highly regarded individual.

Strictly in terms of form and ratings figures, it is not easy to assess exactly what Foundry achieved relative to Leading Light's feats.

However, getting so close to Telescope on his return must be at least on a par with anything Leading Light has managed. Moreover, he had Godolphin's reopposing Cap O'Rushes – two places behind Galileo Rock at the Curragh – behind on that occasion.

Previously, Cap O'Rushes denied today's John Gosden-trained favourite Excess Knowledge at Goodwood. While he was below-par at York, it still reads nicely for the unexposed Foundry, with the main imponderable here being the extended trip.

On pedigree, he wouldn't be certain to see it out.

However, with the peerless Ryan Moore up, the 6/1 that can be had about him doing so represents solid value for a horse that might yet prove to be in a different league to this afternoon's opposition.

Eddie Lynam's Viztoria is another raider with live Town Moor claims in the Park Stakes. As a three-year-old filly taking on older colts and geldings in a Group Two, this looks quite an ask, but Viztoria has the potential to prove equal to the task.

A pacey sort whose only defeat at two came when she fell just short in a German Group Two, she really impressed in a Curragh Group Three on her comeback in May. She then ran a stormer on unsuitably fast going in the Coronation Stakes at Ascot, ultimately failing stay a mile when sixth to Sky Lantern.

Here, Viztoria drops back to seven furlongs on soft ground under Wayne Lordan, so she could go very close.

In the day's big handicap, the Portland, sprinting stalwart Inxile can outrun 25/1 odds for Dandy Nicholls and Sam Hitchcott. A former winner of the Cammidge Trophy here, the multiple black-type scorer has not been that consistent this term, but he has dropped to a competitive mark as a result, and five furlongs on slow ground will suit.

Best Bet: Foundry

Irish Independent

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