Monday 18 December 2017

Soldier marches to victory as cosmos provides St Leger hint

GOODWOOD'S Gordon Stakes has long been a noteworthy St Leger trial, but yesterday, still basking in the reflected glory of last year's winner Harbinger romping home by 11 lengths in Saturday's King George, it briefly assumed greater significance than normal, WRITES Marcus Armytage.

Perhaps none of the colts in yesterday's race, won by Rebel Soldier, which held on by a fast-diminishing head, will reach Harbinger's exalted heights, but in the second, Dandino, and more particularly the third Arctic Cosmos, the race could easily yield the solution to the last Classic.

The winner's turn of foot proved decisive on this occasion, catching Dandino a bit flat-footed. A furlong out, James Given's colt had four lengths to make up on the winner, and that he got so close suggests he will be better suited to Doncaster's mile and three-quarters than the winner.

But John Gosden's Arctic Cosmos had all sorts of trouble in handling Goodwood's undulations and, still last with three furlongs to run, eventually finished an eye-catching length and a quarter back in third. "He didn't come down the hill, he sort of fell down it," said Gosden.

At 16/1 with the Leger sponsor Ladbrokes, Arctic Cosmos looks like a rare chance to make some pocket money from ante-post betting.

Henry Cecil was absent overseeing Midday's work ahead of Saturday's Nassau, but Lord Shanakill landed him the day's biggest prize, the Group Two Betfair Cup. Meanwhile, Richard Hannon's Zebedee is a likely contender for the Gimcrack after his last-gasp success in the Molecomb Stakes. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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