St Leger Review – Logician Take the Title
Doncaster’s St Leger meeting came to a thrilling conclusion on Saturday 14 September on what was an exciting day of sport across the board. The few days prior to the highlight of the week had set the scene nicely for what promised to be a special afternoon for UK horse racing followers, but the star attraction was to prove, once again, just why it remains one of the best-loved and most popular fixtures on the domestic horse racing calendar.
The afternoon got underway with the first of a seven races card at 1.50pm when 14/1 shot Oxted scored the William Hill sponsored Portland Handicap ahead of A Momentofmadness at 9/1 and 40/1 poke Show Stealer who came within a length of living up to his name. The 22-runner field provided a cracking opener to the day and gave followers a feel for what was to come.
Favourites Struggle to Live Up to Expectations
The HIRD Rail Group Park Stakes was next up as a snappy five runners did battle over the seven furlongs distance. Many went to post with claims on the prize but it was Sir Dancelot backers who were cheering at the post when seeing their pick hold off the attentions of Never No More, scoring by ½ lengths, SP favourite Shine So Bright finished way back in fourth despite going off as a 10/11 jolly. It was quickly obvious to everyone with an eye on the results that Saturday at Doncaster wasn’t going to be a day for the favourites.
Other results of note on the day were 6/5 favourite Threat for Hannon and Dobbs who won the Group 2 Pommery Champagne Stakes before Logician scored a quick-fire double for the market when showing rivals the way home in the St Leger. 9/1 play Lucander won the 4.10pm one-mile nursery race, Qaysar was too good for them in the 4.45pm handicap decided over a mile and Kitaabaat brought the curtain down with a painfully narrow win over 1/2 favourite The Trader in the lucky last, taking hold near the finish and sticking to the task admirably.
Jolly Does as Expected in the Main Race
All the talk pre-race concerning the 2019 St Leger surrounded Logician who carried the famous Frankel bloodline. He had attracted the bulk of early money from punters playing the ante-post market and rated as a strong favourite in the week. The cash continued to come for John Gosden’s promising young star and the bookies of jockey Frankie Dettori only helped his chances. He was the pick of shrewd backers and when it became known to the casual players Logician was a son of fans’ favourite Frankel, the late stakes also came flooding in to support his chances.
The traders were sure they had the right horse picked but couldn’t risk putting people off a bet on the outcome of one of the year’s biggest events, so were forced to hold their ground and stick with the 5/6 price tag that had been attached to Logician. Despite the odds on quote, he continued to attract support, backers going big as a super single or adding the jolly to Saturday accumulators. The horse of the moment lived up to expectations, putting in a career-best performance to win the 2019 renewal of the St Leger Stakes, adding his name to an exclusive winner’s list that includes some of the best names in the business.
Logician finished 2 ¼ lengths ahead of runner-up Sir Ron Priestly who wasn’t disgraced in defeat and ran better than his pre-race odds of 7/1 told us he would. The runner-up for Johnson and Norton tracked the leaders but was forced to switch sides in an attempt to find the racing room necessary to mount a serious challenge. He stayed on in the closing stages and had enough speed and natural talent about him to finish as best of the rest.
Nayef Road Places at a Chunky 40/1
The top three was completed by bronze medallist Nayef Road who was a head back in third of a bunch finish of runners who got nowhere near laying a glove on the favourite and threating to pull off an upset result. The third put in an incredible performance and landed each-way backers the place money about a generous 40/1. Atzeni gave his mount a patient ride and looked to have every chance of winning the race with a furlong left to run. Logician then changed gear and showed exactly why traders at every major online bookmaker had been so desperate to stay on the right side of this one during the build-up.
Many of the original eight runners field came out of the day with credit but there was no doubting who the best horse of the race was and we were left with a champion fully deserving of his prize. Logician is an exciting horse and although to say he’s another Frankel would be putting unnecessary pressure on him, it’s certainly fair to comment that he shares many of the same characteristics. The winner hasn’t put a foot wrong in his career so far and the three-year-old colt has now won all five of his career starts at prices ranging from 3/1 to 1/5.
The most exciting thing about Logician is there seems to be plenty more to come from him too. He seemed to enjoy the battle in what was a talent-laden field on Saturday but when asked for more from Frankie Dettori he responded almost instantly and that was a joy to behold. Speaking to the sporting press at the end of the race, Dettori said his rivals started fast and tested their stamina but he knew from two furlongs out they had won the race