By Simon Jackson.
Connections of the French-trained Vengeur Masque are hoping for a big run in the £694,300 Group 1 Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday.
The Mikel Delzangles-trained son of Monsun races in the colours of the powerful Wildenstein Stables who won the 1976 St Leger with Crow for Daniel Wildenstein.
A winner of two of his five starts, Vengeur Masque was fourth last time in the Group 3 Prix de Reux over an extended 12 furlongs at Deauville in August and is reported to be in good order ahead of his biggest test to date.
“He is an improving three-year-old and improving all the time,” Delzangles said. “He was very laidback and we had a few issues with him at the beginning of the season – he bruised a foot – and we were quite late getting going.
“He seems to be coming up very well and is well-bred. The two races he won are definitely not as good as the Ladbrokes St Leger will be on Saturday. But both victories came on left-handed tracks which suited him very well.
“The longer distance of the Leger will suit him too. He is really improving and his last run at Deauville was not as good as I had hoped for. It was a true French race with no pace and turned into a sprint.
“Vengeur Masque has always shown a lot in the mornings and he will suited by the style of racing in England. We will find out whether he is good enough on Saturday. We will keep regular jockey Umberto Rispoli on board as he knows the horse very well.
“Vengeur Masque will be my first Leger runner but I was working for Jimmy Fitzgerald many years ago when his stable star, Sapience, finished second to Michelozzo [in 1989] so you could say that I have an understanding of the type of horse needed to win. Vengeur Masque is a good horse but whether he is good enough to win is a different matter.”
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