Horse Talk with Simon Jackson: Top horse-racing tips and the latest news.
Harbour Law, trained by Laura Mongan at Epsom, impressed this column when coming off the pace to win easily at Sandown in May. He then showed plenty of class to finish second in the Listed Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot, finishing three quarters of a length behind the winner Sword Fighter who re-opposes on Saturday.
The son of Lawman was a close fourth at his next start in the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket in July and has since pleased connections with a racecourse gallop under his big-race jockey George Baker at Kempton Park two weeks ago.
The three-year-old is a 25-1 shot with the sponsors for the Leger that has attracted a final field of nine runners for the extended one mile and six furlong contest where the ground is currently good but with rain forecast for Friday night and Saturday morning.
“We know we are taking on some classy horses but we’ve got one ourselves and if he was in a more fashionable yard people might pay more attention to him,” said Mongan who bids to become the first woman to train the winner of the long-distance Classic.
“I don’t like to say we are the underdogs but he’s only the price he is because he’s trained by us,” said Mongan who will be saddling her first runner in a Group 1 race.
“We are not going there for a day out, or to make up the numbers. We are going there with a horse who is entitled to be there and he could not be in better shape. He’s spot-on.
“It’s the perfect race for him; he’s an out-out stayer who has matured as the year has progressed. He’s professional in everything he does, a joy to train, and if he runs up to the level that he has previously been running this year then he’s good enough to be in the frame.
“Everyone at the yard is really excited to be involved in the Ladbrokes St Leger. Hopefully there will be a drop more rain, to bring Harbour Law’s stamina into play, and he will do us proud.”
The field of nine is headed by 4-6 shot Idaho, one of three runners for Aidan O’Brien who also saddles Housesofparliament (13-2) and Sword Fighter (12-1). The hot-favourite has pleased his trainer since beating Housesofparliament in the Betway Great Voltigeur Stakes at York last month.
“Everything has been good with Idaho since York, where everything went smooth for him,” O’Brien said. “You never can be confident but we have always thought he would get the trip. He seems to relax and is a full-brother to Highland Reel who stays a mile and a half well.”
David Williams of Ladbrokes added: “With nine runners and an odds-on favourite, the each-way angle into the race will be significant.
“Idaho’s stranglehold on the betting market has once again tightened and punters continue to back him as if defeat is out of the question.”
THE LADBROKES ST LEGER
Group 1, £700,000 total prize fund. 3.45pm, Saturday, September 10, 1m 6f 132y
Horse Age/Wgt Owner Trainer/Jockey
1) HARBOUR LAW 3-9-01 Jackie Cornwell Laura Mongan/George Baker
2) HARRISON 3-9-01 Tim Radford Mick Channon/Graham Lee
3) HOUSESOFPARLIAMENT (IRE)T/S 3-9-01 Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE/Colm O’Donoghue
4) IDAHO (IRE) 3-9-01 Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE/Seamie Heffernan
5) MUNTAHAA (IRE) HOOD 3-9-01 Hamdan Al Maktoum John Gosden/Paul Hanagan
6) ORMITO (GER) SHEEPSKIN C/P3-9-01 Richard Morecombe & Lynda Ramsden Andrew Balding/Oisin Murphy
7) SWORD FIGHTER (IRE) 3-9-01 Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE/Donnacha O’Brien
8) THE TARTAN SPARTAN (IRE) 3-9-01 Thistle Bloodstock Limited Pat Shanahan IRE/Phillip Makin
9) VENTURA STORM (IRE) 3-9-01 Middleham Park Racing LXXII Richard Hannon/Sivestre De Sousa
Horse Talk with Simon Jackson. Showcasing horse racing in London and the south east.