Horse Talk with Simon Jackson:
Top horse-racing tips and the latest news.
CHARLIE Appleby believes the longer distance of the Group 1 Cazoo St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday will prove no problem for hot-favourite Hurricane Lane.
Hurricane Lane has won five of his six starts up to 12 furlongs with the sole defeat when third to stablemate Adayar at Epsom where he lost two shoes in running.
Hurricane Lane targets a third straight Group 1 win of the season in the extended one mile and six furlongs contest after decisive victories in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby and Grand Prix de Paris.
“Obviously, it is the big question for all of them. Will they stay the extra two furlongs? In his case, I think he will,” Appleby told the Godolphin website.
“He goes into the Leger with rock solid form. He’s only been beaten once — he finished third in the Derby, and he lost two shoes. We feel there is enough evidence there to say he will stay. He is the class horse in the field.
“After travelling to Ireland and France, he is a mentally sharper horse.
“When he went to Epsom in June, he was unbeaten in three starts and relatively inexperienced. That was his undoing on the day. But what we have seen since is a much sharper model. He is mentally stronger and more mature, and he is ready for this.
“William [Buick – jockey] rode him in a good piece of work (on September 1), 10 days out from the Leger, and he was delighted. He looked great, he moved well. He’s been doing routine work since then, and he continues to please.”
Appleby added that stablemate Adayar will go straight to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe after suffering a minor setback and may be accompanied by Hurricane Lane at Longchamp on October 3.
He said: “We are lucky to have two very good middle-distance horses on our hands, and if both are fit and well, we will run the pair of them in the Arc.
“Those discussions will take place in the weeks leading up to the Arc.”
Horse Talk with Simon Jackson. Showcasing horse racing in London and the south east.