Irish Derby hero Westover and star filly Emily Upjohn headline the 27 entries for the G1 Cazoo St Leger Stakes at Doncaster on Saturday, September 10. With both outstanding three-year-old’s set for a hugely anticipated clash this weekend, we wait with bated breath to see who will emerge as the leading fancy for the world’s oldest Classic.
No horse has managed the G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Cazoo St Leger Stakes double since Reference Point, who also won the Ascot feature on route to Doncaster in 1987.
First run in 1776, the extended 14-furlong St Leger is the highlight of the four-day Cazoo St Leger Festival and has a total prize fund of £700,000.
Ante-post favourite Westover, showed his potential when finishing an eye-catching third in the Derby at Epsom before his emphatic win in the Irish equivalent three weeks later on June 25.
Emily Upjohn meanwhile has gone from strength to strength this season despite her narrow defeat in the Oaks. She stumbled out the stalls on that occasion, and although losing many lengths, she was just denied victory by Tuesday.
Charlie Appleby is looking for more St Leger success, following his first St Leger win last year with Hurricane Lane, which was also the seventh victory for Godolphin. Appleby’s most eye-catching entry in this year’s renewal is New London, who was an impressive winner of a Newmarket handicap on July 8. The highly regarded Dubawi colt had disappointed earlier this season when suffering a big defeat to the Aidan O'Brien trained and fellow St leger entry Changingoftheguard in the Chester Vase.
Changingoftheguard could only manage fifth in The Derby but returned to form with a fine victory in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot. Other notable entries from the O'Brien team include Aikhal, United Nations and Point Lonsdale.
Ireland could also be represented by Irish Derby third French Claim, who would be the first runner in the St Leger for trainer Paddy Twomey.
Other entries to note include Roger Varian’s Royal Ascot winner Eldar Eldarov, although he failed to find his best form when only fourth in the Grand Prix de Paris in Longchamp earlier this month. Derby runner-up Hoo Ya Mal remains in contention for the oldest Classic of the season, as does the very impressive recent Hamilton scorer West Wind Blows. Grand Alliance could also take his chance for Charlie Fellowes and renew his rivalry with his Royal Ascot conqueror Changingoftheguard.