Kingston given St Leger options due to ground fears

Kingston Hill: from a thriving family

Kingston Hill: could run in France if the ground at Doncaster is unsuitable

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

KINGSTON HILL will have the Prix Niel as an alternative to the Ladbrokes St Leger in case ground conditions at Doncaster thwart trainer Roger Varian’s efforts to run the Derby second in the world’s oldest Classic.

The colt was a late withdrawal from last week’s Great Voltigeur Stakes at York because of fast ground – and he made an aborted trip to the Curragh for the Irish Derby earlier this year – but is on target for the St Leger provided conditions suit.

Kingston Hill, who won the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster last October, finished fourth in the Eclipse on his only start since the Derby.

Varian said: “There’s a strong chance he will run at Doncaster. He’s in the Prix Niel the day after and he’s in the Arc, and it will unfold as we see fit with the ground a key part.

“The horse is very well and we are happy with him. We are getting into the time of year when he ought to excel. He’s in good nick, the races should take care of themselves.”

Kingston Hill was on Tuesday cut to 3-1 favourite from 4-1 by both Ladbrokes and Paddy Power for the St Leger.

Paddy Power’s Paul Binfield said: “Kingston Hill was absolutely awesome in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster last season and punters are clearly latching on to that.

“While there is a slight doubt over his participation if the ground came up too fast, the likely scenario is it will be good or softer.

“He was staying on well in the Coral-Eclipse and stayed every bit of the Derby trip so the additional distance makes him tailormade for the race.”

Goodwood Cup winner Cavalryman, who finished fourth in the Lonsdale Cup at York last week, will be prepared for the Emirates Melbourne Cup.

Trainer Saeed Bin Suroor said: “Usually he runs well when he’s fresh. He’ll have a break, then go into quarantine before we send him to Australia.”


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