St Leger could be run on soft ground, warns clerk

Muntahaa - Paul Hanagan

Muntahaa: “shouldn’t have any issue with the trip”

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

SATURDAY’S Ladbrokes St Leger could be run on soft ground, with downpours forecast at Doncaster overnight expected to dramatically change the going.

Clerk of the course Roderick Duncan said on Friday night: “The going had obviously dried out a bit more before racing so we changed it from good all over to good, good to firm in places.

“But there is heavy rain forecast from 3am until 9am or 10am. They are saying we could get up to 18mm and if we get that sort of rain it is going to be soft ground.”

That is music to the ears of Muntahaa’s connections, who are keen for rain.

Trained by John Gosden for Hamdan Al Maktoum, Paul Hanagan’s mount is second-favourite for the world’s oldest Classic behind Idaho and can be backed at 5-1 with Paddy Power.

He got off the mark at Kempton in June before finishing third in the King Edward VII Stales at Royal Ascot. Victory in a Listed handicap at Chester last month put him in line for the St Leger.

Gosden, who has won three of the last four runnings of the £700,000 Group 1 and is aiming for his fifth triumph in total, said: “We fully recognise the task in hand against an impressive winner of the Voltigeur [Idaho] but Muntahaa goes there in good order and he shouldn’t have any issue with the trip.

“As he takes after his dam, who is by Linamix, he really could do with some of this rain they say is coming to help him get his toe in.”

Idaho’s two wins have come on ground described as good to firm, but has form in more testing conditions.

Read Saturday’s Racing Post for the best tips and previews for St Leger day or download the iPad edition from 8pm on Friday


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