Castle Way firmly in Leger picture following Newmarket victory

Castle Way emerged as a serious St Leger prospect as he held off the late lunge of odds-on favourite Tower Of London to land the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket.

Not seen since winning a Listed race over 10 furlongs at the Guineas meeting, Palace Pier’s half-brother was stepping up markedly in trip to a mile and five furlongs.

William Buick sat in second on the Charlie Appleby-trained inner, as rank outsider Think First set a sedate gallop under Neil Callan, meaning several in behind were very keen.

Tower Of London was particularly not one of those, but while it did look like he wanted to go a little quicker, Ryan Moore was still sat close enough to the pace if good enough.

As the race began in earnest Saint George moved up on his outside which allowed Castle Way to steal a march.

When Think First dropped away Tower Of London was in the clear with plenty of time to catch the 9-2 scorer, but Moore lost his stick over a furlong from home, which will not have helped.

The favourite was gaining with every stride, but went down by a head with Saint George not far away in third.

Castle Way was cut to 7-1 from 25s by Paddy Power for the Leger, and Doncaster will be on the agenda, according to Appleby.

Appleby said: “We’re delighted. He’s a horse who hasn’t done a lot wrong in his career, really. His only real blip was at Epsom on soft ground.

“We came in here today confident this step up in trip would suit him. There was a question mark, as there always is when you are going beyond that mile -and-a-half category.

“It was a great ride by William. We went out there to ride him as though the trip wasn’t an issue and as William said, for a trip just short of a mile and six, we went very steady. It did turn turn into a bit of a sprint. At one stage I thought, ‘oh, we’ve committed now and you’ll have to find again’, but to be fair to the horse, he dug deep.”

Asked if he was thinking of the Leger in the long term, Appleby added: “Most definitely. We will probably go down the natural route there to the Voltigeur and then hopefully that will springboard us into being a St Leger contender, anyway.

“We haven’t had a run since May. For no other reason that I dodged Ascot for King Of Steel to be perfectly honest – I couldn’t see us beating him – and then the next target was here.

“We kept an eye on the Grand Prix de Paris, but we would have to ship there and he hasn’t done that before, and it is a small but competitive race. On our doorstep, we thought we would come here and test our stamina before we go travelling.”

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