Dragon Leader camp lured by Doncaster riches

The excellent prize-money on offer in the Weatherbys Scientific £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes means Dragon Leader will attempt to follow up his startling York success outside of Pattern company at Doncaster next week.

He already has earnings of £158,340 after romping home in the Goffs UK Harry Beeby Premier Yearling Stakes last month.

Connections would have been fully justified to look at raising the Clive Cox-trained colt in grade after his four-and-a-half-length win in what looked a competitive race.

That stretched his unbeaten run to three but, given his sire El Kabeir is less fashionable than some, he will be receiving weight from most of the field on Town Moor.

“The plan remains the Doncaster sales race next week,” said Sam Hoskins of owners Kennet Valley Syndicates.

“He’s got 8st 8lb so it’s ideal. Hopefully the weather is reasonably set fair because he wants decent ground.

“He did surprise me at York. We thought he had a good chance, but couldn’t expect him to win like that.

“In hindsight, there were reasons for him not being that impressive in his first two wins, as he actually needed them both. He wasn’t expected to win on debut but then it was a rush to get his second race in as he came back with a small problem.

“There’s no real incentive to step him up in grade when there’s such good money in the sales races. This is worth £300,000 and we’ll probably be favourite. The Mill Reef is worth £90,000 and I don’t know what price we’d be in that.

“We are by a sire with a low median price so we qualify really well for Doncaster and ultimately prize-money does count. If the Group races were worth more, that might make a difference.

“A winner at the Leger meeting, which is a massive meeting in its own right, would be lovely. Hopefully we’ve got a good chance of winning a seriously valuable pot.

“We’ve left him in the Redcar race too (William Hill Two Year Old Trophy), but historically the ground will be too soft for him by then.”

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