Victorious in the St Leger on three previous occasions, there is no doubt that Aidan O’Brien’s runners, as with any race, will attract plenty of attention in the market.
And while the extremely exciting Leading Light, who is unbeaten on all three starts this year, is given a better chance by the bookmakers at 4/1, his stable-mate Foundry, 6/1, is bound to have many pondering which Ballydoyle runner to back.
Sired out of Gallileo, the John Magnier-owned colt won his debut extremely well at Leopardstown last year in a good maiden over seven furlongs. Seamie Heffernan pushed him to the front a furlong-and-a-half out and no one could go with him as the line approached, with his nearest rival five-and-a-half lengths behind.
Off the track for 290 days, Foundry made his reappearance in the Group 2 St Leger trial, the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York. That he was entered at such a high level on only his second start is an indication of how highly O’Brien must think of him.
And he did not disappoint. Under Heffernan once more, Foundry was held up at the rear of the field until three furlongs out when the jockey drove him to the front and he stayed on readily inside the final furlong, but failed to get past the winner Telescope.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained victor was a short ante-post favourite for the final classic of the season until the trainer decided it was not worth risking him at a trip that was a quarter-of-a-mile longer than the trial.
Contrastingly, O’Brien is cautiously optimistic that 1m6f will suit his charge nicely: “He has had three weeks since York and is in good form. You would hope that the extra trip at Doncaster will be within his compass. He is a big, long-striding, good-moving horse and came home very well at York.”
As an extremely progressive looking horse, 6/1 will certainly tempt some into finding out exactly how good he is.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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