Libertarian may be seen as Godolphin’s best chance for success in the Ladbrokes St Leger on Saturday, but there is quiet optimism over Secret Number.
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor has tasted success in the race twice before with Rule of Law in 2004 and then Mastery five years later, and the colt has been given a good workout ahead of the world’s oldest Classic in Doncaster.
A price of 16/1 in an 11 strong field might not immediately entice, but the son of the Breeder’s Cup Classic winning Raven’s Pass – who will be piloted by Silvestre De Souza – showed good each-way form with a third place finish behind Telescope in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York last month.
If that form were to be franked then Secret Number would finish ahead of Cap O’Rushes but behind the 5/1 Foundry, and when asked on Thursday bin Suroor was seemingly confident that preparations had gone well.
“He worked very well in the morning and he is ready to go,” he said. “He is a horse I have always liked and he has improved from race to race. If the ground is good to soft it will be fine.”
That optimism seemingly flies in the face of Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford’s claim that Secret Number is “a nearly horse who does not seem to win on the big occasion,” but the three-year-old has demonstrated some solid form of late.
That third in the Great Voltigeur saw him finish just two lengths off the winner, whilst the Tercentenary Stakes showing at Ascot in June was another which showcased the horse’s pedigree.
He is unlikely to win the St Leger on Saturday but he has certainly shown enough to suggest that he could get into the frame, and if he did that then the quiet confidence in him will look well-placed.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication