Punters fancy Doctor Fremantle to deliver Leger glory

Doctor Fremantle has been well supported to break Michael Stoute’s Ladbrokes St Leger hoodoo at Doncaster on Saturday.

Doctor Fremantle has been well supported to break Michael Stoute’s Ladbrokes St Leger hoodoo at Doncaster on Saturday.

The Newmarket handler has a CV packed full of big-race wins but he still lacks a victory in the final Classic of the season.

He hit the bar when Quiff was beaten just a head by Rule Of Law in 2005 but punters seem keen on the chances of the Derby fourth breaking Stoute’s drought.

The Sadler’s Wells colt was last seen finishing fourth behind Montmartre in the Grand Prix de Paris and Ladbrokes report sustained money for the Freemason Lodge contender.

“Since the five-day declarations, Doctor Fremantle has been the best-backed horse in the Ladbrokes St Leger. We’ve been laying him heavily and have cut him from 12-1 to 10-1 as a result,” said spokesman David Williams.

“We don’t want to cut prices in the Classic at this stage, but the support has been so strong that we’ve been forced to shorten him up this morning.”

William Hill have also seen support and cut Doctor Fremantle to 10s from 12s while his other possibles, Conduit and Warringah, are 11-2 and 50-1 respectively.

Connections of general 7-1 chance Unsung Heroine breathed a huge sigh of relief after Wayne Lordan was cleared for the race following an appeal against a riding ban.

The jockey was set to be suspended between September 11-13 after being found guilty of careless riding at Tipperary’s evening meeting on August 28.

However, Lordan has successfully appealed against that suspension, with the Irish Turf Club stewards reducing the ban by a vital 24 hours.

That leaves Lordan free to partner the unbeaten Tommy Stack-trained filly.

“It’s a big relief that he can ride her. It has been a bit nail-biting really but he rides her well and there’s no point in breaking a winning combination,” said Stack’s son and assistant, Fozzy.

“It’s great that it’s all worked out in the end. The filly is well and she leaves for Doncaster tonight.”

Jamie Spencer had been in the frame to ride Unsung Heroine had Lordan’s appeal been unsuccessful but he will now ride for his former boss Aidan O’Brien.

The Ballydoyle handler is responsible for eight of the possible contenders and Spencer has yet to have it confirmed which he will ride.

He said: “I ride something of Aidan’s, whatever he puts me on. He’ll make a decision in the morning so we shall see.

“His runners look to have good chances and it’s an open race. I spoke to him on Monday so I had to make up my mind.”

Andrew Balding is hoping Top Lock can improve on the third place Phoenix Reach achieved in 2003 but he is concerned about the ground for his Great Voltigeur runner-up.

He said: “I hope it dries up a bit – his stamina will be the major issue.”

Balding will hardly have been cheered by clerk of the course David Williams’ latest update on the ground, but officials are expecting a bright day on Saturday.

“We had a total of seven millimetres of rain yesterday and I changed the ground this morning to soft, good to soft on the home straight and soft on the round course,” he said.

“The forecast for this afternoon is possibly for one to two millimetres of rain which certainly isn’t the predicted amount that they thought we might get.

“We are forecast to get three or four millimetres tomorrow going into Friday but it’s looking better for St Leger day on Saturday.”

Ladbrokes St Leger, William Hill bet: 9-4 Frozen Fire, 4-1 Look Here, 11-2 Conduit, 8-1 Alessandro Volta, Unsung Heroine, 10-1 Doctor Fremantle, 14-1 Top Lock, 20-1 Washington Irving, 25-1 bar.

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