Classic hopes bid for Voltigeur victory

Ladbrokes St Leger fancies Midas Touch and Rewilding put their Classic claims on the line in the sportingbet.com Great Voltigeur Stakes at York on Tuesday.

Ladbrokes St Leger fancies Midas Touch and Rewilding put their Classic claims on the line in the sportingbet.com Great Voltigeur Stakes at York on Tuesday.

The pair, currently vying for favouritism for next month’s Doncaster feature, are among 10 horses declared for the Group Two over a mile and a half.

Rewilding, owned by Godolphin and trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni, has not run since finishing third in the Investec Derby.

Midas Touch, trained by Aidan O’Brien, was fifth at Epsom but has since taken second place in the Irish Derby.

O’Brien also runs Joshua Tree, who will be making a belated seasonal bow.

Sir Michael Stoute’s Total Command, the Mark Tompkins-trained Ted Spread and Mark Johnston’s Monterosso will also be looking to book their ticket to Town Moor.

William Haggas has left in Harris Tweed, but the Newmarket trainer has said he will declare his father’s colt for Wednesday’s totesport Ebor tomorrow to see if he makes the cut.

Brian Meehan’s Dancing David, Mick Channon’s Momkinzain and Simenon, from Andrew Balding’s yard make up the 10.

Connections of Rewilding decided to give the ex-French colt plenty of time to recover from Epsom.

“His run in the Derby was excellent. He was third and came from a long way back. He didn’t really handle the track that well and I think the Knavesmire will suit him much better,” Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford told At The Races.

“It looks a good race and it’s not going to be easy, especially after a long lay-off since the Derby.

“He’s an immature horse so we decided to give him time off. For Rewilding it’s all about next year.

“He’s a half-brother to Dar Re Mi. We won’t see him at his best until next season when he’s a bit older.

“The Derby is a really hard race for a three-year-old. That’s why it takes so much winning. We made the decision to give him a break after that race straightaway.

“We didn’t get him ready for Goodwood and we thought York was the right stepping-stone.

“He’s been working well at home and if he can reproduce his best as he did in the Derby he should take a bit of beating, but there are some very good horses in the race.”

A significant absentee was Dandino, with trainer James Given deciding not to risk giving the Gordon Stakes runner-up a hard race ahead of the St Leger.

“I only left him in the race to keep our options open just in case the other runners went lame or whatever and couldn’t run, then we’d have an opportunity at looking at the Voltigeur,” said the Lincolnshire handler.

“With Dandino it would have it made 11 runners and it looks like a tough race. He had a tough race in the Gordon and if you look at the history of horses that have run well there, they usually go straight to the Leger.

“Really the Voltigeur was just keeping our options open with the Leger our primary and main target.

“We are ready to run again if we wanted to. We’re going to turn up at Doncaster six weeks after our last run whereas Rewilding and Midas Touch may have a ding-dong on Tuesday.”

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