Talent on course for classic double

Ralph Beckett is keen to let Talent have the chance of further Classic glory in the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday.

Talent on course for classic double

Ralph Beckett is keen to let Talent have the chance of further Classic glory in the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday.

The Kimpton trainer revealed he had to give the Investec Oaks winner a racecourse gallop at Kempton in preparation because his grass gallops at home were too dry.

“She worked at Kempton on Friday because the grass gallop at home is very dry and therefore very quick, so we haven’t been able to get on the grass,” Beckett told At The Races.

“She’s in good nick and I’m hoping we’ll be able to run. I’ll see how we are early in the week and we’ll plan away from there. I’d like to run her.”

Talent, who has not raced since finishing last of seven in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh in July, would bid to become the first Epsom Oaks winner to beat the colts in the St Leger since User Friendly in 1992.

Connections of Great Hall are hoping Kieren Fallon will be able to ride their colt in the one-mile-six-furlong heat.

The Brian Meehan-trained three-year-old has won his last two starts, triumphing in the hands of Fallon at Haydock on his most recent outing in July.

He was forced to miss an intended prep run at York’s Ebor meeting due to a change in ground and would prefer better conditions.

“He’s in the Leger and the plan is to run,” said Tony Stafford, racing manager to owner Raymond Tooth.

“Everyone would be very happy if Kieren rode him in the Leger. He knows him pretty well and has a lot of confidence in him.

“We wanted to run in the Melrose but the unbelievable amount of rain they had overnight meant it was pointless pulling a horse’s guts out three weeks before the big one.

“He’s a very exciting horse, and hopefully he’ll be an even better horse next year.”

One horse who would not want the ground to ride too quick is the John Gosden-trained Feel Like Dancing.

While he finished second in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot and won the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket on good to firm ground, Hugo Lascelles, racing manger to owner Lady Bamford, would not want the Doncaster going to be too quick.

“He worked very well on Wednesday and has been fine since his last run,” he said.

“Hopefully William (Buick) will ride him, but the one proviso is that he doesn’t want really fast ground.

“He’s in good form and it’s all systems go for Doncaster.”

Officials at the Town Moor track believe the going is likely to be good for the start of the four-day meeting on Wednesday.

The ground was described as good, good to firm in places on Sunday afternoon and clerk of the course Roderick Duncan has no plans to water at the moment as nature is doing its job.

However, he is keeping a close eye on the weather as the forecast is changeable.

“The forecast is changing quite regularly at the moment. We’ve just got a bit of good to firm on the straight course, from the mile to the seven furlongs or thereabouts. That’s where it’s just a bit quicker,” said Duncan.

“The weather is helping us at the moment. It rained on Saturday and we’re having a heavy dew every morning. That has nearly put in as much as the sun took out during the day. Temperatures are not forecast to be really high.

“A lot hangs on what rain we get on Monday, but we hope to start on good ground or thereabouts.

“Because the forecast is so unsettled I’m not prepared to take any chances with watering and am just leaving nature to take its course at the moment.

“There’s just the chance of a shower on Wednesday, but the weather is hard to call at the minute. The forecast is chopping about so much.”

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