Racing UK ambassador Harry Bentley writes about an exciting opportunity in Canada, who he fancies in the St Leger and suggests one to put in your Racing UK tracker
Woodbine on Saturday:
I’m not riding in Britain on Saturday because I have managed to secure the ride aboard Arod in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile Stakes in Canada.
It is a great opportunity for me, as I have never ridden over there and as I haven’t picked up any other rides on the night I’ll be able to soak up some of the atmosphere.
I will be in Canada only for around 11 hours, but outside of Doncaster in Britain on Saturday there is little else on.
I have watched a fair few replays at Woodbine to acquaint myself with the track, and when I get there I will go for a run around the course. Obviously I know the form of runners such as Deauville, Dutch Connection, Mondialiste and Lancaster Bomber, and even Long On Value who I know from Dubai, but I’ve got a long flight and will study up on our rivals then.
As for Arod, he ran fifth in this race 12 months ago but since then a lot of water has passed under the bridge. Having been trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam the son of Teofilo went to Chris Waller in Australia, where he was second twice in Group Three handicaps. His last few runs were not the best, and he hasn’t been seen out since April. I was due to ride at Salisbury on Friday, when I was due to catch up with trainer David Simcock, so we’ll just have to see. He certainly has the form to run well.
Defoe has the form to score but Ocean can make waves:
The action at Doncaster on Saturday is excellent, and although there are a few people out there keen to crab the William Hill St Leger, I think it is a strong race.
As regular readers will know, I have thought for a long time that Defoe warrants a place in the final Classic of the season. I have ridden him to two of his four wins this season and he has a lot of boxes ticked. He will definitely see out the trip, and should have no problem with the likely good to soft ground. If anything the softer the better.
He really does have an engine, and having won over ten furlongs this season he does have more gears than you think. I also love his attitude and he is very genuine. The only question remains is whether he is classy enough, which we will only find out after the race. He is definitely in the right race.
I was third to Crystal Ocean in the Gordon Stakes aboard Mount Moriah, who went on to be third to Order Of St George in the Irish St Leger last Sunday. We were beaten a long way by Order Of St George, but it was the manner with which Crystal Ocean won at Glorious Goodwood that impressed me. Hypothetically, if anybody was to offer me a ride in the race I would have to choose Crystal Ocean.
One for your Racing UK tracker:
I was very impressed by Roger Varian’s Laugh A Minute at Doncaster this week. He was held up by Andrea Atzeni and came from the back really nicely. He promised to run a big race on Thursday and duly delivered in the Weatherbys Racing Bank £300,000 2-Y-O Stake. I think there is improvement to come and he has a big race in him.
Unseating at Epsom:
I see that Racing UK showed on social media my unseating from Groor at Epsom this week. It was the second time this had happened to me at the course in the past month. There had been a touch of rain, and as Groor came out of the stalls he buckled down to his knee and his nose touched the floor. It was unfortunate, but these things happen.