Healthy Irish challenge confirmed for St Leger at Doncaster

Murtagh bids to continue fine season with Ottoman Emperor; six for Aidan O’Brien

Ottoman Emperor will bid to give Johnny Murtagh St Leger glory at Donncaster. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty

Ottoman Emperor will bid to give Johnny Murtagh St Leger glory at Donncaster. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty

 

Hurricane Lane is the star name among 13 confirmations for the Cazoo St Leger at Doncaster.

Charlie Appleby’s charge has won four of his five starts this year, his only defeat coming when third behind stablemate Adayar in the Derby at Epsom in early June.

Hurricane Lane has since completed a Group One double with victories in the Irish Derby and the Grand Prix de Paris — and he is odds-on to add to his top-level tally in the final Classic of the season on Saturday.

Aidan O’Brien, who has saddled six previous winners of the St Leger, has six contenders on course for this year’s renewal.

The Ballydoyle handler has supplemented High Definition to join stablemates Carlisle Bay, Interpretation, King Of The Castle, Sir Lucan and The Mediterranean in the Town Moor showpiece.

Johnny Murtagh did not manage to win the one-mile-six-furlong contest during his illustrious riding career, but will have high hopes of claiming victory as a trainer with Ottoman Emperor.

The Excelebration colt is unbeaten in three starts so far this season, completing his hat-trick with a narrow defeat of Sir Lucan in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood.

Fernando Vichi, from Donnacha O’Brien’s yard, completes the potential Irish challenge.

Mojo Star is a leading contender for Richard Hannon, having split Adayar and Hurricane Lane when runner-up in the Derby before finishing fifth in the Irish equivalent and then opening his account in a Newbury maiden.

Roger Varian’s Save A Forest is the only remaining filly, with Ralph Beckett’s Scope and the Andrew Balding-trained Youth Spirit the other two hopefuls.

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