This year’s Ladbrokes St Leger has attracted 29 entries.
Storm The Stars (William Haggas) is the 5/1 favourite with Ladbrokes following fine performances to finish placed in two Classics.
He was third to Golden Horn in the Investec Derby at Epsom Downs and runner-up to Jack Hobbs in the Irish Derby at the Curragh, Ireland, both over a mile and four furlongs.
The last colt to finish third at Epsom Downs and go on to capture the Doncaster Classic was Shantou in 1996.
Storm The Stars was third in the Group One Grand Prix de Paris over 12 furlongs at Longchamp, France, on July 14, after which trainer William Haggas indicated that the son of Sea Of The Stars was being aimed at the Ladbrokes St Leger, and could possibly take in the main trial, the Group Two Great Voltigeur Stakes, at York on August 19 beforehand.
Sunday’s Irish Oaks winner was Covert Love (Hugo Palmer, 8/1 with Ladbrokes), who had a length and a half to spare over Jack Naylor (Jessica Harrington, 12/1) in the Curragh Classic.
User Friendly was the last filly to win the Ladbrokes St Leger and she had also previously triumphed in the Irish Oaks.
There are six fillies entered in total, with the other five all trained in Ireland.
Six horses trained in France have won the Ladbrokes St Leger since 1945, the most recent being Toulon in 1991 and there are two welcome entries from the other side of the Channel in 2015.
Mikel Delzangles could have his first runner in the Ladbrokes St Leger after entering the unexposed Vengeur Masque (20/1).
The three-year-old son of Monsun captured a maiden at Saint-Cloud at the end of May and impressed in winning a 12-furlong conditions race by four lengths at Compiegne on June 17.
Delzangles reported: “Vengeur Masque is very well. He is going to run in the Prix de Reux (Group Three, 12.5f) at Deauville on August 9 and after that we will decide if he is good enough to go to Doncaster.
“They were nice performances the last two times. The form of the races is okay - the horse he beat won a big handicap subsequently - but definitely not enough to prove that he is good enough to go for the St Leger. He has got to prove himself in a Group race first.
“I do feel he is a quality horse though and he is improving all the time. He is very laid back and will love going the extra distance.”
The other French-trained entry is Group Two victor Sumbal (Francis Graffard, 16/1), who was last seen when staying on to take fifth in the Group One Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) over 10 and a half furlongs at Chantilly on May 31.
Newmarket-based John Gosden and Ireland’s Aidan O’Brien have had great success in the Ladbrokes St Leger with four victories apiece.
Gosden’s entry this year is the progressive Mr Singh (7/1), who was runner-up to fellow Ladbrokes St Leger aspirant Balios (David Simcock, 12/1) in the 12-furlong Group Two King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot before appreciating the step up in distance to 13 furlongs when making all in the Group Three Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket on July 9.
O’Brien has no less than 16 entries. The Ballydoyle contenders at this stage include French Derby runner-up Highland Reel (33/1) as well as Giovanni Canaletto (14/1), who was fourth at Epsom Downs and third at the Curragh.
Leading Light was the latest Ladbrokes St Leger winner for Ireland’s champion trainer when scoring in 2013. He came to Doncaster having won the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot over two miles. Aloft (8/1) could bid to follow in his footsteps after landing the same contest this season.
There are plenty of others to highlight among O’Brien’s contingent, including recent 10-length Listed scorer Fields Of Athenry (20/1), plus Bondi Beach (12/1) and Order Of St George (12/1), who were separated by a short-head in the Group Three Curragh Cup last month.
Four fillies have been entered by O’Brien, including last year’s Group One Fillies’ Mile heroine Together Forever (25/1) and Wedding Vow (16/1), an impressive winner in Group Two company at the Curragh on Sunday.
There are 19 Irish-trained entries in total. Jack Naylor was runner-up in the Irish Oaks, while both Radanpour (Dermot Weld, 16/1) and Morning Mix (Jim Bolger, 14/1) have shown progressive form and should be suited by a step up in distance.
Hopes of the Ladbrokes St Leger prize remaining locally rest with Medrano (20/1), trained close to Newark by David Brown. He was third to Storm The Stars in a Listed race at Goodwood in May before an eye-catching six-length victory in the Listed Glasgow Stakes over 11 furlongs at Hamilton Park on July 17.
There is a scratchings deadline for the Ladbrokes St Leger on August 25, with the six-day confirmation and £50,000 supplementary entry stage following on Monday, September 7.
Entries for the other two early-closing races at the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival, the Group Two At The Races Champagne Stakes and the Group Two Park Stakes, will be revealed tomorrow.
The Ladbrokes St Leger will be run for the 239th time on Saturday, September 12. Boasting a total prize fund of £650,000, the race is the highlight of the four-day Ladbrokes St Leger Festival, which takes place from Wednesday, September 9 to Saturday, September 12.
Ladbrokes St Leger - Ladbrokes bet: 5/1 Storm The Stars; 7/1 Mr Singh; 8/1 Aloft, Covert Love; 12/1 Balios, Bondi Beach, Order of St George, Jack Naylor; 14/1 Giovanni Canaletto, Morning Mix; 16/1 Kilimanjaro, Radanpour, Sumbal, Wedding Vow; 20/1 Fields of Athenry, Medrano, Vengeur Masque; 25/1 John F Kennedy, Outspoken, Proposed, Together Forever; 33/1 Almodovar, Argus, Bantry Bay, Father Christmas, Highland Reel, Hobart, Easter, Words