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Wednesday 17 January 2018

Stoute's Sea is Ledger leader

Red-hot Ladbrokes St Leger favourite Sea Moon is now one of just 17 horses left in the final Classic of the season at Doncaster on September 10.

Michael Stoute's colt trades at 6/4 with the sponsors after streaking away with the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York -- his third win in four career starts.

Most of his chief opponents in the betting remain in the mix after the August 23 scratchings deadline, with Godolphin's Blue Bunting still a possibility to attempt to add the race to her strikes in the 1000 Guineas and Irish Oaks.



Absentees

The most notable absentees were Sea Moon's stablemate Fiorente and the Aidan O'Brien-trained Treasure Beach, with the latter's trainer still represented by Seville, Wonder Of Wonders, Apache, Freedom and Regent Street.

Richard Hannon's Census and Tom Dascombe's Brown Panther have been left in while John Gosden, three times a Leger winner so far, has Masked Marvel, Buthelezi and Thimaar to pick from.

A likely outsider will be Whiplash Willie, who won competitive handicaps at Salisbury and Glorious Goodwood earlier this summer and was second in the Melrose at York last week.



Massive

Trainer Andrew Balding said: "Whiplash Willie would want plenty of rain that week but the St Leger is certainly an option.

"He stays well and, while it is obviously a massive jump in class for him, somebody has got to finish third or fourth.

"His sire (Phoenix Reach) ran well in the race and he is tough, he just wouldn't want the ground too fast.

"It was a good effort at York last week. He travelled well and he is improving with each run, so we are very pleased with him.

"He is going to be a fun horse for next year and it will be nice to have a fun day out at Doncaster -- hopefully he can run well."

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