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O'Brien has good hand for St Leger double bid

By Richard Forristal

The Ladbrokes St Leger promises to be a compelling edition of the final European Classic of 2013 on Saturday, but the Doncaster showpiece will form just one leg of what is shaping up to be an absolutely fascinating weekend of international Flat racing.

David Wachman's dual Derby-placed Galileo Rock continues to vie for a share of the market lead alongside the John Gosden-trained Excess Knowledge for the mile-and-six-furlong Group One at a top price of 4/1.

Ballydoyle's Leading Light and Foundry are also to the fore in the betting for the £600,000 Town Moor feature, though Aidan O'Brien has said that the former may switch to the Curragh's Gain Irish St Leger on Sunday if the ground isn't soft enough for Ernest Hemingway to run there.

O'Brien's three St Leger heroes of the last decade – Milan, Brian Boru and Scorpion – are the only Irish-trained winners of the world's oldest Classic since Boucher delivered his predecessor and namesake Vincent the last of his three 41 years ago.

Wachman has a live chance of adding his name to an illustrious list that also includes Darkie Prendergast (Ragusa in 1963) with Galileo Rock.

Indeed, it could be a massive weekend for the Tipperary handler as Sudirman is likely to try for a second Group One in Sunday's Goffs National Stakes.

Giovanni Boldini, Sunday's Dundalk debut winner, is one of four that O'Brien could field, another being Wilshire Boulevard.

The race received a tremendous boost yesterday when Royal Diamond was given the go-ahead to attempt to become the first dual holder since four-time winner Vinnie Roe (2001-2004).

There is a strong cross-channel contingent in contention for the long-distance Group One, with Michael Owen's Goodwood Cup scorer Brown Panther due to attempt to build on last year's third.


Endurance trainer Jaume Punti Dachs insists there was no suggestion of "wilful or careless wrongdoing" after a consignment of his veterinary products was seized from Moorley Farm East in Newmarket last month.

Moorley Farm is listed as owned by Darley Stud Management, the banner company of Sheikh Mohammed's breeding operation.

Punti Dachs said: "I must emphasize that there is no indication whatsoever of any wilful or careless wrongdoing."

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