St Leger: Kingston Hill set to run in Doncaster Classic

Kingston Hill winning the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster in October 2013
Kingston Hill won the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster in October 2013
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Kingston Hill will contest the St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday despite fears the going could be on the fast side.

Trainer Roger Varian did not want firm ground for his Derby runner-up in the mile-and-three-quarter Classic.

But the favourite is one of 13 runners in the 15:50 BST race even though officials have confirmed there will be no watering of the track.

Rivals include the John Gosden-trained Romsdal, Snow Sky for Sir Michael Stoute and Richard Hannon's Windshear.

William Buick rides Romsdal - third in the Derby - for Gosden, who is seeking a fifth Leger win, with Frankie Dettori to partner stablemate Forever Now.

Snow Sky will have James Doyle on board, while three-time champion jockey Ryan Moore rides Kings Fete for Stoute.

Recent St Leger winners
2013: Leading Light 7-2 fav (Aidan O'Brien) Joseph O'Brien
2012: Encke 25-1 (Mahmood Al Zarooni) Mickael Barzalona
2011: Masked Marvel 15-2 (William Buick) John Gosden
2010: Arctic Cosmos 12-1 (William Buick) John Gosden
2009: Mastery 14-1 (Saeed bin Suroor) Ted Durcan
2008: Conduit 8-1 (Sir Michael Stoute) Frankie Dettori

The St Leger is the final British Classic of the Flat racing season for three-year-old horses following the 2,000 Guineas, 1,000 Guineas, Oaks and Derby.

It has been staged since 1776 and is named after a local sportsman, Anthony St Leger, who had the idea for the race.

In Saturday's renewal, Varian believes Kingston Hill will improve from his fourth-placed finish in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown.

Kingston Hill was taken out of the Irish Derby and the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York due to the fast going.

"It's not that he has to have it soft. It's just that we want to run on some ground perhaps more in our favour than others," said Varian before officials confirmed there would be no watering.

Kingston Hill completed an unbeaten three-race juvenile campaign by winning the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster in October 2013.

But he has yet to win this season, finishing eighth in the 2,000 Guineas before his fine Derby second to Australia at Epsom.

"We'd look back on the Guineas and say he was never going to be a miler. Without doubt, he's a middle-distance horse," Varian told BBC Radio 5 live.

Ladbrokes St Leger 15:50 BST, Saturday, 1m 6f, Doncaster (Horse, racecard number, draw, owner, trainer, approximate odds)

1 (5) Alex My Boy (IRE) Mark Johnston Silvestre De Sousa 14-1

2 (13) Forever Now John Gosden Frankie Dettori 14-1

3 (10) Granddukeoftuscany (IRE) Aidan O'Brien IRE Colm O'Donoghue 25-1

4 (6) Hartnell Mark Johnston Joe Fanning 14-1

5 (12) Kings Fete Sir Michael Stoute Ryan Moore 12-1

6 (4) Kingston Hill Roger Varian Andrea Atzeni 11-4

7 (2) Marzocco (USA) (Blinkers) John Gosden Robert Havlin 25-1

9 (1) Odeon James Given Graham Lee 40-1

10 (14) Romsdal John Gosden William Buick 6-1

11 (9) Scotland (GER) Andrew Balding Jim Crowley 14-1

12 (7) Snow Sky Sir Michael Stoute James Doyle 5-1

13 (11) Somewhat (USA) Mark Johnston Franny Norton 33-1

14 (3) Windshear Richard Hannon Richard Hughes 8-1

Non runner - 8 Min Alemarat (IRE) Marco Botti Martin Harley 33-1

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