Frankie Dettori is relishing the prospect of partnering Lah Ti Dar in Saturday’s William Hill St Leger at Doncaster.
The John Gosden-trained filly returned from an enforced injury absence with a scintillating display in the Galtres Stakes at York last month and the Clarehaven handler confirmed on Wednesday she would take on the boys in the season’s final Classic.
The Prix Vermeille at ParisLongchamp on Sunday was considered as a serious alternative, but Dettori believes it is the right call to bid for Classic glory on Town Moor.
Speaking at Doncaster on Thursday, Dettori told ITV Racing: “The Vermeille was there to be taken – she was clear top-rated – but it’s an Indian summer in France and it was 30 degrees throughout the week.
“She’s got a little bit of a knee action and Longchamp on fast ground can be very speed orientated and turn into a sprint in a short straight.
“We feel like Doncaster on good or good to soft ground, with a long straight on a flat track, will be more of her cup of tea at this stage.
“The whole team decided the Leger would be the place to be.”
Lah Ti Dar will be stepping up to a mile and three-quarters at Doncaster, but Dettori is not unduly concerned by the extra distance.
He added: “She’s got as good a chance as anyone. The question mark for all of them is the mile and six, but when you see her size and the way she galloped out at York, you’d be pretty confident that it would be within her compass.”
Lah Ti Dar disputes favouritism with Kew Gardens, who bids to provide trainer Aidan O’Brien with a sixth St Leger success.
The Galileo colt won the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot and the Grand Prix de Paris earlier this summer before finishing third under a Group One penalty in the Great Voltigeur at York.
The Ballydoyle handler also saddles Nelson, Southern France, The Pentagon and Zabriskie.
Great Voltigeur winner Old Persian is one of two runners for Charlie Appleby after the Newmarket handler revealed Loxley will also take his chance.
Loxley finished second in the Bahrain Trophy in July, but has since twice impressively in France.
He had been under consideration for the Prix Niel this weekend but will instead stay closer to home.
Appleby told www.godolphin.com: “We have decided to run two in the Leger – Old Persian will be ridden by William Buick, while James Doyle will be on Loxley.”
Lah Ti Dar is one of two fillies in the race along with the supplemented Maid Up from Andrew Balding’s yard.
Mark Johnston saddles Investec Derby runner-up Dee Ex Bee, Raymond Tusk represents Richard Hannon and the Tom Dascombe-trained Proschema completes the line-up.