Appleby hopeful Hurricane can blow away St Leger rivals

CHARLIE APPLEBY is in pole position to claim his first St Leger prize, with Hurricane Lane a clear favourite to claim the final classic of the season.

The three-year-old already boasts an impressive CV with wins this year in the Dante Stakes at York, the Irish Derby and Grand Prix de Paris. Early betting for the oldest of the classics has Hurricane Lane trading at around evens, with another Appleby-trained superstar, Adayar, quoted at 2/1. However, the UK horse analysts believe that, Epsom Derby and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner will be targeted at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe after a warm-up run in the Prix Niel.

The two sons of Frankel are clearly the cream of the crop at Appleby’s Newmarket base, with the trainer weighing up the best plans for the three-year-olds who have taken the sport by storm this year, reports

He appears to be still weighing up whether to run both at Longchamp, but the indications are that Hurricane Lane will end his season after running at Doncaster.

Appleby said: “This is only a plan in pencil so far, but as Adayar hasn’t yet done any travelling we are looking at sending him to Paris for the Prix Niel. That will give him experience of travelling but also experience of the Arc track.

“Hurricane Lane has already won at Longchamp (Grand Prix de Paris), so the likelihood is that he will be trained for the St Leger. Both those races are three weeks before the main event but we would have to assess the extent to which the two horses are put to the sword at Doncaster and Longchamp before taking a decision about the Arc.

“You would hope and imagine Adayar wouldn’t have too hard a race in the Niel, so if Hurricane Lane did have a hard race in the Leger, he might be the one we start thinking about waiting another year to run in the Arc.”

Hurricane Lane was clearly the yard’s No.1 in the lead up to the Derby, but Adayar surprised many by turning over his stablemate and winning at Epsom at a price of 16/1. The two Appleby horses were separated by Mojo Star, and Hurricane Lane will be locking horns again with the Richard Hannon-trained son of Sea the Stars in the St Leger, reports BBC Sport

In the Irish Derby, Mojo Star met a host of problems in running but stayed on well to finish fifth – he is expected to provide Hurricane Lane with a stern challenge over the 1m6f clash on Town Moor.

The Irish challenge will be led by Ottoman Empire (8/1), Johnny Murtagh’s improver registering a fourth straight win in the Group Three John Pearce Racing Gordon Stakes at Goodwood, considered a leading trial for the Doncaster classic. However, it will be another jump in class, but so far he has proved he has been up to every challenge placed in front of him.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Wordsworth was deemed the most likely Irish challenger, but the runner-up in the Irish Derby disappointed in the St Leger Trial at the Curragh. The Galileo colt is currently trading at around 20/1, and with 16 of the last 19 St Leger winners returned at 8/1 or shorter, it may be wise to focus attention on those horses at the top of the betting market.