Sponsors bid to tempt Camelot backers13/09/2012 - 16:49:24
Ladbrokes feel they are “dangling a carrot” for punters by easing Camelot’s odds ahead of his bid for Triple Crown glory in Saturday’s St Leger at Doncaster.
Aidan O’Brien’s 2000 Guineas and dual Derby hero bids to become the first horse since the legendary Nijinsky in 1970 to complete the British Classic hat-trick and has been the red-hot favourite since connections confirmed their intentions to travel to Town Moor.
With plenty in hand on the official ratings, it is not surprising the Ballydoyle superstar is a warm order, but race sponsors Ladbrokes pushed the colt’s price out to 2-5 from 1-3 after a field of nine were declared.
David Williams of Ladbrokes said: “We’re thrilled to bits that Camelot will face eight rivals. It has triggered an each-way frenzy with all but one of his rivals coming in for genuine support.
“We’re dangling a carrot for Camelot fans by going 2-5, which is the biggest price he’s been since mid-summer.”
Ladbrokes have also made adjustments to the prices of the two major contenders for trainer John Gosden, after stable jockey William Buick confirmed he would partner Great Voltigeur Stakes winner Thought Worthy.
He is 8-1 from 10-1 to give the Clarehaven handler his third successive triumph in the world’s oldest Classic, while the passed-over Michelangelo is 12-1 from 10-1, despite the booking of the ever-popular Frankie Dettori.
The Italian rider partnered Gosden’s Shantou to win the St Leger in 1996.
The trainer also saddles outsider and likely pacemaker Dartford.
Buick admits it was a difficult decision to choose between the yard’s two leading hopes, but feels Thought Worthy comes into the race with the best form.
He told his At The Races blog: “I left it late because I wanted to get a feel of just how both horses were at home, but it didn’t make things any easier as John Gosden has them both primed to run for their lives.
“Michelangelo breezed on Tuesday and I gave Thought Worthy the same sort of spin on Wednesday and I couldn’t split how well they were. In the end it was the overall level of form that Thought Worthy has shown which swung my decision his way.
“Although many thought we stole the Great Voltigeur it was really down to his adaptability and courage. I think he’s better judged on that performance than the Derby.
“I know Camelot is going to be very hard to get by but both the Clarehaven runners have the ability to bustle him up and I want to be on the one that pushes him hardest and I think that’s going to be Thought Worthy. He was only just beaten in a bog in the Sandown Classic Trial then came back very gamely to beat Noble Mission at Newmarket after that.”
While Buick has opted for Thought Worthy, he also expects Michelangelo to put up a bold show as he sports blinkers for the first time.
He said: “Michelangelo has untapped potential though, and is taking the same route as my first Leger winner, Arctic Cosmos, who was third in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood.
“Like him, the boss is going to try blinkers for the first time on Saturday and it will definitely help him. It’s gone down to the wire, I’ve made what I think is the form call and the right one to give Camelot a fight. I hope I’m right but if not then good luck Michelangelo.”
Camelot is O’Brien’s sole representative after Imperial Monarch and Monday’s Galway winner Chamonix were both not declared.
There is another challenger from Ireland in the shape of Tommy Carmody’s Ursa Major, the mount of Johnny Murtagh.
Derby runner-up Main Sequence represents David Lanigan, Encke goes for the Godolphin team under Mickael Barzalona and hugely impressive Melrose Stakes winner Guarantee takes a significant step up in class for William Haggas.
The field is completed by the Sir Henry Cecil-trained Thomas Chippendale, who carries the colours of Yorkshireman, Sir Robert Ogden.
Ladbrokes St Leger, sponsors bet: 2-5 Camelot, 8-1 Main Sequence, 8-1 Thought Worthy, 12-1 Michelangelo, 14-1 Guarantee, 16-1 Ursa Major, 25-1 Thomas Chippendale, 33-1 Encke, 250-1 Dartford.
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