STAMINA and class are both required to land the final Classic of the season, Saturday’s Ladbrokes St Leger (3.45pm) at Doncaster.
Derby-third Idaho brings the class angle to the Group One 1m 6f contest.
Ballydoyle’s son of Galileo stepped up from his Epsom performance to finish second to Harzand in the Irish Derby, before finally getting his reward when landing the Betway Great Voltigeur at York.
That form means he’s just 4/6 with Coral, but the St Leger asks further questions, the most obvious of which is the extra two furlongs.
While he showed a good turn of foot to cut through his field in the 1m 4f event at York, this trip could have him running on empty in the closing stages.
There’s also the chance of rain on Town Moor which could turn this into a real slog and I’m not prepared to take a chance on Idaho’s unproven stamina at such short odds.
Stablemate Sword Fighter will have no problem staying the trip. He landed the Curragh Cup over this distance and made all to win the two-mile Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot.
He’s likely to make the running again and will be a tough nut to crack, but whether he’s good enough to win a Classic is questionable.
HOUSESOFPARLIAMENT has to be the value selection in the race. He’s got class, a big engine and can be backed at 6/1 with Coral.
His success in the 1m 5f Bahrain Trophy proved he stays and the form of that race looks strong. The second, Platitude, won by five lengths in Listed company at Goodwood last week, with a further seven lengths back to last year’s Bahrain Trophy winner Mr Singh.
The John Gosden-trained Muntahaa is bred to improve for the extra distance and his trainer has landed this race four times. But having won just a Listed race at Chester last time out, he still has plenty to prove.
Before that, I fancy the chances of RED PIKE in the Ladbrokes Portland Handicap (2.35pm). The five-year-old won over course and distance last year and finished second in a competitive 18-runner Class Two contest in 2014.
He wasn’t disgraced in finishing eighth in the Stewards’ Cup last time out, while trainer Bryan Smart and jockey Connor Beasley are both in good form. Coral’s 16/1 looks a cracking each-way bet.
Housesofparliament 3.45pm Doncaster
Red Pike 2.35pm Doncaste
Both selections are advised each-way