Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin team look likely to be triply represented in Saturday’s Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster after Rumh was supplemented into the race at the penultimate declaration stage and is expected to set the pace for her owner’s strongly fancied Blue Bunting, and outsider Genius Beast.
The final classic of the British Flat racing season has proved a tremendously happy hunting ground for Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor over the years. He has won the race an amazing five times, striking first with Classic Cliche in 1995, then following up with four more winners of the world’s oldest classic; Nedawi (1998), Mutafaweq (1999), Rule of Law (2004), and most recently Mastery, in 2009. This year bin Suroor is responsible for the supplemented Rumh, winner of a listed contest at Newbury earlier in the term but outclassed at a higher level since and 150/1 in the St. Leger betting odds. but it is a sign of an apparent changing of the guard in the Godolphin camp that the owner’s main two contenders and trained by the up-and-coming Mahmood al Zarooni.
Blue Bunting is the clear Godolphin first string, the Dynaformer filly having had a sensational three-year-old season with Group 1 wins in the Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket in May, the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh in July, then beating older horses on her first attempt in landing the Yorkshire Oaks on the Knavesmire last month.
User Friendly in 1992 was the last filly to win the great race, but there is every chance that Blue Bunting, 4/1 in the St. Leger betting, can land the spoils with staying looking to be her strong suit. Genius Beast (66/1) is a sporting outsider having looked a promising horse earlier in the term when landing the Sandown Classic Trial before failing to make the grade at the top level on three subsequent outings. Connections have suggested he has an each-way chance and is expected to be suited by the step up in trip.