John Gosden has a tremendous record in the final classic of the season, the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster in September, and his up-and-coming colt Shantaram could bid to secure a place in the line-up against Triple Crown seeking Camelot if he puts up a good performance on his next outing which will probably be in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes at York next month at the showcase Ebor Festival meeting, writes Elliot Slater.
The son of Galileo stepped up on his odds-on maiden victory at Newmarket in June when returning to HQ for the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy over 13 furlongs at the July Meeting. He showed he possesses bags of stamina in out-staying decent opposition under William Buick to eventually run out a three-and-a-quarter-length winner from Nassem Alyasmeen. Gosden was quick to nominate the Great Voltigeur Stakes, (a key St Leger Trial) as the next port of call for the Lady Bamford-owned three-year-old who the master trainer believes still needs racing experience before taking on the cream of the crop on Town Moor.
In his five career starts Shantaram has never been out of the first two, finishing runner-up on each of his first three outings including when only just failing to hold the subsequent Investec Derby runner-up Main Sequence in the Group 3 Lingfield Derby Trial in May. With Gosden having an outstanding record in the St Leger – he has won the historic race four times in all and on three occasions in the last five renewals, with Lucarno (2007), Arctic Cosmos (2010), and Masked Marvel (2011) – the Horse Racing Betting understandably show odds of just 14/1 about Shantaram adding to that tally even with the presence of the mighty 2/5 market leader Camelot expected in the line-up.
Before Doncaster though it is off to York and the Great Voltigeur Stakes. The race will determine whether or not Shanmtaram – one of the favourites in the Betfair York Ebor Betting – will take his chance in the final classic of the season.