Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Get ready for a party with Blue Bunting

This Saturday sees the 235th running of Britain’s oldest classic, The St Leger. The race has been run in some form every year since 1776 with but a single exception in (1939) and fittingly for a such an enduring spectacle the focus is squarely on which horse has the stamina to last the distance.

The 1 mile 6 furlong trip represents a journey into the unknown for these three year old fillies and colts, most of whom will not have competed beyond 1 mile and four furlongs in their young lives.

As Town Moor holds its collective breath those who have stood the pace as far as the two furlong pole will settle down to battle out the finish. Horse and jockey forge together on into the void. A journey that began with three horses three hundred years ago through centuries of thoroughbred breeding has come to this latest inescapable moment. Onwards, with every hoof beat, into this unknown...

Sir Michael Stoute’s Sea Moon rocketed to favouritism for the season’s final British classic after a demolition job on the Great Voltiguer at York last time.

His performance was beguiling as he put his rivals (including Irish Derby second Seville) to the sword, running out an easy winner. Was the suicidal early pace of the O'Brien pacemaker to blame in leaving his endurance bred rivals out on their feet at the business end of the race? Possibly. With fellow Leger hope Namibian underperforming and subsequently found to have colic what is the worth of the form?

Seville was well behind Masked Marvel in the Derby at Epsom so could seemingly have a fair bit to find when he reopposes with John Gosden’s charge and the horse that one narrowly beat earlier in the season at Newbury, Census. Having been there or there abouts in a lot of group ones but has never had quite the ability to get his head in front. With the traditional Coolmore peloton conspicious by their absence he will be left to duke it out solo along way from home on saturday.

The horse that stands out is for me is Blue Bunting. What I would give to be holding on to a 6/1 docket with this young lady's name on it!

If you put your faith in omens then you will pleased to know that she takes her name from Cyanocompsa parellina, a small bird native to Latin America. Not an omen you say?! Well... back to remedial orthnithology for you for they are sexually dimorphic creatures. Despite the name only males of the species have a deep blue plummage in common with the Godolphin silks. Blue Bunting sees no reason to accept that because of her gender she may not bear that stratospheric blue. She will have whatever the colts have and more, she is emancipated.

One of the most consistent horses around this year having already won three group ones , she’s still 4/1 with most layers and looks like a smashing little bet to nothing for the each way thieves.

In the last decade half of the small number of fillies entered in the race have placed and the 3lbs weight allowance they receive has all the more time to aid them over a longer trip.

Blue Bunting is bred for stamina but had enough toe to steal this seasons 1000 Guineas and with 5 time St Leger winning pilot Frankie Dettori in the stirrups (the same man who has ridden her to three G1 success and one ignominious failure this season) she's certain to make the frame if not fly to victory.


For your Exacta:

1. Blue Bunting

2. Census

3. Masked Marvel

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