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North Light set to miss St Leger in favour of Arc bid; North Light has Arc as autumn aim.

Byline: LEE MOTTERSHEAD

DERBY hero North Light will not seek to become Sir Michael Stoute's first winner of the St Leger after the

champion trainer yesterday ruled him out of the Don-caster Classic.

As short as 5-1 favourite with William Hill for the Town Moor showpiece, North Light is instead being pointed firmly in the direction of a crack at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

A decisive winner at Epsom, having earlier landed the Dante Stakes, North Light was last seen when losing out to Grey Swallow following a sustained tussle for the Irish Derby.

Following that race Peter Reynolds, spokesman for North Light's owners the

Weinstock family, mooted the St Leger as a possible target for the son of Danehill. That plan, though, has been shelved, with the Arc - a race the late Lord Weinstock tried to win without success on many occasions - now the preferred option.

"What I can say for sure is that North Light will definitely not run in the St Leger," said Stoute, whose many disappointments in the race include the defeat of Shergar, who was fourth in 1981.

Describing his Gordon Stakes winner Maraahel as

having "an each-way chance" at Doncaster, Stoute added: "We want to run North Light in the Arc but I haven't decided yet on which race he will go for beforehand. I've never said that we were going to run him in the Juddmonte International, but the plan is to give him a prep race somewhere. I'll have to discuss things with Peter Reynolds before we make a decision."

John Gosden is giving Day Flight, another with a St Leger entry, a mid-season break with the intention of bringing the colt back for a campaign also geared towards the Arc.

Day Flight has been off the track since finishing a close fourth in the Prix du Jockey-Club at Chantilly in early June, and during that spell some of Gosden's horses have been under a cloud.

However, the trainer is a lot more upbeat about the health of his string and said: "My horses were flying through to Royal Ascot but, because we were casting our nets far and wide, they picked up a bug at the racecourse stables.

"We've been a bit quiet, with not a lot of runners, but things are picking up again."

Of Day Flight, Gosden added: "He won't run until one of the trials in September, then we will look at the Arc with him. There's a horse called Doyen on the scene at the moment and I would very much like to take him on at Longchamp in early October."

Gosden's Percussionist, who has not run since trailing in last in the Irish Derby, is being saved for an autumn campaign once the ground

eases.

ARC DE TRIOMPHE

William Hill: 6-4 Doyen, 7 Grey Swallow, 8 North Light, 11 Sulamani, 12 Bago, Mubtaker, Ouija Board, 14 Hard Buck, Latice, 16 Papineau, Vallee Enchantee, 16 Gamut, 20 Fracassant, Shirocco, Valixir, 25 Blue Canari, Policy Maker, Powerscourt, 33 Warrsan.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Aug 1, 2004
Words:503
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