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Zarooni hopes for Classic breakthrough Trainer confident of Rewilding success.

Godolphin's red-hot favourite attempts to win Group One St Leger, the final Classic of English season

Dubai Godolphin trainer Mahmoud Al Zarouni is confident Rewilding will appreciate the extra furlong at Doncaster when his red-hot favourite bids to win the Group One St. Leger, the final Classic of the English season.

Rewilding, an exciting winner of the Great Voltigeur Stakes (Group 1) at York earlier this month is currently a best-priced 7-4 favourite with most bookmakers for the 1 mile 61/2 furlong contest, the oldest of Britain's five Classics and the final leg of the Triple Crown that is preceded by the 2,000 Guineas and the Derby.

"I think he will enjoy the step up to an extended mile and three quarters because he is a light horse," Al Zarouni said of the three-year-old Irish-bred colt.

"Rewilding has been very well since the Great Voltigeur Stakes. The race didn't take as much out of him compared to the Derby, as he didn't go to York fully wound up."

Rewilding has a superb record over distances ranging from a mile to a mile and a half where he has won three of six starts and finished runner-up twice and third on another occasion. He has raced four times this season including when third behind Workforce and At First Sight in the English Derby at Epsom in June.

However, in his subsequent start in the Voltigeur he showed a marked improvement in form when comfortably beating Midas Touch by two lengths at York.

Al Zarouni, who is hoping to win his first Classic in his maiden season for Godolphin, has also entered recent German Derby winner Buzzword and the promising Dynaformer colt Vibrant Force.

Speaking after's Rewilding's success at York Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford had said: "Rewilding is tailor-made for the St Leger and we will think about dropping him back to a mile and half or even a mile and a quarter next year. He has got enough speed to race over a shorter distance in a truly run race.

"The St Leger is the main target and it will be a great race for him to compete in. It's a Classic and we have been very lucky in the race."

Godolphin have won the St. Leger five times, including last year with Mastery. Previous wins have come with Rule of Law (2004), Mutafaweq (1999), Nedawi (1998) and Classic Cliche (1995).

Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien has entered six in the race, with Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby one-two, Cape Blanco and Midas Touch, joined in the race by Await The Dawn, Bright Horizon, Flying Cross and Joshua Tree.

Midas Touch is the shortest price of the Irish sextet at 7-1.

O'Brien said: "We've left a few in, including the two who were placed in the Great Voltigeur, Midas Touch and Joshua Tree, plus Cape Blanco and Await The Dawn, who won at Cork on Sunday.

Trainer James Given is also looking forward to pitching his stable star Dandino against Rewilding, after missing the Voltigeur.

"I'm pleased we missed the York race," he told At The Races. "We would have had to get into a battle with Rewilding, but we'll save that for Town Moor.

"We haven't tried him over a mile and three-quarters but he looks as if he'll stay, he was running on very strongly at the end of the Gordon Stakes.

"He didn't seem to handle the hill well at Goodwood but it was a bit loose on top. There is Rose Hill at Doncaster, but that is fairly early on in the race so I don't see a problem with that.

"We've had a lot of rain here recently and our gallop has been deeper and while we haven't galloped him on it, he moves on it as he does when it is firmer, so on the evidence I've got I'm less worried about the ground than I was."

Rex Features

Superb record

Rewilding has a superb record over distances ranging from a mile to a mile and half, where he has won three of six starts, finished runner-up twice and come third once.

HORSE racing

latest odds

English St. Leger (Group 1)

At Doncaster, September 11

Favourites: Rewilding (7/4), Midas Touch (7), Snow Fairy (7), Arctic Cosmos (15/2), Dandino (8), Joshua Tree (10), Cape Blanco (12), Buzzword (25), Ted Spread (25), Corsica (33), Flying Cross (33), Theology (33), Total Command (33), Await The Dawn (100), Bright Horizon (200), Vibrant Force (200) - Others 0 or more

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Aug 29, 2010
Words:769
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