All eyes on the St Leger

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  • And Beyond looks a tempting bet at 12-1 for the St Leger at Doncaster

    Middleham-based Mark Johnston could provide the first Yorkshire-trained winner of the St Leger for 28 years with his colt And Beyond at Doncaster on Saturday.

    Peleid, from the Malton stable of Bill Elsey, was the last local hero in 1973 and the powerful galloping And Beyond has the credentials to see out the stamina-sapping mile-and-three-quarters.

    Johnston’s Double Trigger finished third seven years ago and, even though champion jockey Kevin Darley’s mount And Beyond has not run since winning the Queen’s Vase, he is fancied to make a bold show at the tempting odds of 12-1.

    Johnston is at Keeneland Sales in America and his wife Deirdre said: “Bobby Elliott (assistant trainer) rode And Beyond in his final piece of work and reported that he felt really good.

    “And Beyond had a hard race at Royal Ascot and we wanted to give him time to get overit. We had thought about running at Goodwood but decided against it. Of course, it would be great for a Yorkshire stable to win the St Leger.”

    The St Leger is the only English classic to have eluded Sir Michael Stoute, who relies on Alexius for his 16th attempt to win the race. The Stoute assault started with the mighty Shergar who flopped in 1981, while last year his Air Marshall was second to Millenary.

    Barry Hills’s Mr Combustible beat Millenary at Newbury in fine style last time and could start favourite and Aidan O’Brien saddles four, including Great Voltigeur Stakes winner Milan, the mount of Mick Kinane, and Ebor Handicap hero Mediterranean.

    The Johnstons try for an unprecedented same-day English-Irish St Leger double with Yavana’s Pace who runs at The Curragh. Yavana’s Pace won well at Longchamp in Paris last weekend but will find it tough going against Millenary, attempting the Anglo-Irish Leger double, and Godolphin’s Marienbard.

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