O’Brien to Send Sir Dragonet and Il Paradiso to St Leger
Aidan O’Brien has confirmed that the plan so far is for him to have two main challengers for the final classic of the UK flat season, the St Leger at Doncaster. In just over a week we will see the top three year olds contest this race over 1m6f and as far as the fancied runners go, O’Brien will saddle up two. These are Sir Dragonet and Il Paradiso, and it is fair to say that the two horses could not have more different profiles going into the race as far as class and staying power goes.
These two are both behind ante post favourite Logician in the betting at the moment, with Sir Dragonet the second favourite after sustained support over the past week or so, and Il Paradiso the third favourite.
Sir Dragonet was sent off as the favourite for the Epsom Derby in the summer after quickly rising to fame this season. He didn’t run as a two year old, but quickly made his mark and trounced the field in his Derby Trial at Chester. He wasn’t able to win the big one, but certainly ran with credit to finish close up behind his stablemate and winner Anthony Van Dyck. Since then things haven’t really gone to plan for him. He was very disappointing at The Curragh on his last start and that is something he has to bounce back from.
However, the positive news bulletin that triggered support for him in this race came from Aidan O’Brien and it seems as though the yard are really happy with him. Not too long after running so badly in Ireland, the horse was available at 12/1 to win the St Leger, whereas he is now as short as 4/1 in the market after the news from his trainer.
It is highly likely that he will be ridden by Ryan Moore in the St Leger, although it is not certain that he will be at the meeting, as there is also a big meeting in Ireland that he could be used for. However, with this being a classic, it is likely that O’Brien will use the services of Moore in England, and not in Ireland.
Il Paradiso has a completely different profile than his stable mate, and is currently the third favourite, and more than likely he will be the second string from the stable. He will definitely stay the trip having last been seen running over two miles at York. He was right in the mix with both Stradivarius and Dee Ex Bee in that race, and although he was getting a weight allowance from them as he is only three, that piece of form is still very impressive and puts him right there with a chance.
With stamina no issue for this horse, it would be no surprise to see him make sure this is a good test of stamina, and possibly even make the running. This would also mean no need for a pacemaker to run in the race, leaving the yard with just two runners in the race.
He doesn’t have the CV to match up to Sir Dragonet in terms of Derby Trial successes and runs in the Derby, but he does have guaranteed stamina and he comes here on the back of a great run, which makes him of interest.
We have just over one week to go until the final classic of the season and it looks as though Aidan O’Brien has his plan set in stone. He may run a pacemaker, but as far as the genuine contenders go, he will be represented by Sir Dragonet and Il Paradiso.