Gosdens add another string to Leger team with Middle Earth

Middle Earth entered the St Leger picture after a taking win in the Sky Bet Melrose Handicap at York.

The son of the sadly ill-fated Roaring Lion was unraced until June this year but is rapidly making up for lost time.

Second on his first two outings, he opened his account at Newmarket in July and the patience of his connections is now paying dividends.

Oisin Murphy brought the three-year-old with a strong run with a furlong to run and the John and Thady Gosden-trained colt held off Aidan O’Brien’s Denmark by a length and three-quarters.

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“He’s a grand horse. He’s a big boy so he’s taken his time, but he’s done nothing but improve as a three-year-old,” said John Gosden.

“After he won a few people were trying to buy him but luckily Sheikh Fahad and David (Redvers, racing manager) thought they’d give him more of a chance.

“He’s won a Melrose well, the St Leger closed before he won so I think from that point of view he will be considered for supplementing.

“He’s a progressive horse, that’s the point. if you’d have asked me in May is he a Leger horse, I’d have said no.

“It (Doncaster) is a big open track, you need experience more on a tight, turning track but it’s a huge, galloping track. There’s usually no hard luck stories on that home straight, just like here.”

Albasheer (blinkers) comes to join Summerghand
Albasheer (blinkers) comes to join Summerghand (Mike Egerton/PA)

Summerghand (11-2 favourite), who lost the Great St Wilfrid by a short-head last weekend, dead-heated with Albasheer (7-1) in the Sky Bet Constantine Handicap.

David O’Meara’s Summerghand looked set to following up last year’s win in the same race until Archie Watson’s Albasheer came flying out of the pack under Hollie Doyle.

Danny Tudhope was on Summerghand and said: “Hollie was flying towards the end and I hit the front soon enough on him, so I’ll take a dead-heat any day.”

Doyle said: “We’ll take that but it’s just this lad’s luck as he’s been a bit frustrating. We know how good he is on his day, but things just haven’t fallen right for him.

“I thought things just hadn’t fallen right again but thankfully it’s a dead-heat.”

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Astro King winning the final race at York
Astro King winning the final race at York (Mike Egerton/PA)

William Buick delivered Daniel and Claire Kubler’s 100-30 shot Astro King with a well-timed challenge to land the concluding Sky Bet Finale Handicap.

“That was fantastic, he did deserve it and he’s done it well today,” said Daniel Kubler.

“It all seemed so straightforward.”

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