Arrest, Frankie Dettori, St Leger 2023 odds, horse racing
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St Leger 2023 odds: Arrest joint-favourite after Dettori switch

| 14.09.2023

Arrest is now the 10/3 joint-favourite in Coral’s St Leger 2023 odds after Frankie Dettori chose to ride him rather than stablemate Gregory in the final Classic of the season at Doncaster on Saturday.

Dettori had looked sure to partner Gregory given the way he won the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot in June over the St Leger trip – but Kieran Shoemark will now step into the breach.

Gregory only lost his unbeaten record last time out when dropping down to a mile and a half in the Great Voltigeur at York behind the re-opposing Continuous.

However, recent rain at Doncaster has turned the ground soft meaning Dettori will have a second chance at Classic glory on John and Thady Gosdens’ Arrest, who was sent off favourite for the Derby but could finish only 10th on good to firm ground.

He also disappointed on quick ground at Royal Ascot but was impressive back on a soft surface at Newbury against older horses in the Geoffrey Freer last time out.

Coral’s David Stevens said: “With all his best form coming on softer going, it’s no great surprise Arrest will give Frankie Dettori his final chance to win the St Leger, and as a result of the Italian’s decision, his mount has joined Gregory at the head of the Doncaster betting.

“Add in a first Classic runner for the King and Queen, and Saturday’s race has all the ingredients to serve up a Classic treat.”

It is arguably the biggest ride of Shoemark’s career as he steps out on Town Moor aboard one of the leading fancies, but he is relishing the prospect of linking up with the Royal Ascot scorer, who has an obvious chance of handing him a first victory in one of racing’s crown jewel events.

Shoemark (pictured below, left) said: “I’m very happy with my mount in the race and wouldn’t swap him. As soon as Frankie made up his mind I found out.

“He’s a high-profile horse in a high-profile race. He’s one of the market leaders and to be riding a favourite in a British Classic is hugely exciting.”

Kieran Shoemark, Frankie Dettori, St Leger 2023 odds, horse racing

When asked if the ride aboard Gregory would represent the biggest moment in his career, Shoemark added: “I’ve never ridden a favourite in a Classic, so you could potentially say that. I’ve certainly felt more pressure going into other races, but if I were to win the race it would be my biggest career win for sure. It’s where I want to be, so it’s a privilege not pressure and I look forward to it.”

Unsurprisingly, owners Juddmonte are delighted Dettori has sided with their colt.

Racing manager Barry Mahon said: “John called this morning to say that Frankie had thought about it, and with the rain he was happy to ride Arrest and I suppose when you sit down and go through the different variables, he knows Arrest handles that type of ground which is a big thing.

“I think it will be a hot race and in fairness, I don’t think it was an easy choice to make for Frankie and I’m not sure I would be able to make it.

“Ultimately I’m sure the rain is what swayed him and if you look back to this day last week, when I spoke to John we both said it looks like we won’t be running. The forecast was giving very little rain at the start of the week but the last I read they were up to 30 millimetres, so it’s been a rollercoaster of a week and the more rain that falls the better.

“We know he handles soft ground well and I’m not sure there is a whole lot more coming between now and Saturday, but if there is, then an odd shower won’t do it any harm.”

The Clarehaven stable also has a fine third string in the supplemented Middle Earth (Oisin Murphy), a hugely impressive winner of the Melrose at York’s Ebor meeting.

The King and Queen have a real live chance of tasting success in a British Classic with the William Haggas-trained Desert Hero, himself a Royal Ascot winner, albeit in handicap company in the King George V Stakes.

He subsequently won the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood, narrowly beating Simon and Ed Crisford’s Chesspiece and the two will lock horns again.

Desert Hero’s rider Tom Marquand has already experienced victory in the Leger, with Galileo Chrome for Joseph O’Brien in 2020.

Desert Hero, Tom Marquand, horse racing

“He ticks all the boxes of what you want from a Leger horse,” he said of this year’s contender, who is 5/1 in the St Leger 2023 odds.

“It’s a mile and three-quarters but he has speed, he stays, he relaxes right and he’s with the right team, so fingers crossed we get a good draw and the right trip around.

“It would be amazing (to win a second Leger), and I think the magnitude of it possibly being Desert Hero for the King and Queen is not lost on me after I had that experience at Royal Ascot.

“I didn’t acknowledge the significance of it beforehand. As a jockey you just want to go out and win, you don’t think past what happens getting over the winning line. I think this time it is a little different, the Doncaster crowd are notoriously passionate about their racing and love a big day out. If it was to come off it would be pretty magical.”

Aidan O’Brien runs four – Great Voltigeur winner Continuous, Alexandroupolis, Denmark and Tower Of London – meaning there were no withdrawals at the 48-hour stage.

St Leger 2023 odds

10/3 Arrest, Gregory

4/1 Continuous

5/1 Desert Hero

7/1 Middle Earth

12/1 Tower Of London, Chesspiece

20/1 Alexandroupolis

40/1 Denmark

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All odds and market correct at date of publication



Andrew McDermott

Andrew is a sports betting content journalist at PA Media. He is a lifelong Huddersfield Town fan but when he isn't reminiscing about their Premier League days he is also a junior cricket coach and enjoys cycling.