Kew Gardens looks set to blossom in the St Leger Stakes at Doncaster on Saturday.
The apple of his trainer Aidan O’Brien’s eye, the Galileo colt has flourished since disappointing in the Derby in June when he faded tamely after attempting to make all the running.
Could the final Classic of the year be perfectly timed for him to strike?
The bookies certainly think so with 10Bet’s St Leger betting installing Kew Gardens a short-priced 11/8 favourite after the five-day declarations.
More patient tactics were adopted on his next start when upped in trip in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot and it paid dividends as he won by four and a half lengths to fellow St Leger runner Southern France.
A similar approach was employed in the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp where he found the step back to a mile and a half no problem as he ran out a ready winner to land his first Group 1.
Kew Gardens faced a sterner test in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York last month where he incurred a 5lb penalty and came up short against Old Persian.
However a step back up in trip would be in his favour and off level weights here he can gain his revenge on his York conqueror.
Not that Old Persian, 6/1 with 10Bet, can be dismissed out of hand having won four races already this term, looking to be the main danger to Kew Gardens despite the pair being split in the early betting by Lah Ti Dar (3/1).
Old Persian also won at Royal Ascot when he landed the Group 2 King Edward II Stakes before disappointing in the Irish Derby eight days later, and he showed that running to be all wrong when staying on gamely at York last time.
Further down the betting Mark Johnston has a useful colt here in Dee Ex Bee (10/1) but despite finishing second in the Derby in June he has yet to score from six attempts this year and more place prize money is likely to be all that he can hope for.
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