Great Voltigeur Preview: Ballydoyle can take win with 'second string' Douglas McArthur

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Douglas MacArthur – Great Voltigeur  12-1 each-way William Hill

Douglas MacArthur – St Leger  33-1 each-way Skybet

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Seventeen horses remain in contention for next Wednesday’s St Leger trial, the Group 2 Betway Great Voltigeur Stakes, with the Ballydoyle stable of Aidan O’Brien spoilt for choice being responsible for seven entries headed by Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winner Capri.

The son of Galileo’s neck victory over the John Gosden-trained Cracksman on that occasion would suggest that any rematch would see the two colt’s locked together in the betting yet the latter is no bigger than 6-4 with bookmakers to gain revenge on the Knavesmire with the former available at a massive 8-1 with William Hill, Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook.

 

What seems like an unusual act of generosity by those three firms is almost certainly more to do with the doubtful participation of several Ballydoyle contenders. And while Capri looks on course for the final Classic of the season next month it is hard to imagine connections have a lot to gain by giving the horse a hard race next week.

French jockey Stephane Pasquier (2nd L) rides his horse Senga as they lead the race of the Prix de Diane, a 2,100-meters flat horse race, on June 18, 2017 at the Chantilly hippodrome, north of Paris. / AFP PHOTO / Martin BUREAU

After being placed in the Derby’s at Epsom and the Curragh, Cracksman is easily the one to beat in York’s one mile three and a half furlong contest but at a short price and with the possibility of a depleted field come Monday’s final declaration stage the value may lie with backing one of the other Ballydoyle horses at a double-figure price.

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If, as expected, Capri stays at home the number one Aidan O’Brien contended and mount of Ryan Moore is probably Douglas MacArthur, a 12-1 chance with William Hill. Despite doing most of the donkey work the horse was still beaten less than five lengths behind stablemate Wings Of Eagles at Epsom and is more than capable of improving upon his fifth place finish in the Irish version where he wasn’t given a hard time of it in the final furlong, beaten just over four lengths.

Douglas MacArthur will be allowed to run on his merits on this occasion and can enter St Leger calculations, making the 33-1 offered by Skybet a tempting proposition.

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