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Angus McNae

Captain's Blog - Saturday 15th September

To stay or not to stay that is the question for Camelot today. Forget the notion of his class getting him through, that is as bogus a concept as there is out there in this collateral form world of ours.

Let's be straight. If he does not stay he does not win. Now all we have to do is decide whether he will get the trip. Firstly let's look at his pedigree.
He is by Montjeu, who has already sired two Leger winners in the shape of Scorpion and Masked Marvel. He has sired a Gold Cup horse in the form of Fame and Glory and has a Champion hurdle winner in the form of Hurricane Fly. Compelling evidence to suggest that sons of Montjeu are very effective at a mile and a half and some stay further.

Of course it takes two to tango so let's look at Camelot's dam. She is Tarfah, who stayed nine furlongs but is related to a French 13-furlong winner. Her sire is Kingmambo, who does not really get stayers (progeny index 9.9) but nor does Mark of Esteem, who was the dam sire of Masked Marvel. On the face of it stamina does not run through her veins but there are snippets that give you hope that Camelot will stay 14 furlongs.

Thus on balance his pedigree gives him a good chance of staying, without it being an outstanding one. Unlike one of his opponents, Ursa Major, his stamina is not copper bottomed, but there are reasons to believe he will stay. His run style is a relaxed one so he will not be comprimised by pulling too hard.

He would be far better suited coming back to 10 furlongs than going up to 14, but the Triple Crown is the dream and in pursuit of the dream Ballydoyle are taking a risk. In doing so we should take the hint and stay well away from the 1-3 that is on offer and instead hope he stays for, if he does, the race is over.

If I was going to have a bet I would back Ursa Major each-way. He is by Galileo out of a Shirley Heights mare. Now that pedigree simply screams stamina and he is 16/1. He must be backed each-way with SkyBet , who are going 1/4 the odds a place. That is a 4/1 winner if he finishes third. That will do nicely.

I am in the studio today for all of the action from Chester and of course for Mark Your Card from 12.30. Niall Hannity will be my guest. Make sure you join us.

Enjoy the Leger.

Today's Selection

3.40 Doncaster - Ursa Major (each way 16/1 SkyBet )



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