O’Brien encourages followers to see the light and believe in St Leger hero
Revered trainer Aidan O’Brien has been quick to affirm the Prix De L’arc De Triomphe credentials of his talented three-year-old Leading Light.
And the Irishman’s show of support has seen the St Leger winner backed in to 12/1 with Ladbrokes to claim a second Arc renewal for his saddler.
O’Brien has openly stated that the step down in trip should pose few problems for the son of Montjeu, winner of Longchamp’s flagship race in 1999.
The trainer told the Racing Post: “Leading Light might be lazy but he’s not short of class.”
Those sentiments were a reaction to alleged preconceptions regarding his charge’s chances of successfully handling the sharper tempo a mile-and-a-half would represent.
Leading Light’s Queens Vase win at Ascot over 2m, followed by that victory at Town Moor, have showcased the colt’s staying power.
But prior to those successes there was both pace and stamina in abundance when taking the spoils over two furlongs less than the Arc’s distance at the Curragh and Navan.
And given that one of those scores was on a tackier surface, even inclement conditions in France may not pose a problem.
English Derby winner Ruler of the World remains O’Brien’s standout chance with odds of 10/1 currently available.
He has the advantage of having had a spin around Longchamp too where he finished a game runner-up to Kizuna in the Prix Niel trial.
That performance was a welcome return to form following a disappointing fifth in the Irish Derby.
It was also a display that, according to jockey Ryan Moore at least, proved the Galileo colt “handles the ground.”
The softer conditions were a new experience for O’Brien’s favoured hopeful and it was a test he dealt with admirably.
However, those searching for even more value could be tempted by the supplemented Leading Light.
O’Brien’s late entrant may well be prove to be the surprise package in a race where talk has long centred on those higher up in the betting.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing
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