09/11/2010 10:34AM

Gosden pointing St. Leger winner Arctic Cosmos to BC Turf


Arctic Cosmos scored a surprise in the $770,000 St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster on Saturday as Rewilding, banged down to even-money favoritism, trudged home a well beaten seventh, 6 1/2 lengths behind the 12-1 winner.

Settled in mid-pack by the red-hot William Buick, Arctic Cosmos led approaching the furlong pole and was soon in command, running out a 1 3/4-length winner over the Aidan O’Brien-trained Midas Touch. The pacesetting 40-1 longshot Corsica lasted for third by a nose over dual Oaks winner Snow Fairy as the winner covered the 1 3/4 miles, 132 yards in 3:03.12 on good ground.

Frankie Dettori was content to keep Godolphin’s Rewilding in seventh place but the Great Voltigeur winner was in trouble a long way out, being niggled along with six furlongs still to run. Meanwhile, the chances of the 8-1 Snow Fairy may have been compromised by an overconfident ride from Eddie Ahern, who kept his filly towards the rear and didn’t make his move until inside the quarter pole.

Second in the King Edward VII Stakes and third in the Gordon Stakes, Arctic Cosmos is a son of Epsom Derby winner North Light, and was giving trainer John Gosden his third St. Leger triumph. Gosden said that the Breeders’ Cup Turf is now Arctic Cosmos’s foremost option. If that proves to be the case, he will be attempting to pull off the same St. Leger/Turf double won by Conduit two years ago.

* Saamidd confirmed his potential with an impressive victory in the Group 2, $154,000, Champagne Stakes. The seven-length winner of his maiden debut at Newbury, Godolphin’s 5-6 Street Cry 2-year-old was not fully extended by Dettori in scoring a 2 1/4-length victory over dual Group 2 winner Approve with Group 3 winner Waiter’s Dream a half-length further back in third.

Trained by Saeed bin Suroor, Saamidd covered the straight seven furlongs off a slow pace in 1:26.32, or 1.49 seconds slower than the time recorded in a conditions race on Friday by Frankel, who is now William Hill’s 12-1 favorite for next year’s Epsom Derby with Saamidd at 16-1. Saamidd will run next in the seven-furlong, Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on Oct. 16.