sport

Given hopeful of Odeon bid

View from connections ahead of the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket on Thursday.

James Given is prepared to write off Odeon's most recent effort at Royal Ascot as he goes into an early trial for the Ladbrokes St Leger at Newmarket on Thursday.

The full-brother to the smart Kite Wood must prevent John Gosden's domination of the Bahrain Trophy, with the trainer on a four-timer in the race after the successes of Feel Like Dancing, Shantaram and Leger winner Masked Marvel.

Like the first two names, Gosden's Doncaster maiden winner Forever Now is owned and bred by Lady Bamford.

Odeon, who won at Redcar in April, went on to post a creditable fourth behind the top-class The Grey Gatsby in the Dante Stakes but weakened to seventh after leading in last month's King Edward VII Stakes.

"He was below par at Ascot, he sweated up a lot when we saddled him, it was running off his belly," said Given.

"It reminded me of (Derby winner) Benny The Dip how he sweated. Obviously it's quite an occasion at Ascot, with the noise and the atmosphere, and he just didn't perform.

"We were disappointed, especially as his Dante form with Bunker was turned around quite a long way.

"We've put a hood on him, which should hopefully help him. His brother was second in the Leger, so that's a race everyone thinks about."

Richard Hannon's Bunker was eventually fifth behind the Gosden-trained Eagle Top in the King Edward while the stable have another leading contender in the race through Windshear.

The Hurricane Run colt bumped into a very smart individual in Cannock Chase when contesting the London Gold Cup at Newbury but ran another fine race at Royal Ascot when second in the King George V Stakes.

"Bunker is rated 4lb superior to Windshear, and he has been mixing it with the best, having run in the Dante and the King Edward VII," the trainer told www.richardhannonracing.co.uk.

"We think stepping up again in trip might suits him, but Windshear has looked a smart staying handicapper and ran a cracker behind Elite Army in the King George V at Royal Ascot. The winner is only a 10-1 chance for the St Leger, so we are entitled to take our chance here."

There is a Royal Ascot hero in the line-up, Mark Johnston's Queen's Vase winner Hartnell, while Vent De Force and The Corsican have looked progressive young stayers.

Ralph Beckett's Honor Bound will be looking to leave behind a weak effort in the Investec Oaks, having picked up the trial at Lingfield.

Jockey Jim Crowley has been booked, and he told At The Races: "When she came into the Oaks Trial she wasn't really that fancied on her homework.

"Obviously she won, went to Epsom and had a hood on for the first time because she gets het up in the preliminaries. She never picked up the bit or ever got into it.

"The step up in trip should suit, and the track should be fine. A few of the horses were going through a bit of a dip at the time but they're running well at the moment, fingers crossed.

"She's really well-bred, she's a half-sister to Treasure Beach who won the Irish Derby. She's not very big or robust but she's very tough and hard.

"With fillies like that, you never know if they'll keep improving, but unless you try, you don't find out."