There is something extra special about a top class filly strutting her stuff and LAH DI DAR, so far, looks to be every inch that. On Wednesday this week, the St Leger market was turned upside down as John Gosden and connections opted to declare this hugely exciting filly for the 3.35pm showpiece on Saturday. She’s a 7/4 shot to land the last Classic of the year and if recent evidence if to be believed, she’s about to produce something really special under Frankie Dettori.
The last filly to win the St Leger was Simple Verse back in 2015 and she was a very good filly in her own right, but Lah Ti Dar looks particularly unique in her rise to the top playing table thus far. Clearly a late developer, Lord Lloyd-Webber’s exceptionally well-bred 3yo didn’t run as a juvenile, but she’s more than made up for lost time in three starts to date. She absolutely battered her 13 rivals by 6 lengths and rising in a ten furlong maiden at Newbury back in April, before following that up with an improved effort at Newmarket the following month, where she produced an RPR of 108 and a Topspeed rating of 83.
Visually she was beginning to excite flat racing fans and that Newmarket run confirmed her Group class potential, but it wasn’t until York last month – after a mid-Summer break owing to an illness – that the daughter of Dubawi really produced a graduation performance in the Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes over twelve furlongs. She wound up the pace gradually under Frankie and began to pour on the pressure as they entered the home straight. From there, Lah Ti Dar was a joy to behold, stretching further and further clear with every passing yard, ending up 10 lengths clear of her toiling rivals come the winning post. A Racing Post Rating of 115 and Topspeed figure of 91 was a solid 9lb improvement on her second run, but she left plenty to the imagination too, in no way suggesting she couldn’t improve again.
Stamina for this 1m6f test is a bit of a concern, particularly as Dubawi offspring have struggled to make a big impact in Group 1 company over 12-14f in the past. But Lah Ti Dar has a formidable, relentless galloping style, she seems to be very straightforward and relaxed given her limited track experience and in receipt of her 3lb sex allowance, I’m struggling to envisage the boys being able cope with her rate of progression.
In a flat season that has struggled to produce many “Special” performances, the scene is set for Lah Ti Dar to end the Classic race series with something out of the ordinary. In three starts to date, the horse has left every impression that she could be right out of the top drawer.
In terms of dangers, they are apparent and in plentiful supply, if there are any chinks in the armour of the market leading filly. Kew Gardens is a sturdy Group class operator, he stays well and has looked a shoo-in for this race for some time. The boys in blue at Godolphin are strongly represented with Loxley and Old Persian. The former has been the subject of some strong whispers amongst respected judges, while I’ve had a soft spot for Old Persian all season, despite not backing him on a going day as yet. You’d have to give De Ex Bee his due credit and each-way claims, while the very good looking Southern France is also a significant player; although he’ll probably turn out to be a better 4yo.
All things considered though, Lah Ti Dar is really difficult to ignore. We all want to see something out of the ordinary here and if any horse in this line up can conjure up a performance of that nature, it is undoubtedly this naturally gifted and unbeaten filly, with Frankie Dettori providing his usual pinch of class and flare to the equation. She’ll bolt up, won’t she?
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