Atzeni wouldn't swap Defoe

12 September 2017 17:15:59 EST

Andrea Atzeni wouldn't swap his mount Defoe for anything as he bids for a hat-trick of St Leger wins at Doncaster on Saturday.

Atzeni partnered Kingston Hill to victory in the world's oldest Classic in 2014 and 12 months later he guided the filly Simple Verse to glory on Town Moor.

The Sardinian-born rider has no fewer than six Group One winners since 2013 at Doncaster and will team up with Kingston Hill's trainer Roger Varian on Saturday as they bid for glory with 4/1 chance Defoe.

Now we know for sure he'll see it out at Doncaster, and he'll certainly enjoy the big galloping track.

Andrea Atzeni

The Dalakhani colt has won all four starts this term, ascending the ranks in fine style. His latest win in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury last month was another step up the ladder as he won at Group Three level on his first attempt, also going a long way to proving his stamina for the St Leger.

Atzeni feels he has got a fine chance of success, in a wide open renewal of the Doncaster Classic.

"He's progressed with every run and gave me a great feel at Newbury to win his first Group race, despite being relatively inexperienced," Atzeni told At The Races.

"All he wanted to do in the stalls was put his head down and eat grass, and afterwards you wouldn't have known he'd had a race.

"I thought he'd stay well at Newbury. It was just short of 1m6f, and he relished every yard of it, travelling sweetly throughout the race.

"Now we know for sure he'll see it out at Doncaster, and he'll certainly enjoy the big galloping track.

"He's a very uncomplicated colt who settles nicely into his races, so I know I'll be able to keep things simple which is such an advantage to a jockey."

Aidan O'Brien's Capri is 3/1 to win the St Leger, while Crystal Ocean is 5/1 for trainer Sir Michael Stoute.

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