Leger hero Logician set to drop in trip next season with Coral-Eclipse on agenda

John Gosden revealed on Sunday that St Leger winner Logician is to start off his 2020 campaign over a mile and quarter, with the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown as a midsummer target.

The champion trainer was speaking on day two of the Henry Cecil Open Weekend in Newmarket on Sunday morning when Logician appeared among seven stars, including ten-time Group 1 winner Enable and two-time champion stayer Stradivarius, who cantered on Warren Hill. 

"The plan is to target the Coral-Eclipse next year with Logician, who is not short of speed and should handle the drop in trip," said Gosden. "Something like the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes could be a warm-up race."

Logician, a son of Frankel who is unbeaten after five victories from as many starts this year, was last seen beating Sir Ron Priestley in smooth fashion at Doncaster last weekend in the 1m6½f Classic. 

A drop in trip to start his four-year-old career was not anticipated, with a move to a mile and half looking the preferred route, but Logician is proven over the trip with maiden and novice victories at Newbury and Newmarket – his first two starts – under his belt.

The second of those successes came in June. Since then he won twice at a mile and a half, before romping home in the Leger.

Gosden has won the Coral-Eclipse four times in the last eight years with Nathaniel (2012), Golden Horn (2015), Roaring Lion (2018) and Enable (2019) all claiming the prize.

Gosden aiming to bridge half-century gap

John Gosden would be in the company of giants by achieving a feat that has not been accomplished for more than 50 years if Logician can follow up his St Leger victory by landing the Coral-Eclipse next year.

The first Irish-based trainer to be Flat champion in Britain, Paddy Prendergast snr, was the last to land the St Leger and Eclipse with Ragusa in 1963 and 1964, following in the footsteps of two of the dominant trainers of the post-war period, Sir Noel Murless with St Paddy in 1960-61 and Vincent O'Brien with Ballymoss in 1957-58.

Sir Michael Stoute attempted to join the club in 2009 but Conduit could manage only third to Sea The Stars, while Mark Tompkins nearly managed to join the elite group with Bob's Return, who found only Stoute's Ezzoud too good at Sandown in 1994.

Doing things the other way around, the Sir Henry Cecil-trained Reference Point was beaten by Mtoto in the 1987 Eclipse on his way to the Leger, while Roger Varian's Kingston Hill was the most recent Leger winner to take the Sandown route to Doncaster, finishing fourth to Mukhadram in 2014.