The St. Leger is not only the final English classic of the Flat racing season but it is also the oldest, dating back to 1776. The prestige of the race has been somewhat detracted from with the introduction of Champions Day at Leopardstown taking place on the same day. However, there will still be plenty of top class horses in attendance and hopefully we will be on-board the winner! As well as our advice there’s a wealth of great tips available on the St Leger plus other sports at sbat betting tips.
One of the leading contenders is likely to be John Gosden’s Muntahaa who ran a very encouraging third in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot. He was in behind a wall of horses and ran a little green before staying on in taking fashion in the closing stages. He should have learned a lot from that, however he will need to step up markedly on that performance to land the prize. He is however in the best hands with trainer John Gosden having won the race on four previous occasions. Muntahaa’s stablemate Wings of Desire also looks to have strong claims having finished a creditable fourth in the Epsom Derby before chasing home Highland Reel in Group One company at Royal Ascot. If he does turn up here then he is one to take very seriously but I can’t help but feel that he is not quite top class. He was getting 12lbs from Highland Reel the last day and didn’t have the class to match the leaders at Epsom. Similarly, Ed Dunlop’s Red Verdon was a little unlucky in running in the Epsom Derby but ultimately didn’t have the class to get close to the leading trio. He confirmed that he is just not quite up to the mark when again never landing a blow in the Irish Derby at the Curragh. He has also been beaten since at Saint Cloud and whilst the extended trip should suit I don’t think he will be good enough and given the history of the yard they may be looking at a tilt at the Melbourne Cup in November.
The leading two contenders for this year’s St.Leger in my eyes both hail from the Aiden O’Brien yard in Sword Fighter and Idaho. Sword Fighter marked himself out as a colt with lots of potential when landing the Queens Vase at Royal Ascot and the Curragh Cup. He ran a very good race against the older horses at Goodwood last time out when running a creditable fifth in the Goodwood Cup. He was receiving chunks of weight that day though which puts a doubt in my mind as to whether he is up to winning this. Preference is for Idaho who has shown nothing but top class form all season.
He ran a blinder in the Epsom Derby when beaten less than 3 lengths and confirmed the form of that run when finishing even closer to Harzand next time out in the Irish Derby. He’s now favourite for the St Leger having won the Great Voltigeur, the key trial at York this week. He just seems to have that touch of class that sets him apart from this years’ St.Leger rivals. Although a turn of foot is not necessarily the key characteristic of your typical St. Leger winner, the fact that he has shown the ability to put distance between himself and other decent horses suggests to me that he is the class act in the race. There is enough stamina in the pedigree to suggest that he will see out the trip well.
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