Friday, September 13, 2013

St Leger 2013

Eleven declared for the 236th running of the St Leger, racing's oldest Classic, although Galileo Rock looks likely to be withdrawn with rain expected overnight.

John Gosden has won three of the past six renewals (Lucarno 2007, Arctic Cosmos 2010 and Masked Marvel 2011) and saddles current favourite Excess Knowledge. He looked unlucky when beaten a head by Cap O'Rushes in Goodwood's Gordon Stakes (Secret Number fifth, Havana Beat seventh). I've seen a couple of hints for Secret Number (16/1 generally) on the back of that performance but I'm not convinced.

Leading Light, winner of the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot, looks Ballydoyle's first choice and should have no problem with the trip while stablemate Foundry may be less exposed but isn't readily dismissed - he didn't look full wound-up when beaten by Telescope in the Great Voltigeur.

On official ratings Libertarian, second in the Epsom Derby, is bang there with every chance. William Buick was reunited with the colt after his original mount, Feel Like Dancing, clearly didn't feel like running and failed to appear amongst Thursday's final declarations. The horse ran something of a stinker in the Irish Derby - connections were convinced the very quick ground was against their charge that day - but he hasn't been seen since which tempers enthusiasm.

Target, the only filly in the field, faces a stiff task - the last filly to oblige was User Friendly in 1992.

We've seen some big priced winners in recent years including Mastery, 2009, 14/1; Arctic Cosmos, 2010, 12/1 and Encke, 2012, 25/1.

This looks an open affair with the forecast rain certain to play a part. The Ballydoyle pair catch my eye; Foundry won his maiden on soft ground while Leading Light clearly has the necessary stamina.

Leading Light (9/2 generally this evening) is the suggestion.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Galileo Rock (6/1) was allowed to take his chance on going described officially as good to soft, soft in places.

Selection Leading Light was sent off 7/2 favourite. Headed two out by Galileo, the colt fought back to regain the initiative approaching the furlong pole and went on to win a shade cosily; filly Talent (9/1) stayed on for second, demoting Galileo to third.