St Leger Glory again for Gosden?
The oldest of the 5 classic races takes place at Doncaster at 3.35 on Saturday 16th September.
John Gosden currently holds a strong hand with 2 strong fancies in the 11 runner field. He has a good record in this race with 3 winners in the last 10 years. Lucarno in 2007, Arctic Cosmos in 2010 and Masked Marvel in 2011
Coronet is likely to go off towards the top of the market. The trip is very likely to suit this filly. The 3lb allowance will come in very handy.
My slight concern is the ground drying out although she did win the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot on Good to Firm ground.
Since then she has come up against the indomitable Enable. Whilst unable to get near on either occasion at least she was the best of the rest in the Yorkshire Oaks.
Stradivarius is John Gosden’s other runner. The colt comes here in great shape with 3 wins from 4 races this season.
His most reason win was an assured and impressive 2l victory over Big Orange in the Goodwood Cup over 2m. Prior victories over 1m 1f and 1m 4f show his versatility.
I feel he will certainly need the ground to dry out. All of his turf victories have come on Good to Good to Firm.
There is forecast rain for the early hours on Saturday morning and this could put paid to Stradivarius’s hopes of winning.
O’Brien to win another Classic?
Aiden O’Brien will be looking to add to his 3 English Classic winners this season. He sends over 4 horses but I think only 2 have a realistic chance of St Leger glory.
Capri has already won a Classic this season. He held of stablemate Wings of Eagles and John Gosden’s Cracksman to win the Irish Derby at the Curragh. Wings of Eagles was of course going for the English/Irish Derby double so that franks the form even further. Capri had ran in the English Derby but had come in a disappointing 6th but I feel that the tactics in that race were not run to him and he went with the pace too soon that day.
Venice Beach is the other O’Brien that I feel has a chance. He started the season in great form with 2 wins in 3 races but then was hugely disappointing in the Investec Derby trailing in 12th. Again I think a case can be made for saying that the horse went with the early pace which does not suit him and was found wanting when the race started in earnest.
Last time out he ran a creditable 2nd to Cracksman in the Great Voltigeur at York and this form has him in the mix.
Other St Leger Contenders
The likely favourite for the St Leger is the Sir Michael Stoute trained Crystal Ocean. he won very impressively last time out over 1m 3f which is the furthest he has ran. This puts a question mark against him for me.
Another contender could be Defoe. The horse comes here with a 100% record this season from 4 races. My issue with Defoe is this is a big step up in class and although he has beaten the older horses he has not race older horses of this stature.
Tip of the Day
MY TIP TO WIN THE ST LEGER STAKES IS CAPRI.
GENERALLY AVAILABLE AT 4/1 WITH MOST BOOKMAKERS