The fifth and final Classic of the season, the St. Leger (3.50pm, Doncaster, Saturday), doesn’t have the same billing as last year when Camelot tried, and failed, to become the first horse since Nijinksy to win the Triple Crown. Nevertheless, Talent attempts to become the first filly for 21 years to win the St. Leger in what promises to be a fascinating contest and we have unearthed a potentially rewarding betting tip.
Talent (14/1) was impressive when storming clear to beat better-fancied stable companion Secret Gesture by 3½ lengths in the Oaks at Epsom in May, but then ran no race at all in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh in July, eventually finishing last of the seven runners, beaten 12 lengths. She clearly acts on rain softened ground, but she’s not guaranteed to stay an extra two furlongs, has an absence of 56 days to overcome and takes on the colts for the first time so, while not a totally forlorn hope, she looks up against it.
Galileo Rock (4/1) and Libertarian (8/1) also boast Classic form, having finished third and second behind Ruler Of The World in the Derby at Epsom in June. However, Galileo Rock fared by far the better of the pair in the Irish equivalent later the same month and owes his position in the market to that performance. He has stamina in both sides of his pedigree, being out of a Groom Dancer mare, and winning form on soft ground, so he looks the safer option once again, without representing any great value at his current odds.
Trainer John Gosden has won the St. Leger four times, most recently with Masked Marvel in 2011, and this year saddles the ante post favourite Excess Knowledge (7/2). The son of Monsun has won just one race, a maiden over a mile at Sandown on his racecourse debut last August, but ran as well as he ever has when going down by a head to Cap O’Rushes (20/1) in the Gordon Stakes, over 1 mile 4 furlongs, at Goodwood in July, despite being repeatedly hampered. He may still be open to any amount of improvement but, based on what he’s actually achieved on the racecourse, seems a very short price.
Foundry (6/1) easily won a Leopardstown maiden, over 7 furlongs on soft going, by 5½ lengths last November and finished second, beaten 1¼ lengths, behind Telescope in the Great Voltigeur Stakes, over 1 mile 4 furlongs, at York on his belated reappearance at York last month. The latter form entitles him, once again, to beat Cap O’Rushes and, as a son of Galileo, he should have plenty of improvement to come.
Aidan O’Brien’s other entry, Leading Light (5/1), completed a four-timer when winning the Queen’s Vase, over 2 miles, at Royal Ascot in June and is one of just a few in the field guaranteed to stay. The Queen’s Vase form has been franked by the runner-up, Feel Like Dancing, who beat an unlucky Havana Beat (50/1) in the Bahrain Trophy, over 1 mile 5 furlongs, at Newmarket the following month, so Leading Light looks one to keep on the right side, despite an absence of 95 days.
St Leger Betting Tips
With the going at Doncaster currently good to soft and more rain forecast this year’s St. Leger could turn into a real slog up the home straight. Leading Light may lack the superstar potential of stable companion Foundry, but put up a gutsy performance when winning the Queen’s Vase and, with winning form on heavy ground, looks a decent bet to give Aidan O’Brien his fourth St. Leger winner. Our betting tips advice is to back the Montjeu colt LEADING LIGHT each-way at 5/1 best odds with BetVictor.
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