Saturday 15th September – Doncaster – 3:35 – 1m 6½f (1m 6f 115y) William Hill St Leger Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Colts & Fillies) (Class 1)(3yo)
The St Leger is the oldest of the five Classics run in the UK. The race was established in 1776 and is the final leg of the Triple Crown, comprising the 2,000 Guineas and The Derby for the colts and the 1,000 Guineas and The Oaks for the fillies. An attempt at the Triple Crown is rare in recent times. Camelot was the most recent horse to attempt the feat in 2012. Having won the 2,000 Guineas and The Derby he finished second in the St Leger.
The betting has been fairly consistent in finding the winner over the last 25 years with 14 of the last 26 favourites winning. However, only four favourites have obliged in the last 12 years.
Three yards require more than a cursory glance when looking for the winner of the St Leger. Sixteen of the last 22 winners have been saddled by Godolphin trainers (six winners), Aiden O’Brien (five winners) and John Gosden (four winners).
Recent winning and place form should also be noted as seven of the last 12 winners of the race won on their last starts, 10 of the last 12 winners being at least placed in their previous run. Nine of the last 12 winners had also run within 65 days of the race and all 12 winners had run at least three times earlier in the season. All of the last twelve winners had won at least twice previously.
An Official Rating of 110 or higher has been required to win the race in nine of the last 12 renewals and nine of the last 12 winners had also previously won at Group level.
The Great Voltigeur Stakes has a good recent record for finding the winner of the St Leger as nine of the last 22 winners has previously finished in the first four at York. It is also worth keeping a close eye on horses that ran in the King Edward VII Stakes with nine of the last 24 winners having run in the Ascot race earlier in the season.
Statistically, the horse which ticks most of the boxes is the Godolphin horse Old Persian. The Charlie Appleby-trained Bay Colt has won both the Great Voltigeur Stakes, beating the heavily fancied Aiden O’Brien-trained Kew Gardens, and the King Edward VII Stakes. He runs off an Official Rating of 117 and has won twice at Group 2 level. He won on his last start 24 days ago and his trainer has a very healthy 35% winning strike rate over the last 14 days.
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