Runner-by-runner guide to the St Leger at Doncaster
The final British Classic of the season, the £700,000 Group One Cazoo St Leger, takes centre stage at Doncaster on Saturday afternoon.
The 14-furlong contest, which is live on ITV at 3.35pm, boasts a rich history.
First run in 1776, it is the oldest of Britain’s five Classics and has been won by some of the sport’s greats including Triple Crown winner Nijinsky, Her Majesty The Queen’s Dunfermline and more recently the likes of Leading Light, Kew Gardens Logician and last year’s winner Galileo Chrome.
We have previewed this year’s running with our definitive runner-by-runner guide to the 10 horses who will line-up in the race, the feature contest of the season at Doncaster Racecourse. Check out OLBG for more tips.
1. Fernando Vichi – trained by Donnacha O’Brien – 40/1 – Verdict: 1.5/5
He has been kept busy this term, with the highlight being his Listed success at Leopardstown in June. He was well-beaten in the Irish Derby at the Curragh behind Hurricane Lane in June and this demands a career best.
2. High Definition – trained Aidan O’Brien – 8/1 – Verdict: 3.5/5
A fascinating runner for Aidan O’Brien. He has been supplemented for the race at a cost of £50,000. The son of Galileo looked a potential superstar last season when winning both of his starts at the Curragh and made a solid return to action when third in the Dante at York. However, he was well-beaten in the Irish Derby, before disappointing when sixth in the Great Voltigeur on his latest start. This clearly demands more, but he is of interest with Frankie Dettori if able to take a step forward here.
3. Hurricane Lane – trained by Charlie Appleby – 4/6 – Verdict: 5/5
It looks tough to oppose Godolphin’s Hurricane Lane. The three-year-old scored in the Dante at York in May before finishing a good third in the Derby at Epsom. The three-year-old son of Frankel then landed the Irish Derby in thrilling fashion at the Curragh, before recording his second Group One success in the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp last time out. The son of Frankel should relish this step up in trip and he deserves his place at the top of the market.
4. Interpretation – trained by Aidan O’Brien – 11/1 – Verdict 3/5
An interesting contender. He has won all three starts so far this term and highlight his stamina-laden credentials when scoring by a length and three-quarters in a Listed contest at Leopardstown in August. The son of Galileo stayed on to good effect in that event, displaying a fine attitude to land the spoils and if ridden prominently he could be a fascinating runner given how well he stays.
5. Mojo Star – trained by Richard Hannon – 6/1 - Verdict 3/5
A notable contender. The son of Sea The Stars produced a career best to defy odds of 50/1 when second in the Derby to Adayar, before finishing fifth in the Irish Derby at the Curragh. He finally shed the maiden tag when an easy winner at Newbury last time out and given stamina seems to be his game he has to be respected in the St Leger.
Has struggled this year and looks set to be used as a pacemaker by team Ballydoyle.
6. Ottoman Emperor – trained by Johnny Murtagh – 11/2 - Verdict 4/5
A serious player. The three-year-old has improved markedly this season having scored in a handicap at June, before completing a three-timer when scoring by a half-length in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood last time out. He stayed on to good effect there and whilst this trip will really stretch his stamina, connections are hopeful he will stay and he therefore has to be respected here.
7. Scope – trained by Ralph Beckett – 33/1 – Verdict 1/5
He looks out of his depth here. Fifth in the Great Voltigeur at York last time out, this demands a career best.
8. Sir Lucan - trained by Aidan O’Brien – 10/1 – Verdict 3/5
This trip could really be the making of him. He has already tasted Listed success over 13 furlongs at Navan in May, before being narrowly denied by Ottoman Emperor at Goodwood. He was arguably a little disappointing when fourth in the Great Voltigeur last time, but this trip will bring his stamina to the forte and he has to be of note.
9. The Mediterranean - trained by Aidan O’Brien –12/1– Verdict 2/5
An interesting runner given he looks sure to be suited by this trip. The three-year-old was fourth to Hurricane Lane in the Irish Derby, before finishing a fine second in the Great Voltigeur last time out having made most of the running. He needs to step up again to win this, but is interesting at a bigger price for this event.
10. Youth Spirit – trained by Andrew Balding – 33/1 - Verdict 1/5
Returned to form when third in the Great Voltigeur but his overall profile leaves room for more improvement and he is opposable
1 Hurricane Lane, 2 Sir Lucan, 3 High Definition
This looks all about Hurricane Lane. He showed a good turn of foot to win the Irish Derby, before impressing when recording a stunning victory in the Grand Prix de Paris. He now chases a third straight Group One victory and is taken to get the better of Sir Lucan who will be suited by this trip and High Definition. who remains a fascinating contender despite disappointing so far this season.