LADBROKES ST LEGER STAKES – September 12th
The Ladbrokes St Leger Stakes is ran over 1m 6f’s, this year see’s eight entries set to embark over the 1m 6f trip. The St Leger Stakes stands as the oldest classic in British flat racing and always takes pride and place as the final classic in the flat season. It is distinctive for two particular reason; firstly it is only competed by three year old horses and in accordance attempts to showcase the best three year olds in British racing for that current year. Secondly it is the longest of all the classics and as a result requires horses to possess both stamina and speed. Last year, the St Leger Stakes was won by Kingston Hill and jockey Andrea Atzeni. Andrea Atzeni returns today looking to make it two in a row as he takes the ride on board the supplemented Simple Verse. Going up against Atzeni and Simple verse is recent Voltigeur stakes winner Storm The Stars who is saddled by William Hagas and rode by Pat Cosgrave. Aidan O’Brien will be hoping he can add to his 2013 win as he saddles three out of the eight entrees on the card and we take a look at the key runners and riders below.
1. Bondi Beach – Rated 111. Current best price 11-4.
Bondi Beach has really progressed well. He is still very lightly raced and this will only be his fifth start to date. On his last start he finished just 1/2l down on Storm The Stars, that race was took to a Stewards Enquiry and despite the race being awarded to Storm The Stars I’m not entirely sure I would agree. Bondi Beach was clearly hampered and set off a true line. He has been given the same mark to work off here today and he reposes on slightly better terms with Storm the Stars. He should reverse that form over this longer trip which he won well over two starts back. He is very much a live contender and the fact that Frankie Dettori was set to ride him before his duties on board Golden Horn were made apparent, is also a massive tip in itself.
2. Fields of Athenry – Rated 114. Current best price 6-1.
Fields of Athenry is a tough one to assess. He really disappointed on his final start in the Ebor and ended up well beaten. I’m not too sure he has the class to live with the horses in this field. A plus in the fact he has leading jockey Silvestre De Sousa on board who is flying high at the moment, however if Field of Athenry is to make any impact here today then De Sousa will really need to time his front running tactics to a tee. 6-1 is far too short for me and I’d most certainly be looking elsewhere.
4. Order of St George – Rated 115. Current best price 11-4.
Order of St George has really impressed me since he finished just a short head behind Bondi Beach over this trip he faces today. He has really travelled very smoothly into his races and he beat a good field with ease last time out. The jockey barely had to move on board him and to me he looks as though he has improved a fair bit more than Bondi Beach since that last run. Out of the three Aidan O’Brien runners this is the horse to be on and he strikes me as a huge contender.
6. Storm The Stars – Rated 116. Current best price 9-4.
Storm the Stars has the Volitguer form in the book however to me at 9-4 he is way too short. He has it all to prove over this longer trip and despite holding on last time out he didn’t entirely strike me as a strong stayer. A plus is the form of the jockey and trainer and in addition he is one of the more experienced three year olds in the race, however I just can’t see how 9-4 is justified given the fact he re-opposes with Bondi Beach on worse terms. He’s a live contender but again I would certainly be looking elsewhere.
8. Simple Verse – Rated 108. Current best price 10-1.
Simple Verse has been supplemented for this race and you always have to take note when a trainer/owner decides to do this. She must clearly have been showing more at home as her form from Goodwood was made to look shabby by Hidden Gold on Thursday. In my opinion she is quite good value at 10-1 however she really does have it all to prove. Undoubtedly she will have to have improved again since her last run which is possible for any three year old, however whether or not she will have improved enough to win this; that’s definitely questionable. At 10-1 though she is nicely priced and I wouldn’t put off anyone placing a small each way bet on her.
Other horses to note are Venguer Masque who has been plying his trade abroad. He will be suited by the step up in trip however he takes a big step up in grade and may struggle. While Proposed and Medrano really need to make marked improvements on their previous runs to get involved and neither look likely to play any part.
How we bet for The St Leger Stakes? My personal opinion is that this will turn into the Aidan O’Brien show. I feel as though Fields of Athenry will take the lead and make the running, acting as the pacemaker and the other two horses will come up sides with 2-3 furlongs to go. Ultimately leaving Bondi Beach and Order of St George to fight out the finish. I think Order of St George will have the beating of Bondi Beach here today and he is my pick for the St Leger Stakes. It’s not a race I see a huge amount of value in so a 1pt bet seems appropriate.
Selection: Order of St George – (1pt WIN) Current best price 11-4.
This blog is courtesy of DG Tips from our sister site Tipsters Empire.