Britain’s oldest classic takes place at Doncaster on Saturday where a total of nine three year olds will take their place for the last Classic of the season in the Ladbrokes St Leger. Sir Michael Stoute, who broke his duck in this race in 2008 with Conduit, saddles this year’s likely favourite, Sea Moon.
It’s hard to pick any negatives in Sea Moon’s form as he’s done nothing wrong in his two victories from only two starts this term. His eight length romp in the Great Voltigeur at York last month has taken him to the top of most punters shortlists where he was installed favourite for this race straight after that victory. With regular pilot Ryan Moore out injured, the more than capable top French jockey Olivier Peslier comes over for the plum ride. At the predicted price of 5/4 for a Group 1 event he is just a little on the short side for a Classic.
The trainer that has the best recent record in this race is John Gosden, who has won two of the last four St Leger’s. This year Gosden runs two in the race with Buthelezi and Masked Marvel both bidding to keep his impressive record going with preference for the latter. His last run was back at the start of July when he beat Census (re-opposes) by a head at Newmarket over one mile and five furlongs, staying on well in the last furlong. Unlike some of his rivals, Masked Marvel has been kept fresh for this race for sometime now, and he could well give jockey William Buick and trainer Gosden back to back wins on Town Moor.
However the jockey with the most impressive strike rate in the St Leger is Frankie Dettori (five wins), while his mount Blue Bunting (one of only two fillies in the race) is chasing her fourth Group 1 of the season, she could well be the one to give the selection most to fear. Blue Bunting is currently 4/1 with the sponsors Ladbrokes (£50 free bet offer) and Paddy Power (£100 in free bets).