Runner-by-runner guide to the St Leger at Doncaster – Santiago to scale new heights
The final British Classic of the season, the £350,000 Pertemps 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. That includes Triple Crown winner Nijinsky, Her Majesty The Queen’s Dunfermline and more recently the likes of Leading Light, Kew Gardens and last year’s winner Logician.
We have previewed this year’s running with our definitive runner-by-runner guide to the 11 horses who will line-up in the race, the feature contest of the season at Doncaster Racecourse.
1. Berkshire Rocco – trained by Andrew Balding – 33/1 – Verdict: 1/5
Second to market leader Santiago in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot, before finishing fourth to Pyledriver in the Great Voltigeur. He is clearly a classy operator, but he needs a career best to win this.
2. Dawn Patrol – trained by Aidan O’Brien – 16/1 – Verdict: 2.5/5
A definite each-way contender. He was third in the Irish Derby, but needs to prove he stays the trip having finished a one-paced third in Listed company last time out.
3. Galileo Chrome – trained by Joseph O’Brien – 11/2 – Verdict: 4/5
Has been well-supported all week and is unbeaten in his last three starts. Latterly, he romped to a five-length win in a Listed event at Navan in August and will relish this trip. He looks one of the leading players.
4. Hukum – trained by Owen Burrows – 7/2 – Verdict 4/5
Another live contender. He is unbeaten in two starts this term and was very impressive in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury last time out. This trip is a plus and he should finish in the placings at the very least.
5. Mohican Heights – trained by David Simcock – 33/1 - Verdict 3/5
One of the more interesting bigger priced runners. He could never get involved in the Derby, but had previously shaped well at Royal Ascot and this trip looks bound to suit.
6. Mythical – trained by Aidan O’Brien – 50/1 - Verdict 1/5
Has struggled this year and looks set to be used as a pacemaker by team Ballydoyle.
7. Pyledriver – trained by William Muir – 11/4 - Verdict 4/5
A serious player. He only cost £10,000, but has won the King Edward VII Stakes and the Great Voltigeur Stakes this season. He has an electric turn of foot and looks sure to play a leading role. However, whether he will stay is a slight question mark.
8. Santiago – trained by Aidan O’Brien – 2/1 favourite – Verdict 5/5
Our idea of the winner. He relished this trip when landing the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot and backed that up just a week later in the Irish Derby. He wasn’t seen to best effect behind Stradivarius in the Goodwood Cup, but has been given a nice break since then and with Frankie Dettori aboard, he looks like the one to beat.
9. Subjectivist – trained by Mark Johnston – 14/1 – Verdict 3/5
Bolted up at Goodwood last time and will clearly relish this test of stamina. He maybe lacks the class of some of his rivals, but looks sure to play a part in the finish.
10. Sunchart – trained by Andrew Slattery – 45/1 – Verdict 1/5
Has run two good races in defeat, particularly when second in a Listed event on his latest start. However, he was well-beaten in the Irish Derby and will need to improve to play a part in the finish.
11. Tyson Fury – trained by Richard Spencer – 80/1 - Verdict 1/5
Was impressive in a novice event at Doncaster on his debut. A big, strapping colt, he will clearly relish this trip, but he needs to take a big step forward to win the final British Classic of the season.
Non-runner – English King
Verdict: 1 Santiago, 2 Hukum, 3 Pyledriver
Santiago looks the most likely winner. He boasts smart form over this trip and was a gutsy winner of the Irish Derby. Hukum was impressive at Newbury last time out and can give him the most to think about, but Santiago can provide trainer Aidan O’Brien with a seventh victory in the Group One event.
Tips and analysis via BettingExpert