Horse Racing: A runner-by-runner guide to the St Leger

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RACING fan Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) shares his runner-by-runner verdict on the St Leger from Doncaster.

15:35 Doncaster | The St Leger | ITV

Capri

The winner of the Irish Derby (his last start), he’s always shaped like a stayer and will enjoy the ground.

Aside from his classic win, his three other starts this season weren’t particularly impressive and he strikes me as a vulnerable favourite.

He has to be respected but I’m not rushing out to back him.

Count Octave

With only one win to his name from five starts he doesn’t stand out as a potential classic winner but he does shape as a stayer.

His second in the Queens Vase is good form but unless this turns in to a slog I feel others may have too much pace here.

Crystal Ocean

An impressive winner of the Gordon Stakes last time out, this Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt is finally looking like the classic winner connections thought he may be in the spring.

I think he may be the classiest horse in the field, but others may stay better.

Defoe

The most progressive runner in this race, he has developed from handicapper to classic contender in four starts.

I believe there is more to come from him but this is a huge step up. His connections know what it takes to win this race and his jockey has a fantastic record at the track so he is one to take seriously.

Douglas McArthur

He’s ran some fine races in his career but his last three starts in both Derby’s and the Great Voltigeur tells us he’s just not up to this level.

Probably in as a pacemaker he is likely to cry enough three furlongs from home.

Raheen House

Another who is progressing well, he won a Group 3 last time at Newmarket.

He will stay the distance however the ground is a concern as he’s yet to race on it and the stable is a little cold so he doesn’t appeal despite the big odds.

Rekindling

A horse I like, he will handle the ground and has won over this far so has possibilities.

However, he has thrown in a few below par efforts and has to turn around previous form with a few of these so he doesn’t appeal as a win proposition.

Stradivarius

The winner of the Goodwood Cup, he brings guaranteed stamina to the table and top class form.

There is a doubt of the rain turns this really soft but I like him and think he’s the one to beat. With a strong pace likely I think he will be involved late on.

The Anvil

Available at fancy prices, he is not likely to be sighted at the business end of the race and is of no interest here.

Venice Beach

Winner of the Chester Vase he was well beaten in the Derby but has since ran placed in the Grand Prix de Paris and the Voltigeur.

He was outclassed by Cracksman last time, but there is no Cracksman here and the extra two furlongs and soft ground should suit him.

Coronet

A Group 2 winner in her own right, she’s been heavily overshadowed by stalemate Enabled all season.

The choice of Frankie Dettori, she could run well but I think she has something to find with the Colts here. Her best form is on quicker ground and the extra distance means there are more positives than negatives for me.

Summary

It’s not a vintage St Ledger but a fascinating race and the weather could make it a real test.

I was really impressed by Stradivarius at Goodwood and I think he can gain a second Group 1 win here.

  1. Stradavarius
  2. Venice Beach
  3. Crystal Ocean
  4. Defoe
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About Author

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I grew up watching Hearts games with my dad and playing football at every opportunity so betting on it was the logical next step! Football coupons became a Saturday ritual and it introduced me into the world of horse racing. I started watching it on a regular basis, and after Galileo's Derby win in 2001 I was hooked. I follow both flat and national hunt racing attending the northern meetings when possible.

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