The St Leger is one of the most hotly anticipated races in the British flat calendar. It’s the oldest of the five classics and boasts a generous prize of around £700,000. Run at Doncaster since the 1800s; this prestigious race is steeped in history, not least because it forms the third and final leg of the English Triple Crown.
Although no horse has won the trio since 1970, when the great Nijinsky stormed home to victory, the potential for a new Triple Crown winner is enough excitement to keep all horse racing fans fascinated.
Knowing who’s in with a good chance is more important than ever if you’re planning to have a bet on the race. So this is our take on who is likely to be finishing in the money on the big day.
Owned by Godolphin and trained by Charlie Appleby, New London certainly has a winning team behind him, and that’s not all. This Irish-bred colt by Dubawi has an impressive record already, winning all of his races bar one, in which he came up against Changingoftheguard in the Chester Vase Stakes this May and was beaten six and a half lengths.
Chester is the only result which should be of proper concern for those looking to bet, as Changingoftheguard has also been entered into the St Leger. However, after this defeat, New London was dropped back to a mile and two furlongs for one handicap race, in which he carried a higher weight but still won comfortably.
After this, his step back up to a mile and four furlongs was a huge success, resulting in him beating Deauville Legend by just shy of a couple of lengths in the John Pearce Racing Gordon Stakes — a real racing highlight.
Although his recent performances would suggest he does have the stamina, that defeat by Changingoftheguard ought to be a cause for concern for those looking for value betting, especially considering New London’s position as the current favourite.
Judging by form alone, the horse that will complicate things for New London is Changingoftheguard. The big bay colt won his last outing at Ascot in the classy company of the Group 2 race, the King Edward VII Stakes.
It is worth noting, though, that he only just held on to win this race by a short head to Grand Alliance. Grand Alliance has since been beaten a distance by New London, this feat suddenly makes it clear why New London is much more favoured.
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been another run since mid-June for Changingoftheguard. Judging by the available horse racing results, there’s no saying whether or not he prefers running a bit fresh. With that said, his win over New London can’t be ignored, and at a winning distance of six and a half lengths, it surely can’t be passed off as a lucky defeat.
Eldar Eldarov is the only other horse in the running, next to Changingoftheguard, that has had an Ascot win this season. While that’s not the be-all and end-all, it’s often a good indication of class.
He is the only horse that is fancied that has proven to stay over the trip of a mile and six furlongs, having won the Queen’s Vase against stiff competition at that distance. Considering he dwelt at the start of that race and switched places on the track more than once, it would have been incredibly tough for him to have managed to win by anything more than a nose.
His recent defeat at Longchamp, when he was fourth of six in the Grand Prix de Paris, cannot be ignored. It’s tricky to say whether it was because of the step down in trip, the journey overseas or simply that he’d lost interest, but whatever the reason, Eldar Eldarov failed to impress on that occasion.