This year’s St Leger Stakes sees Aidan O’Brien’s Camelot (pictured) bidding to become the first Triple Crown winner since Nijinsky in 1970. The bookies think he’ll achieve this amazing feat – he’s no bigger than 2/5 (1.40, William Hill) – but there are one or two niggling doubts. Check out our alternative tip for the 2012 St Leger, at a best price of 10/1 (11.00) with Paddy Power.
Like most of the major horse racing contests, one can build up a profile of what is required from a potential St Leger winner by analysing recent winners of the race and picking out trends. Here are the key St Leger trends, to help us pinpoint the winner of the 2012 renewal.
- All of the last 10 St Leger Stakes winners had finished in the front three last time out
- All of the last 10 winners had their prep race between 24 and 65 days prior to the St Leger
- 9 of the last 10 winners had raced four or five times that season
These trends show that a St Leger winner must head to Doncaster in some semblance of form and having been campaigned recently enough to be race sharp, but not too heavily that the horse is burned out ahead of a grueling Classic contest.
- 8 of the last 10 St Leger Stakes victors had previously won a Group race
A certain amount of class is required to win a Classic, as illustrated by this particular St Leger trend.
- 8 of the last 10 St Leger winners were sired by a horse finishing 1st or 2nd in the Derby or the French equivalent
- 8 of the last 10 winners were sired by horses with a stamina index between 10.9f and 11.7f
- All 3 of the horses out of a dam by Diesis won the St Leger Stakes
These trends show that a St Leger winner also requires a top class pedigree, preferably with an emphasis on stamina.
The entrant that best meets all of the above trends is John Gosden’s Thought Worthy. As good a colt as Camelot is, his trainer admits that the 1m 6f trip is going to really stretch him, while the trends suggest that Camelot may not be sharp enough, having last raced 77 days prior to the St Leger.
At a best price of 10/1 (11.00) with Paddy Power, Thought Worthy has ticks in all of the right boxes and represents the Gosden / Buick combination that have proved so deadly in this season’s big races.
If you prefer, you might like to back him in the “Without Camelot” market, where he’s a best price of 4/1 (5.00) with Bet365, but I think there’s enough of a doubt about the favourite to justify taking him on.
The 2012 St Leger Stakes
Saturday 15th September, 15:40
Thought Worthy @ 10/1 (11.00) with Paddy Power
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