John Gosden has become something of a specialist when it comes to training horses to peak in the St Leger in recent seasons and this is one reason to get excited about the prospects of Excess Knowledge in 2013.
Gosden has been responsible for three of the last six St Leger winners with Lucarno in 2007, Arctic Cosmos in 2010 and Masked Marvel the following year, but it is worth noting that he was without an entrant in 2008 and 2009.
This all boded well for the chances of Michelangelo 12 months ago, but although he was unable to triumph, the fact that he finished third was still a credible achievement, given that he had only run four times previously.
And it is Michelangelo’s performance that breeds the most confidence for Excess Knowledge, who is one of three Gosden-trained entrants among the 43 early declarations this year and available to be backed at an ante-post 25/1.
Excess Knowledge is also fairly lightly raced by St Leger standards, with only a four-race career to date. Eight of the last 10 winners had previously raced four or five times in the same season before arriving at Doncaster, let alone that number in their whole career.
Furthermore, none of these efforts have been in Group company and his only victory to date was in a maiden over 1m.
But his form still looks solid and the step up to 1m6f should be in his favour, if the way he stayed on for third on his sole start this season at Sandown is anything to go by, where he finished ahead of the likes of 2,000 Guineas third Van Der Neer and regular Group 1 competitor Sri Putra.
Meanwhile, he is bred to stay middle distances and it will be interesting if he takes his chance in the Great Voltigeur at York, for which he holds an entry, en route to Doncaster.
Of the last eight Great Voltigeur winners to attempt to double up in the St Leger, two have been successful and a further three have finished among the each-way places.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.