Twelve months ago we were looking at the prospect of Aiden O’Brien’s Camelot claiming the Ladbrokes St Leger en route to a emphatic Triple Crown success. Alas, that wasn’t to be, and O’Brien’s misery of overturned favourites looks set to continue, with Galileo Rock looking the best bet for the season’s final Classic.
Third in the Derby at Epsom, before finding only Trading Leather too good in the Irish equivalent, David Wachman’s charge looks to have the strongest bare form on offer from the market principles for the Doncaster showpiece. Quite how he only deserves to be second favourite, at 5/1, remains to be seen.
Despite winning just once in a five race career, the three-year-old has run credibly at distances ranging from 1m to 1m4f, on varying types of ground. Most importantly, perhaps, he has appeared to be staying on well in his last three races, suggesting a step up in trip to 1m6f could be just the ticket to get his head in front.
One thing that has to be a negative is his tendency to take a keen hold in races. If Wayne Lordan is able to settle his charge early on, they will surely go close.
Galileo Rock would be the first Irish winner of this race since the aforementioned Aiden O’Brien saddled Scorpion for his victory in 2005. And Ireland look to have at least two leading chances to end that run of blanks.
Trained by O’Brien himself, Leading Light was a winner at Royal Ascot and is the current market leader for the race at 4/1. But apart from the runner-up in that Queens Vase success, none of the horses he beat in that race have particularly franked the form.
Another worry is the inconsistency in which the Ballydoyle horses have been running this year. Coventry Stakes winner, War Command, flopped next time out in a Group 3 at the Curragh. Magician was last of nine at Royal Ascot after such an impressive win in the Irish Guineas. While one time Derby second favourite, Battle of Marengo, hasn’t impressed since that day at Epsom.
It is with that in mind, that Galileo Rock looks the best Irish hope to end a run of seven renewals without a win in the St Leger , and at 5/1 is well worth supporting.
All odds and markets correct as of the time of publishing