The latest declaration stage for the final Classic of the season saw just 21 stand their ground, with Kingston Hill topping the Ladbrokes St Leger market at 5/2. But is there some value to be had at a bigger price?
Roger Varian’s charge is undoubtedly a class act. A winner of the Racing Post Trophy at two, followed by good performances in the Derby and the Eclipse, he looks poised to strike on Town Moor.
But with other arrangements in the shape of the Prix Foy at Longchamp still being mooted as alternatives for the Doncaster showpiece, we’ve searched for some bigger priced runners that look better value.
These three will go off much shorter should they line up on September 13.
Probably put in the best performances of those that competed in traditional St Leger Trials. A win in the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood was followed by a decent effort in second in the Great Voltigeur.
Although his pedigree does raise some doubts about his ability to stay the 1m6f trip, his demeanour on a race track suggests further improvement over a longer distance could be well within his reach.
Trainer Sir Michael Stoute has claimed this race just once before, with Conduit in 2008, interestingly also a victor in the Gordon Stakes beforehand.
He will need to improve on his “very coltish” attributes if he is to grind out victory, but the ability looks to be there.
With his two most impressive showings coming over the two furthest distances he has tackled to date (1m5f and 2m), the St Leger trip somewhere in between could be ideal for Sheik Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum’s colt.
Those wins in the Bahrain Trophy and Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot mark this one out as a top quality stayer.
A ropey performance last time out in the Great Voltigeur can be forgiven to an extent, with trainer Mark Johnston’s notoriously poor record on the Knavesmire (just a five per cent strike rate in the last five years.)
With the Leger confirmed to be the target, Johnston will be praying for downpours to ensure his charges favoured underfoot conditions.
Another inmate at Johnston’s Middleham Moor stable, he has yet to reproduce the same kind of form as his stable mate, but does look to be packed full of potential.
He looks set to give the Scottish trainer at least two chances of landing the prize following a respectable performance in a Listed contest at Goodwood.
Slowly away that day, Joe Fanning’s mount did well to get within a short head of Forever Now, especially with Fanning lamenting his decision to go for the inside rail, resulting in him running into traffic trouble.
This potential improver has yet to run at Group level, but wouldn’t be the first horse to take a spot at the top table at the first attempt.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing