With three wins from the past six renewals, John Gosden certainly knows what it takes to win the St Leger.
The Clarehaven man won in 2007, 2010 and most recently in 2011 with Masked Marvel whose winning time of 3:00.44 is the second quickest in the post-war era.
Gosden saddles two runners this time and 5/1 second favourite Excess Knowledge is certain to generate plenty of interest. A beaten favourite at Glorious Goodwood, he was hampered on the inside rail and still only lost by a head. With a clear run this time he will certainly go close.
Winner of a Group 3 at Newmarket last time, the colt sired by Galileo showed grit under William Buick when ridden to challenge from two furlongs out and was hard pressed inside the final furlong but stayed on well to secure victory.
Some may be concerned about the extra furlong at Doncaster given the grinding nature of that victory, but the Lady Bamford-owned charge has proven previously that the longer distances are not beyond him.
A runner-up over two miles in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot, he put in a valiant effort a furlong out to join the leader but had no extra as the line approached. And with 1m3f looking a touch sharp last time out, 1m6f could prove to be his ideal distance.
Leading Light, who is 4/1 favourite for the St Leger, was the winner that day and had him behind by only a length-and-a-half. For a progressive, unexposed sort that has yet to show his hand at this distance, 16/1 will tempt many to back him reversing the form.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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