St Leger runner breakdown: Excess Knowledge

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Given John Gosden’s somewhat inspired St Leger record, it is no great surprise to see Excess Knowledge at the head of the betting to win the final Classic of the season at 7/2.

Gosden has triumphed in three of the last six St Leger renewals, was without a runner in two of the other years and saddled Michelangelo to finish third 12 months ago at 10/1, despite being a relative novice compared to the majority of the field.

Excess Knowledge is the favoured of two Gosden protagonists this time having run eye-catchingly in the Gordon Stakes last time, where he ran on gallantly in the latter stages after being hampered twice and having some difficulties with the course.

The way he finished, alongside the fact he seemed to be caught short of a bit of speed over 1m2f earlier in the season, indicates that the 1m6f of the St Leger should suit.

His Gordon Stakes run may also be significant as Encke was second in the same race before winning the St Leger last year, while Gosden watched his own Arctic Cosmos place in the Gordon Stakes in 2010 before sealing St Leger glory.

The fact he has been backed in from 25/1 to 7/2 on the back of his Gordon Stakes performance is a notable indication of how Excess Knowledge has impressed watchers and favourites have come out on top in four St Leger renewals in the last decade.

On the minus side, Excess Knowledge’s five-race career has only brought one victory, which was back on his debut, and it could be significant that eight of the last 10 St Leger winners had previously tasted Group-level success.

Furthermore, nine of the winners in the last decade prepared for the St Leger with between three and five seasonal runs, Excess Knowledge may therefore, be a bit undercooked having only run twice.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.