The William Hill St Leger Festival brings top quality racing to Doncaster next week. The oldest and final classic of the season, The William Hill St Leger Stakes, wraps up the meeting on Saturday with the John Gosden trained Logician firmly leading the market.
However, Aiden O’Brien brings a strong team as expected and considering his impressive record in this race, it wont be overly straightforward for the son of Frankel favourite. We’ll take a close look at the feature race and pick out any potential outsiders for each way value.
This son of Frankel has been graduating his way up the ranks and distances throughout the season, culminating with an impressive performance in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York.
He will be tackling 1m 6f for the first time but according to Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for Khalid Abdullah, the team believes their charge should see out the trip: “"Logician seems in good shape and the Leger looks the right race for him. He shapes as if he'll stay the trip so we're hopeful. He worked nicely this morning and it's all systems go for Doncaster."
Price wise not many firms are taking a chance with him, best available 5/4 with the race sponsors William Hill, who at the time of writing also offer money back in cash if selections finish second, check with bookmakers for terms and conditions.
Aiden O’Brien’s record in this race is formidable and was triumphant last year with Kew Gardens. The Ballydoyle handler has entered Sir Dragonet for this year’s renewal and firmly comes into the reckoning after a close fifth to Anthony Van Dyck in the Investec Derby at Epsom.
He took a 2 month break but was turned over recently at short odds at The Curragh in a Group 3 event, although connections have been satisfied with him since that event. He is all set for Doncaster with Ryan Moore set to partner him. 7/2 best with William Hill.
Aiden O’Brien completes his twin pronged main attack with Il Paradiso who arguably has the greatest staying credentials in the field. His last two runs have been over the 2 mile distance including getting within 2 lengths of Stradivarius at York recently.
He has also been the subject of some recent market activity, his price being slashed from around 10’s to best price 13/2 (Betfair, Paddy Power) after the York performance.
SIR RON PRIESTLEY
The Mark Johnston trained Sir Ron Priestley faces a big step up in class for this classic but has been super consistent all season in lower group company including an impressive win in the Group 3 March Stakes at Goodwood last month. He is improving all the time and has solid staying credentials at 1 mile 6. Great each way value at 11/1 with William Hill.
This Irish entry trained by Martyn Meade comes into the reckoning on the back of a decent Group 3 victory last month at Newbury where he stayed on impressively in the dying strides. He will have to improve considerably to figure here but he is one of the confirmed entries that will stay the trip. Good value each way to be taken at Coral for 16/1.
Not an overly vintage renewal of the oldest classic in the world. Logician looks to be a worthy favourite although the slight question marks over whether he will stay the trip makes the 5/4 on offer quite poor value.
Aiden O’Brien’s two entries, Sir Dragonet and Il Paradiso make far greater appeal especially in the case of Il Paradiso who impressed so much at York last time and more than gave Stradivarius a shock in the closing stages.
Therefore, we think Il Paradiso fits the bill for a medium each way punt although it has to be said that the 10/1 available earlier would have been more appealing. Nevertheless, the Ballydoyle second string looks set to stay the distance and run a big race at decent odds.
Please note all odds are correct at the time of publishing (18:00 8th September 2019) and are subject to change.