Our feature race this week comes in the form of The Ladbrokes St Leger Stakes. A small field and in all honesty perhaps not the classiest renewal of this race however it is nonetheless a classic race and deserves to receive the limelight this week. Last year the race was won by Bondi Beach before later being awarded to Simple Verse after an appeal. The rightful winner in my opinion was eventually awarded the race.
I doubt we will be getting a similarly tight finish this year with odds on favouriteIdaho looking tough to oppose given his form this year. At such a short price from a betting point of view the race is somewhat ruined. I would have liked to have seen Red Verdondeclared however he put in a disappointing piece of work earlier this week and was withdrawn, which leaves only the John Gosden trained Muntahaa a real danger to the favourite if on song.
The favourite has obvious claims. Idahois trained by Aiden O’Brien, is improving all the time, shapes as if this step up in trip will suit and for me will win this race with something in hand. I may be proved wrong however it doesn’t really matter because at such a short price I won’t be backing the horse. The value may lie in betting without Idaho and for that reason we take a look at some of other runners and riders below:
Second favourite is Muntahaa. We were on this horse last time out at Chester when he won nicely enough however for me he didn’t have much up his sleeve and this race is tougher again. He is said to have progressed for the run but I can’t be having him at again what look to be short odds for the calibre of horse.
Housesofparliment is next in at the market and you have to think that in the betting without Idaho this horse must be in with a huge chance. He has solid claims and I think this extra trip will suit however it is the other O’Brien runner that I want to be with.
Sword Fighter is perhaps the only proven stayer in this race and his form in behind Big Orange is solid enough. He will undoubtedly be the pace setter but as we have seen so many times sometimes the pace setter gets an easy time of it and ends up finishing in the picture. On his own merit this horse has solid form claims and I just feel as though he may be underestimated by the market here. If I was having a bet this would be the horse I would side for.
Others to mention are Ormito who has been staying on well recently, Harbour Law who wasn’t far behind Housesofparlimentlast time out and Ventura Storm is unexposed over this type of trip.
As noted earlier it isn’t the type of race I want to be getting involved in, it ranks a poor renewal in my book and that is reflected by the market but if you want a horse who will give you a good run for your money you won’t go far wrong with Sword Fighter who will surely have an easy time of it upfront.