Only seven go to post in this years St Leger, which shapes to be a below-par renewal. Its status in the world of racing has diminished in the last decades, but this year seems a real low point. Further to this you can add the likelihood of softish ground. It won’t be an exciting race to watch and not one that will live beyond today in our memory.
Anyway, the favourite Storm The Stars is a very decent individual. He finally scored on Group level when he landed the Group 2 Voltigeur Stakes in a controversial finish. In other countries, his interference with Bondi Beach would have cost them the race – not so in Brittain.
Stepping up in trip will Suit Storm The Stars though. He looks an out and stayer and will probably fine on the soft ground. He is a fair favourite.
Ballydoyle has two good chances in the race. Bondi Beach looks a progressive stayer. He was unlucky in the Voltigeur as pointed out before. This trip will suit him down to the grounds and he’s fine on the ground. He’s a better chance than Fields of Athenry, who flopped in the Ebor.
While I fancy Bondi Beach to win the Leger, for price reasons do opt with Medrano. He is a long way off the standard to win a Group 1… normally. However this is not a normal Group 1. It’s a poor one. The ground will play right into his hands, and so should the trip. He has a pretty good chance to be able to pull out a bit more over 2m. For a big price, he’s the one I select against the more fancied runners.
Medrano @ 33/1 Paddy Power – 5pts Win
4.00 Goodwood: Cocked Hat Stakes (Listed)
Really hot Listed contest with a very strong favourite: Best Of Times won well on his seasonal reappearance at Newmarket earlier this month. They went the first half of the Newmarket Stakes (Listed) pretty quick but BOT stuck to the task. He’s now on a four-timer and unfortunately any value in his odds has diminished. At 6/4 I have to take him on. There is a lot to like about him, but he has to give 3lb away in a competitive field.
John Gosden’s Mr Singh makes obvious appeal. He got off the mark in a strong Newbury maiden over 1m3f and there is a good chance that he can improve big time for the run. Great Glen is still a maiden but made a good impression on his first start this year when staying on for second place at Newmarket. The additional furlong should help today, but it remains to be seen whether he is on the same level as some of the better fancied rivals.
Storm The Stars is a likeable sort. He was always sure to improve as a three year old and his 2nd in the Chester Vase behind Hans Holbein rates a strong piece of form as he came from an unfavourable position. That says he looks a skinny price at 11/4 and I fail to see why Medrano, who finished a fair 3rd in the Vase, is five times the price. Medrano wasn’t favoured by the run of the race either but finished well enough behind Aiden O’Brien’s Derby hopeful.
Obviously Medrano is more exposed than most and had already three starts this year. Albeit a good deal beaten in two of them in France, he finished in the place money behind good horses. It remains to be seen how he handles the better ground, though the trip should suit down to the grounds. There’s every chance that others in this field have the ability to progress to a level beyond him, but these unknown improvements are seemingly reflected in the betting, while he sets a fair actual standard on form. He’s not my ideal idea of a winner here, but he is certainly overpriced.
Medrano @ 20/1 Betfred – 5pts Win