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A field of nine runners go to post for the St Leger at Doncaster, so which horse will claim the final Classic of the year?
It looks like being a competitive renewal with John & Thady Gosden saddling Arrest and Gregory, Continuous spearheading Aidan O’Brien’s four-strong squad, while Desert Hero is a live contender to give the Royal Family a first Classic winner since 1977.
There are a number of factors to consider before picking your St Leger horse, but a look through the history books could hopefully help point you in the direction of this year’s winner.
St Leger odds can be found on the Paddy Power website and Paddy Power app, otherwise the key trends and a tip based off the big-race stats are below.
St Leger trends
The St Leger is run over an extended 14 furlongs so you want to look for a horse with proven stamina to see out the testing trip. Six of the last 10 winners of the Classic had at least victory over a distance of 13 furlongs or further prior to their success at Doncaster.
Proven form in the upper echelons of the game is one of the most important statistics for sifting through the St Leger runners as eight winners in the last decade had at least one previous victory in a Group contest. Alexandroupolis, Chesspiece, Denmark and Middle Earth all fail to meet the grade on this trend.
LAST TIME OUT
One trend that every runner in this year’s renewal manages to meet is returning to the track within 65 days of their previous run, which is noteworthy of seven winners since 2013.
Meanwhile, six of the last 10 winners of Doncaster’s showpiece race were successful last time out, which is good news for backers of Arrest, Continuous, Desert Hero and Middle Earth.
Paddy Power traders rarely get the St Leger market wrong as eight of the last 10 winners could be found in the top three in the betting, although favouritism is not necessarily a deciding factor as only five horses in that period justified their position at the head of the odds.
As the St Leger takes place in the final months of the Flat season, it’s fair to say the handicapper and the clock-watchers know a thing or two about the runners so it is worth noting that eight winners in the last decade were rated 109 or higher.
An ability to get their head in front at the line is also key going into the oldest Classic on the calendar as eight of last the last 10 winners had scored on at least two occasions that season. Despite being the highest-rated horse in the field, Continuous has only managed one victory this term.
ST LEGER 2023 VERDICT
ARREST emerges as the leading player for the 2023 renewal of the St Leger on historical statistics. The dual Group 3 winner is the only horse in the field to meet all the trends, with Gregory and Desert Hero emerging as the second and third picks.
A going check is required before backing Arrest, however, as the colt’s best efforts – according to RPRs – have come on soft and heavy ground, with last month’s success in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes on good-to-soft being only his third-best performance to date. The St Leger has not been run on ground worse than good-to-soft in the last 10 years, although the going at Doncaster was officially soft at the start of the four-day meeting on Thursday.
Saturday’s Racing Tips
- Matt Chapman’s ITV Racing tips for Doncaster and Chester
- Mick Fitzgerald’s horse racing tips for Doncaster on St Leger day
- Ruby Walsh’s horse racing tips on St Leger day at Doncaster
- Jason Weaver’s ITV Racing tips for Saturday
Read More on the St Leger
- Gallop over to Paddy Power News for all the latest horse racing tips
- Doncaster St Leger Festival 2023 race times and day-by-day schedule
- When is the St Leger? Doncaster date, start time, runners and betting
- St Leger tips and runner-by-runner guide to Doncaster 3.35 on Saturday