St Leger Day (Saturday 14 September) is the fourth and final day of Doncaster’s William Hill St Leger Festival. The St Leger is the main highlight on the card and the fifth and final classic of the English flat racing season look sure to produce another thrilling spectacle. The other two main races are the Group 2 Park Stakes and the Group 2 Champagne Stakes.
Park Stakes 2019 Analysis
14:25 at Doncaster on 14th Sept
The Park Stakes is open to horses aged three and older and is run over 7 furlongs and 6 yards. 3-year-olds have won just two of the last 10 editions and only one winner in the last decade had won their previous race. Seven winners have been returned at 9/2 or lower, with the other three returned at odds of 7/1, 16/1, and 16/1. Andrea Atzeni has ridden two of the last four winners.
Andrea Atzeni rides Breton Rock but the 9-year-old has looked regressive this season. Azano has plenty to find on the ratings, whilst the two wins recorded by Never No More this season came on soft ground.
The 5-year-old Sir Dancelot looks a good stats-fit but he was held by Shine So Bright last time, form which has a solid look considering Laurens was second. It would be no surprise if Shine So Bright landed favouritism, but Turjoman still has the potential to make up into a serious horse. He’s a three-time winner at this distance and, having just been collared by subsequent Group 2 winner Duke Of Hazard over a mile last time, this long-striding sort is taken to relish the return to seven furlongs at this galloping track.
Champagne Stakes 2019 Analysis
15:00 at Doncaster on 14th Sept
The Champagne Stakes is restricted to two-year-olds and is run over 7 furlongs and 6 yards. This has been a strong race for first or second favourites, with eight winners returned no bigger than 11/4. Nine of the last 10 winners had run no more than three times, whilst seven had run just once or twice. Only one winner in the last decade has carried a penalty to victory. Godolphin have owned four of the last 10 winners, and Charlie Appleby has trained the last two.
Threat deserves respect after winning the Gimrack but has to concede a 3lb penalty for that. He’s also run more than three times, a comment that applies to the Aidan O’Brien pair of Royal Dornoch and Fort Myers.
The twice-raced Juan Elcano is respected but her win came on heavy ground and she was beaten on faster ground last time.
That leaves us with Royal Crusade who was backed into odds-on when winning his only start and is also trained for Charlie Appleby for Godolphin.
St Leger 2019 Analysis
15:35 at Doncaster on 14th Sept
The final classic of the season is restricted to 3-year-olds and is run over 1 mile 6 furlongs and 115 yards. The race has been won by its fair share of outsiders but plenty of short-priced horses have also won.
It’s no surprise to six-time St Leger winner Aidan O’Brien saddle three horses. But there are stamina doubts about Sir Dragonet, whose sire Camelot couldn’t win his St Leger. Il Paradiso will stay but looks slow, whilst Western Australia looks outclassed.
That’s why the fast ground loving Logician looks a solid favourite for John Gosden, who has won four St Legers. He looks to have a great blend of speed and stamina and is expected to relish this test.