Key stats that split the St Leger field
Our anaylsis expert identifies the key stats from Leger winners
The summer doesn’t last long and we’re already at the point where the final classic of the season – the St Leger – comes into focus. This Group 1 contest – run at Doncaster over the extended 14f trip – presents the 3yo colts and fillies with a test of their stamina.
How well each individual runner will cope with the challenge is, more-oftenthan-not, an unknown. Most will never have been tested beyond 12f.
In fact, it is a stat worth bearing in mind that only 4 of the last 16 St Leger winners had previously gone beyond 12f. Only 3 had gone beyond 13f.
Those stats serve to underline one plain fact:one of the principal challenges facing punters in this race is figuring out which horses are likely to excel for the longer trip and which are most likely to fold as stamina reserves prove inadequate for the job at hand.
The stats can provide a number of helpful pointers. I’ve been looking at the numbers related to the last 32 renewals of the St Leger.Here are a few things to bear in mind when you come to look at this year’s runners:
• 22 of the last 32 winners were progeny of a sire with a Stamina Index figure of 11.0 or bigger – and 6 of the 10 winners that didn’t conform to that stat were product of dam whose sire had a Stamina Index of 10.3 or bigger (in other words they had stamina on the dam side of their pedigree).
• There is a quick and dirty way of figuring out whether or not a horse is likely to have sufficient stamina for the St Leger – whether that stamina comes from the sire or the dam side of the pedigree. Simply add the Stamina Index of the sire to the Stamina Index figure of the dam sire.If the sum of those two figures equals or is bigger than 19.4 you can put a tick against the horse.26 of the 28 previous winners for which the relevant figures were available met that yardstick.
The Dosage Index can also help punters sort the wheat from the chaff…. • As part of its Dosage Profile a horse is awarded a Centre of Distribution (CD) figure on a scale that ranges from +2.00 to -2.00. 27 of the last 32 St Leger winners had a CD figure between -0.19 and 0.50. You can get the CD figures for this year’s runner at pedigreequery.com. For a full explanation of the Dosage Index and all the figures related to it visit a slideshow tutorial at www.chef-derace.com/tutorial/tutorial_title.htm. Slide 9 relates to how CD figures are calculated. •The S (Solid) and P (Professional) figures are particularly important when it comes to inherited stamina – and 28 of the last 32 St Leger winners had at least 5 S and P points (when added together) in their respective Dosage Profiles.
•Something else to bear in mind: St Leger winners are generally well-bred creatures with plenty of chef-de-race sires present in their family trees. So much so that all of the last 32 winners had at least 16 points in their Dosage Profile. 27 of the previous 32 winners had at least 20 points in their Dosage Profiles. Get the Dosage Profiles for this year’s St Leger runners at pedigreequery.com
There are a few more key statistical tests you can apply to isolate likely types for the St Leger….
• Look for a Racing Post rating of at least 110 in one or both of a horse’s last 2 runs before heading to Doncaster for the St Leger. 15 of the last 16 winners met that particular yardstick.
• Horses need to be conditioned to run longer distances – otherwise there is a danger that they will run too free or pull too hard when you step them up in trip.Whilst St Leger runners might not have gone beyond 12f before you do want to see that this‘trip education’has taken place.What I look for are horses that have run at least twice at 12f or beyond – 14 of the last 16 winners had already gone beyond 12f or raced at 12f at least twice.
Past performance is,of course,no guarantee of future results – but if the historical record is any guide at all then the horses that conform to the standards set out above are the ones that represent the best bets come September 10th.