Charlie McCann eyes up the St Leger
Charlie looks for each-way value in the St Leger
The Gt Voltigeur Stakes at York over the Ebor meeting is almost universally regarded as the premier trial for the Ladbrokes St Leger and this year’s winner Idaho cemented his place at the head of the market for the Doncaster classic with an emphatic win on the Knavesmire.
Third in the Derby and runner up in the Irish equivalent Idaho is the class act in the field but at 6/4 with BetVictor and the sponsors he is worth opposing as I am not convinced he is crying out for a step up in trip.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien, who is bidding for a fifth win in the oldest classic, hinted after the Voltigeur that the colt would be held up to get the trip at Doncaster which suggests connections themselves are not convinced the colt will get the extended 1m 6f trip.The colt didn’t look at home on the rattling fast ground at York and a bit of cut in the ground would help in south Yorkshire, but there is little in his pedigree other than class, that suggests he wants a thorough test of stamina.
Second in the betting is Muntahaa who only has a Kempton maiden win from four career starts to his name but looked to be crying out for a step up in trip when third in the King Edward VII Stakes at the Royal meeting last time.
That form is not yet good enough, even in what could be a sub-standard year but, at the time of writing, the grey is declared to run in a valuable listed handicap at Chester over a similar trip to the Leger and we should know more about the classic credentials of the John Gosden- trained colt after that run.
My two against the field both contested the same four-runner Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood back in May when David Simcock’s Algometer outstayed Godolphin’s Prize Money with Andrew Balding’s Ormito staying on back in third.
Algometer (16/1 with BetVictor) has not been seen since finishing seventh in the Derby behind Harzand beaten 14l having travelled well into the race until being done for a turn of foot inside the last two furlongs. The grey looked in need of an end-to-end gallop and a bit of give in the ground at Goodwood and he will go to Town Moor fresher than most.The colt is a half-brother to five previous winners including thorough stayer Alwilda and the hope is that he can improve for the step up in distance.
Ormito (33/1 at BetVictor) has only won one of nine career starts but he has run some excellent races in defeat most notably when a never nearer second to Kings Fete in the Geoffrey Freer, taking on older horses, at Newbury last time.
I am willing to put a line through his run in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot when he was edgy in the stalls and looked in a bad mood throughout. He was, arguably, unlucky not to beat Ventura Storm in the listed Glasgow Stakes on his penultimate start on soft ground and can reverse that Hamilton running with the Hannon colt at Doncaster.
Idaho is the best horse in the race and his class might see him home but 6/4 is too short a price for a horse who is not guaranteed to stay and I hope the key race is not the Voltigeur or the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood but a listed fourrunner contest back in May.
Ladbrokes St Leger recommendations: Algometer 1pt ew at 16/1 with Bet Victor Ormito ½ point each way at 33/1 with Bet Victor