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2020 St Leger Tips – Irish raider looks rock-solid in Doncaster’s historic Classic

  • Here's our feature-length preview of the 2020 St Leger
  • The St Leger is the final Classic of the season and will be run at Doncaster on Saturday 12th September
  • Pyledriver is the 11/4 favourite
  • Santiago could move back to the head of the betting before the off
  • Hukum and Galileo Chrome also sit on single figure prices
  • We take a look at the odds, the form and some key trends, before picking out our best bet
santiago ascot
Santiago winning the Queen's Vase. (Getty)

We bring you the latest St Leger odds, study the form and pick out some recurring trends, before highlighting out top 2020 St Leger tips.

The fifth and final Classic of the season is almost upon us, with 15 talented colts set to battle it out in the 2020 St Leger. This year’s race is looking brilliantly competitive, with four leading fancies battling it out for favouritism. Here’s our guide to the 2020 St Leger and the horse we feel punters should be siding with.

2020 St Leger Odds


Name
Best Odds
Top Bookie
Pyledriver 11/4 William Hill
Santiago 3/1 bet365
Hukum 4/1 bet365
Galileo Chrome 7/1 Ladbrokes
English King 12/1 Unibet
Subjectivist 14/1 Unibet
Tiger Moth 14/1 William Hill
Dawn Patrol 16/1 William Hill

2020 St Leger Favourite


Pyledriver2020 St Leger FavouriteGET 11/4 HERE
New customers only. 21+ T&Cs and wagering requirements apply.William Hill is operated by WHG (International) Limited, a company registered in Gibraltar. William Hill is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission (Number: 000-039225 R-319373-009) for customers in Great Britain, and licensed by the Gibraltar Government and regulated by the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner (RGL no. 034 & 042) for all other customers.

In recent days, a sway of significant support for Pyledriver has pushed William Muir’s charge right to the top of the betting. Either side of a limp performance in a bizarre Epsom Derby, Pyledriver has collected two Group Twos over 12 furlongs.

First at Royal Ascot, where Martin Dwyer’s mount powered clear in the King Edward VII Stakes. Pyledriver then produced an even more impressive performance in the Great Voltigeur Stakes, carrying a penalty to victory in imperious fashion.

pyledriver york
Pyledriver (right) storms to victory in the Great Voltigeur Stakes. (Getty)

2020 St Leger Form Guide


Santiago2020 St Leger Second-FavouriteGET 3/1 HERE
New customers only. 18+ T&Cs and wagering requirements apply.

Santiago had sat happily atop the market following his successes in the Queen’s Vase and the Irish Derby. Aidan O’Brien’s colt may have fallen to defeat at the hands of Stradivarius and Nayef Road at Glorious Goodwood, but there was no shame in finishing third in a race like the Goodwood Cup, and he should be much more comfortable dropping back in trip and down into his own age group.

Another Royal Ascot winner in Saturday’s field will be Hukum, who scored a comfortable victory in the King George V Handicap. Own Burrow’s star then took his form to a whole new level at Newbury, powering clear of Max Vega – and many more experienced stayers – to win the Geoffrey Freer Stakes by a streak. He’ll have no problem seeing out this 14-furlong trip.

Joseph O’Brien threw his hat into the St Leger ring this week, supplementing Galileo Chrome at the seven-day entry stages. O’Brien’s progressive colt is three-from-three this season, and travels to Doncaster on the back of an emphatic Listed success in the Yeats Stakes.

English King looked a star in the making when winning the Derby Trial at Lingfield. Sadly, Ed Walker’s colt has failed to live up to his billing since, labouring home in the Epsom Derby, before another underwhelming showing in the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

Subjectivist has finished behind both Hukum and Pyledriver this season. Mark Johnston’s colt did beat English King at Goodwood, win a competitive little Listed race at Hamilton, and scored an impressive 15-length success in the March Stakes at Goodwood. While the form of that Group Three looks fairly average, Subjectivist is still going in the right direction, and has plenty of experience to call upon.

hukum
Hukum winning the Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury. (Getty)

Tiger Moth hasn’t been seen since finishing a surprise second to Santiago in the Irish Derby. O’Brien’s colt kept on well to push his stablemate all the way that day, but I wouldn’t fancy Tiger Moth to get as close to the joint-favourite this time out.

Dawn Patrol was third in the Irish Derby, having finished behind Tiger Moth on his previous start in a maiden. Mythical could also represent Ballydoyle in the St Leger, but neither will be good enough to make a significant impact.

Believe In Love will be looking for her fifth win on the bounce this weekend, having run up to an RPR of 112 to complete a four-timer of handicap wins at Newmarket last time out. Roger Varian’s filly made the most of a low weight, beating horses rated in the mid-to-high 90s by 10 lengths. This, however, is a completely different kind of challenge to anything Believe In Love has faced before.

Max Vega placed second behind Hukum when last seen in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes. Ralph Beckett’s three-year-old captured a Group Three win as a juvenile, and looked to be coming back towards the top of his form at Newbury. Soft ground is clearly key to his chances, however, and the weather forecast suggests the ground will come up Good at Doncaster this weekend.

Berkshire Rocco has finished a good distance behind four of his St Leger rivals this season, and I don’t think he’ll be good enough to challenge for the places. Mohican Heights hasn’t been seen since placing 12 of 15 in the Derby, and his inactivity since the Derby raises plenty of question marks.

Andrew Slattery has thrown Sunchart into the mix, but the fact he’s failed to win in any of his four starts this term is worrying. The once-raced Tyson Fury rounds off the 15-strong field for this year’s St Leger. Richard Spencer’s charge ran up to a modest mark of 77 when winning on debut here at Doncaster last month, so the chances of Tyson Fury landing a knockout blow this weekend look slim-to-none.

2020 St Leger Trends


Pyledriver - 8/8 Matching Trends2020 St Leger TrendsetterGET 11/4 HERE
New customers only. 21+ T&Cs and wagering requirements apply.William Hill is operated by WHG (International) Limited, a company registered in Gibraltar. William Hill is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission (Number: 000-039225 R-319373-009) for customers in Great Britain, and licensed by the Gibraltar Government and regulated by the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner (RGL no. 034 & 042) for all other customers.

Trends cannot always be relied upon at the highest level. They can, however, provide a template for the sort of profile you’re looking for when trying to find the winner of any given race. I’ve looked through the last 15 runnings and picked out eight recurring St Leger trends.

  • 15 of 15 winners had won at least twice on the flat
  • 15 of 15 winners had run at least three times that season
  • 15 of 15 winners ran in a Group race on their previous start
  • 12 of 15 winners had won a Group race
  • 12 of 15 winners were rated 110 or higher
  • 11 of 15 winners went off at a single-figure price
  • 9 of 15 winners won on their previous start
  • 13 of 15 winners finished in the top three last time out

stradivarius goodwood
Santiago (centre) goes down to Stradivarius (right) in the Goodwood Cup. (Getty)

2020 St Leger Tips


Santiago2020 St Leger TipsGET 3/1 HERE
New customers only. 18+ T&Cs and wagering requirements apply.

The Great Voltigeur Stakes has been a great prep-race for the Leger in recent seasons. Pyledriver became just the second horse this century to carry a penalty to victory there last month, and William Muir’s charge did it in excellent fashion. 

It would be the story of the season if this horse’s fairytale rise to prominence ended in Classic glory. I, however, am not convinced Pyledriver will stay. Martin Dwyer’s mount showed an excellent turn of foot at York and Ascot, but the times of both races weren't particularly impressive, and there’s nothing in Pyledriver’s breeding to suggest the extra couple of furlongs will come naturally.

Hukum looks massively progressive, but his inexperience – having raced just twice this term, and four times in his whole career – has to count against him. I’m not convinced Galileo Chrome is really ready for this sort of challenge, and nothing at longer prices holds much in the way of appeal.

The safest bet has to be SANTIAGO, who’s already won a Group One this season and will definitely get the trip. 

It may not have been the strongest Queen’s Vase in recent years, but Santiago looked a cut above Berkshire Rocco and Al Dabaran when winning over that 14-furlong trip. O’Brien’s charge then had to show real battling qualities in the Irish Derby, bursting through the pack entering the home straight and staying strong to hold off Tiger Moth.

Although he only finished third at Goodwood, Santiago traveled into the race beautifully and was simply outstayed by a very hardy two-miler and one of the greatest stayers of all time. That defeat only enhanced his reputation.

Aidan O’Brien has an excellent record in the St Leger. His leading light very, very rarely underperforms. Sir Dragonet went off at 11/4 before getting blown away by the super-impressive Logician 12 months ago. Prior to that in the last ten years, Aidan O’Brien horses who carried a price shorter than 7/2 into the St Leger finished first, first, unseated, lost by a head, first, lost by a length.

I’ll be expecting either Dawn Patrol or Mythical to go straight to the front and make sure there’s an honest early pace. Frankie Dettori will likely get the ride on Santiago, and there’s no better jockey at sitting just off the pace and timing his charge down the home straight.

St Leger FAQs

When is the St Leger?

The 2020 St Leger will be run at Doncaster on Saturday 12th September.

How long is the St Leger?

The St Leger is run over a trip of one mile, six-and-a-half furlongs (2,921m).

Which Aidan O'Brien horses will run in the St Leger?

Santiago will be Aidan O'Brien's main runner in the 2020 St Leger. Tiger Moth, Dawn Patrol and Mythical could also run at Doncaster.

Where will Pyledriver run next?

Pyledriver will next appear in the St Leger, which takes place at Doncaster on Saturday 12th September.

Who will Frankie Dettori ride in the St Leger?

With no John Gosden horses in the field, Frankie Dettori will probably ride one of Aidan O'Brien's horses. Dettori will like chose to ride the second-favourite, Santiago.

Where can I watch the St Leger?

The 2020 St Leger will be shown live on ITV Racing. Check out our Live Streaming page if you want to watch the racing via your mobile or tablet.

US

Verdict

Santiago seems to have everything going for him, and he'll be my selections in the 2020 St Leger. 3/1 is a very good price.

2020 St Leger Tip: Santiago Straight Win @300 at BetMGM - 25 Units

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