St Leger Preview

The St Leger is the highlight of the four-day Cazoo St Leger Festival at Doncaster.

Last September the race was won by Galileo Chrome who confirmed his potential before being retired to stand as a National Hunt stallion just a few months later. This year the race revolves around Charlie Appleby’s Hurricane Lane, bidding to give the trainer his first-ever victory in the extended 14-furlong contest.

But just how good are Hurricane Lane’s chances? If he wins, who chases him home?

Win – Hurricane Lane (5/4)

Since bolting up in the Prix de Paris in July, Hurricane Lane’s price in the ante-post market has shortened massively. After the race, 11/4 was widely available, especially as it became more and more clear that stablemate Adayar would not be heading for the race.

Hurricane Lane came third in the Epsom Derby, a solid run. But that can be upgraded massively given that he lost his two front shoes that day. The three-year-old then won the Irish Derby, pulling seven-lengths clear with Lone Eagle, before he headed to Longchamp to show his class.

The colt is yet to run over 1m7f, but in all his recent successes over 1m4f he has stayed on and his breeding suggests that he should just get this trip. Also, of the last 20 renewals, nine of the favourites have won, so the confidence in the market shouldn’t put you off him. Hurricane Lane ticks all the right boxes in regards to trends too, such as 2-4 career wins and having form in a group race.

All being well, I really cannot see Hurricane Lane being beaten. The field for the race is not as strong as it first appeared when the entries were announced. He has plenty of gears, has improved with every run this season and just looks like a terrific prospect. If he had more luck in the Derby then this colt would be the talk of the town, and probably 8/13 for this contest.

Interpretation (20/1)

Depending on how six-time Leger winning trainer Aiden O’Brien plays his hand, Interpretation could be his best chance of glory in this year’s renewal. In his four career runs to date, he has shown everything you would want to see in a Leger horse, 20/1 could turn out to be generous pricing by bookmakers.

Interpretation won a Listed race at Leopardstown on his most recent start, beating Fernando Vichi and Taipan, two capable and more experienced horses. The colt made the running that day and found more in the closing stages for Ryan Moore when he looked like he might be pipped to the post, though O’Brien will probably have his own pacemaker making the running in this race.

Being by Galileo, Interpretation should have no issue with this trip and he didn’t empty over 1m6f last time out. He looks a real trier and often picks up when asked to quicken. It might not be the worst thing to see him come off of the bridle early, so long as he isn’t slipping down the field.

O’Brien has several horses entered for this race, as ever, but his best hopes look like Interpretation, Sir Lamorak and Sir Lucan – depending on who he sends to the meeting. By the time we know whether our selection will be running, that 20/1 will likely have changed. I can see this one giving Hurricane Lane something to think about at a fair price.