St Leger Meeting 2013: Preview and Predictions for Race at Doncaster

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2013

DONCASTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15:  Mickael Barzalona riding Encke win The Ladbrokes St. Leger Stakes from Camelot (2L) at Doncaster racecourse on September 15, 2012 in Doncaster, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

The final British Classic of the season, there’s a lot of attention being paid to this afternoon’s St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster.

Saturday’s meeting will bring together the most talented three-year-olds from across the land in what promises to be a long an entertaining climax to the year’s big billings.

The longest of the five classics, it was recently announced by BBC Sport that successful runner, Galileo Rock, would be running at Doncaster’s event after the venue’s managing director, Mark Spincer, tweeted that the ground would be soft enough for his inclusion:

While the colt is looked upon as one of the most likely to challenge for the title, the field remains wide open amongst the 11 runners, with just about any participant a genuine contender to challenge the top spot.

First run in 1776, the St. Leger is also the oldest of the English classics and promises to play out yet another vintage display in this year’s setting.

Read on for some predictions of just how things might pan out in South Yorkshire.


Galileo Rock Won’t Live Up To His Billing

Having come third in the Epsom Derby and second in the Irish Derby earlier this year, one would like to think it’s just a simple matter of Galileo Rock making it third time’s the charm at Doncaster this weekend.

Trainer David Wachman was in two minds about running the three-year-old, worried that there may not be enough give in the ground for him to have a comfortable enough outing.

However, after almost four millimetres of rain fell on Friday night, it was confirmed that Wachman will chance his arm at fielding Galileo Rock, adding just another viable contender to the classic’s throne.

However, in a field this strong and with a runner who may still not react well enough to the course, the odds would appear to be slightly against Galileo Rock, regardless.

Leading Light, Excess Knowledge and Foundry are just three of the other favourites likely to stage an attempt to block any bid on a win by Galileo Rock.


Kieran Fallon To Pose An Outside Chance

One outside bet worth having a look at this Saturday is Great Hall, trained by Brian Meehan and set to be ridden by Kieran Fallon.

Fallon hasn’t had his most successful period of late, but at 48 years of age, holds just as much experience as any other rider in the field.

At odds of 22-1 according to Racing Post, Great Hall would have to be considered in fine form after winning his last two races at Haymarket and Newmarket and could be a shock outside to come up with the goods at the third consecutive time of asking.


Aidan O’Brien To Produce The Winner

Along with Charlie Appleby, Aidan O’Brien is one of only two trainers to have two horses racing in today’s St. Leger Stakes; the difference being that both of his entrants are being tipped as favourites to win.

Leading Light will be rode by Aidan’s son, Joseph, who’s had four top-two places in his last five races when riding horses trained by his father.

At odds of 5-1, Leading Light is up there with the most likely to challenge for first past the finish line, while Foundry is only just behind in the odds at 6-1.

Ryan Moore will jockey the bay colt, who has only two races to his name but would appear to be a fairly special talent, winning in his first outing last November before coming second at York three weeks ago.

The oldest O’Brien has done incredibly well to develop such specimens and heads into the Doncaster meet with a fine chance of earning some money by the end of the day’s proceedings.