Saturday 1 September 2018

There's Value to be had in this Year's St Leger as O'Brien Targets a Super Six

We’re fast-approaching the off of the 2018 St Leger Stakes yet traders seem at a loss to get their ante-post market in good order with a difference of opinion between the major betting firms paving the way for value. That hasn’t gone unnoticed by eagle-eyed punters eager to get in early and secure the best price possible on their selection. 

The group one flat race run over 1m 6f on the turf of Doncaster racecourse was first contested way back in 1776 – won by Allabaculia – currently puts forward £700,000 worth of prize money, with almost £400,000 of that delivered to connections of the winner.

Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore teamed up to great effect last year when producing champion Capri, who won ahead of Crystal Ocean for Sir Michael Stoute and Jim Crowley, the runner-up edged by half a length. Stradivarius filled the major places, ending a short-head back in what was a gripping bunch finish. Neutrals will be hoping for a repeat of that drama in this renewal.

Capri was a winning favourite 12 months ago and moved O’Brien’s record to five St Leger titles following success with Milan in 2001, Brian Boru 2003, Scorpion 2005 and Leading Light 2013. Impressive, but the Irishman still has some way to go if he’s to get anywhere near leading trainer John Scott who won 16 times between 1827 and 1862.

In the early exchanges, traders have thrown their weight behind another from the O’Brien string in Kew Gardens. The three-year-old colt brings a record of three wins and three placed efforts from nine previous starts with his medals including the Queens Vase at Ascot and Prix Paris at Longchamp.

Is the hat-trick on? The latest horse racing betting with William Hill has the bay marked at 3/1 – better than the 7/2 generally available. It’s away from the jolly where the indecision lies, however. Wells Farhh Go rates as a 7/1 second favourite with some while others have the same runner at 8/1. Latrobe is 8/1 third. 

Others in the betting priced a bit bigger than they probably should be are Forever Together – 10/1 trading, 8/1 the general feeling, and 14/1 on The Pentagon who’s a 12/1 poke. The latter is another O’Brien hopeful who travels to the South Yorkshire course with form onside. 

The three-year-old colt has won twice and placed three times in eight starts, including a bronze medal in the group one Racing Post Trophy Stakes at Doncaster over a mile. That’s sure to impress each-way backers who will get place terms of 1/5 the odds the best three home.