world’s oldest Classic

Eclipster: Hard to choose between Pyledriver and Santiago for Doncaster St Leger 2020

3:35 – Doncaster – 1m 6½f (1m 6f 115y) Pertemps St Leger Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (3yo)

The St Leger is the oldest Classic in the world. It was run for the first time in 1776 and is the last Classic to be run during the Flat season.

Fifteen runners are entered in the race, with final declarations being announced on Thursday morning. To assist in reducing the field to a more manageable number previous race statistics can help to point out likely winners in the 2020 renewal:

The last 12 winners had all won at least twice on the Flat. We can immediately rule out:

  • Dawn Patrol
  • Tiger Moth
  • Berkshire Rocco
  • Sunchart
  • Mythical

The last 12 winners had all run at least three times earlier in the season. This removes:

  • Hukum
  • Mohican Height
  • Tyson Fury

Thirty one of the last 35 winners finished in the first three on their previous start. We can take out:

  • English King

Nine of the last 12 winners has an Official Rating of at least 110 and had previously won at Group Level. This rules out:

  • Galileo Chrome

We are now left with the two joint favourites, Pyledriver and Santiago. Fifteen of the last 28 winners were sent off as favourite. However, this is a relatively weak statistic representing just 53.5% of recent winners.

William Muir trains Pyledriver who, if successful on Saturday, would give him his first St Leger winner. Pyledriver won the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York which is currently the principal guide to finding the St Leger winner as 11 of the last 24 winners ran in the race and all 11 finished in the first four at York.

Santiago is trained by Aiden O’Brien who has won the St Leger on no fewer than six occasions. Santiago won the Group 2 Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot before winning the Irish Derby. His last run saw him finish third in the Group 1 Goodwood Cup. Both Capri in 2017 and Kew Gardens in 2018 won the Queen’s Vase before going on to win the St Leger for Aiden O’Brien and six of the last 23 winners ran in the Irish Derby.

Both horses should be fine in the current going which is described as Good. Santiago has won at the highest level taking the Group 1 Irish Derby, whereas Pyledriver’s win at York was in a Group 2 event and he did finish down the field in The Derby at Epsom. There is very little to choose between the pair.

Please note: tips are followed at your own risk. Please gamble responsibly.  

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