By George, Ballydoyle Do It Again At The Leger!
Irish St. Leger
It won’t be long before talk of next month’s St Legers are in the air, and this Sunday could see a few clues emerge at the Curragh, courtesy of the Group 3 Irish St Leger Trial.
O’Brien On Trial Trail Again
In years gone by, this race has been won by the likes of Aidan O’Brien’s, Leading Light, runner-up in the Irish St Leger the following month. That victory 12 months ago also made it two for O’Brien, having also won it in 2006, and he holds a decent chance of making it victory No.3.
The Ballydoyle maestro runs the 3yo, Order Of St George, and the 4yo, Kingfisher, on Sunday, where the latter is officially rated 1lb higher on 113. Such a rating for Kingfisher comes courtesy of a Listed victory over 1m6f in June, prior to a career best second in the Ascot Gold Cup. That outstanding effort confirmed that Kingfisher was up to winning a top staying event, but he did have a hard race that day, hence why he has not been seen during the last 66 days.
On the plus side, Kingfisher is Irish-bred, and ran a maximum of three times during the last three months – trends that were present in past winner’s profiles…
Irish St Leger Trial Trends
Of the last 10 Leger Trial winners…
9 were officially rated 99 or higher
9 were Irish-bred
9 ran 1-3 times during previous 90 days
9 made the top five last time out
A O’Brien and J Oxx won it twice apiece
As for stablemate, Order Of St George’s chance, then he boasts a creditable short head second in a Group 3 over C&D in June, prior to a confidence booster at Down Royal last month (1m5f, good to firm). His odds of 1/5 show that Order Of St George had little to beat that day, but he is on the upgrade and will give Kingfisher something to think about.
Don’t Write Off Oxx
John Oxx has also won this race twice, and enters his 7yo, Sea Moon, although he hasn’t been seen since a disappointing spell in Australia last autumn. He has class and was third in the 2011 St Leger, but the market needs to offer confidence ahead of race time.
Tradition On The Up
When it comes to training stayers, however, then Dermot Weld is a man to respect. Weld has the 4yo, Good Tradition, who won a minor race at Killarney in May, before a close second in the Guinness Race at Galway last month (1m6f, soft). Although unproven on fast ground, he improved in each of his four career outings and has more to come.
Elsewhere, Certerach (Group 2 winner in Dubai last spring) and Inis Meain (Listed winner last year) make up the numbers, but neither have been in good form.
The upcoming, Good Tradition, has his best years ahead of him, while Kingfisher may use this as a prep for the St Leger itself next month.
The evidence therefore points to Order Of St George coming out on top, and his 12lb weight allowance could make all the difference.