Sun To Shine On Bondi Beach In St Leger
The final Classics of the 2015 Flat season take place at the weekend courtesy of both the St Leger and Irish St Leger, in which Aidan O’Brien will be looking to get the ball rolling by winning the former at Doncaster on Saturday (3.45).
Bondi Beach v Order Of St George II
The Ballydoyle maestro has won the St Leger twice since 2005, and holds a leading chance of success again with Bondi Beach (2/1). This colt put his name in the hat for this race when beating stablemate, Order Of St George (3/1), a short head in the Group 3 Curragh Cup in June (1m6f, good).
Bondi Beach v Storm The Stars II
Although a beaten favourite at York last month, the step back to 1m4f in that Group 2 event never played to his strengths, but Bondi Beach was still a creditable 1/2l runner-up to Storm The Stars (2/1), who re-opposes on Saturday.
The return to an extended 1m6f will also be more up Bondi Beach’s street, and his official rating of 115 makes him a real player based on the quality of past winners…
St Leger Trends
Of the last 10 winners…
10 won no more than 50% of their career runs
10 were beaten no more than 5l last time
9 were officially rated 109 or higher
9 ran over 1m5f or shorter last time
A O’Brien won it twice
O’Brien also has Order Of St George (3/1), who won both races since beaten by Bondi Beach, including the Group 3 Irish St Leger Trial at the Curragh last month (1m6f, soft), while Fields Of Athenry (8/1), won a Group 3 prior to being fifth in the Ebor Handicap. Of the Ballydoyle trio, Bondi looks the stable No.1.
Stars To Shoot This Far?
As for Storm The Stars (rated 116) confirming the form with Bondi Beach from York, then there wasn’t much between on the Knavesmire, and there isn’t anything to split them in the market, where they are both 2/1.
Storm The Stars’ chance is there for all to see, but his trainer, William Haggas, wasn’t exactly oozing confidence about his Leger chance following that win at York. Indeed, this will be the colt’s ninth race since mid-April, which could catch up with him at some point, while he also goes into the unknown regarding trip.
Don’t Ignore The Filly
One who has less to prove over Saturday’s 1m6f trip is Ralph Beckett’s filly, Simple Verse (8/1), who has progressed nicely this summer from landing her maiden to winning a decent handicap (1m4f), prior to a much-improved career best when landing a Group 3 at Goodwood (1m6f, good).
Although no filly won the St Leger in the last 10 years, of the seven to have tried, three were placed, offering real each-way interest to Simple Verse’s chances, who gets the all-important 3lb weight allowance.
As for those at double-figure odds, then the French raider, Vengeur Masque (25/1), kept on to finish fourth in a Group 3 last time and may improve over this longer trip.
A fascinating rematch between Bondi Beach and Storm the Stars is shaping-up to be a cracker,
though preference is for the former, who will enjoy this stamina test over an extended 1m6f and has more to come.
*Prices correct at time of publication.