St Leger Tips: Hukum Profile

Hukum was a Royal Ascot winner earlier in the season.
Hukum was a Royal Ascot winner earlier in the season.

Steve Chambers profiles Hukum, who already has a Royal Ascot win to his name this season, and is a major contender for the 2020 St Leger, which takes place at Doncaster on September 12, 2020...

Hukum

  • Age: 3
  • Races: 4
  • Wins: 3
  • Trainer: Owen Burrows
  • Jockey: Jim Crowley
  • Owner: Mr Hamdan Al Maktoum
  • Notable Race Wins: King George V Stakes (2020), Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2020)

Career Record

With only four career runs to date, Hukum is set to be one of the most inexperienced three-year-olds bidding for St Leger glory at Doncaster on September 12, but the Owen Burrows-trained colt is on a huge incline, and will prove to be a major player in the Town Moor classic if continuing his progression. Twice-raced as a juvenile, the son of Sea The Stars broke his maiden tag with a novice stakes win on the all-weather at Kempton last November over a mile.

The comfortable nature of his success that day suggested that he could become a smart performer when stepped up in trip, but his magnificent progression in 2020 has catapulted him into the picture as a major challenger for glory in the final classic of the season. Handed a mark of 90 for his handicap debut in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot, Hukum duly claimed success at 12/1 in a performance that saw him show his best work at the finish of the 1m 3f 211y contest.

Handed a two-month break, Burrows elected to send Hukum to Newbury for the Geoffrey Freer Stakes, where he would show whether or not he could be a Leger horse, and he duly sealed his place at Doncaster with a sublime performance. Relishing the step up in trip to 1m 5f 61y, Hukum tracked the leaders before unleashing his challenge in the final couple of furlongs, and having answered his jockey Jim Crowley's urgings to go and win the race, Hukum went on to land the Group 3 contest by over two lengths. 

Having been as big as 25/1 for the St Leger before that impressive Geoffrey Freer Stakes, Hukum is now is significantly shorter in the betting, with some firms offering 7/2 about the son of the former Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Sea The Stars claiming glory, and he has to be given the utmost respect.

Positives

Progressive: With three wins in his last three outings, Hukum is one of the more upwardly mobile contenders taking their chance in the St Leger, and having progressed from handicap company to Group 3 success, he will now be looking to shine at the highest level. This will be his toughest assignment to date, but there's no reason he can't step up again and make it four wins on the bounce.

Stamina assured: His Geoffrey Freer success over 1m 5f shows that Hukum relishes a real test of stamina, and a small step up to the St Leger distance of 1m 6f 115y should pose no major problems. While others may tie up in the final couple of furlongs, Hukum will be finishing strongly, and he will be hoping that they go a strong gallop from the outset, and he can show his ability to stay in the closing stages.

Negatives

Step Up In Class: While there's no doubting Hukum's potential, he is yet to be tested at the highest level, so could a step up to Group 1 company see him struggle. Lining up against some proven Group 2 and Group 1 winners, Hukum has yet to show he can deliver the goods when taking on other elite three-year-olds, so the St Leger will really test him.

Geoffrey Freer Form: If he was to become a real St Leger player, Hukum had to win the Geoffrey Freer emphatically. He certainly achieved that, but on reflection the opposition was far from the quality that will line up in the St Leger, and while he dominated his rivals late on at Newbury, he will have no such luxury at Doncaster. The likes of Santiago and Pyledriver are sure to be unleashing their surge late on in the piece as well, so the jury is out on whether Hukum can outclass those two rivals at the business end of the race.

How will Hukum fare in the 2020 St Leger?

Arguably the most fascinating runner in this year's St Leger, Hukum has improved with every run and is entitled to be regarded as a major player. Owen Burrows speaks glowingly about his stayer's chances, and there's lots to like about him on what we have seen on the racecourse, but could he prove to be vulnerable to a classier, more experienced rival? We shall wait and see!

Verdict: A key player

St Leger
Hukum silk

Hukum

lost
St Leger Odds 2020
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