St Leger Tips: Santiago looks an Ande price

St Leger Tips: Santiago was a game winner of the Irish Derby at the Curragh in June.
St Leger Tips: Santiago was a game winner of the Irish Derby at the Curragh in June.

Nick Seddon previews Saturday’s St Leger at Doncaster, which has an open feel to it…

This year’s renewal of the St Leger looks a competitive one, and 11 runners will go to post for the final classic of the season, following the defection of English King on Friday morning - who heads to Longchamp for Sunday’s Grand Prix de Paris. 

The current favourite at the time of writing is Pyledriver, who's making a habit out of defying expectations this season - defying a big starting price to win the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. He struggled on his next start in the Derby, but bounced back with a convincing success in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York last month, which is a recognised trial for this. He's technically got to prove he stays this trip, but his connections are confident, and he has to be taken seriously. However, the gut feeling is that he may need a career best effort to take this, and others make more appeal at the prices.

Pyledriver is joined at the top of the market by Santiago and Hukum, who are also vying for favouritism. The latter is an upwardly mobile type, who has improved in each of his four starts to date, winning three. He made a winning return in a competitive handicap at Royal Ascot in June, and couldn’t have been more impressive when storming to success in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes over just shy of this trip at Newbury last month. He will need more now in Group 1 company, but he’s one to take very seriously for an owner and jockey combination who are enjoying a tremendous campaign to date. 

However, the runner who sets the standard is Santiago, who arrives as the sole Group 1 winner in the field. That win came in the Irish Derby, and he’s proven himself to be a classy type so far this season, showing plenty of liking for this trip when running out a convincing winner of the Queen's Vase at the Royal meeting. He's since been defeated by both Stradivarius and Nayef Road in the Goodwood Cup, finishing third, but he bumped into two high-class stayers there, and sets the standard on the pick of his form. The 3/1 that’s available at the time of writing feels generous bearing in mind he ticks plenty of boxes, and he's a confident pick to take this - with the booking of Frankie Dettori an obvious positive.

Free £20 Exchange Bet

New customers only, bet up to €/£20 on the Exchange and if your first bet loses, we’ll refund you €/£20 in Cash. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. T&Cs apply, 18+

Two improving types to consider are Subjectivist and Galileo Chrome. The latter has been subject to plenty of support this week, and heads here rather than taking his chance in Sunday's Irish St Leger at the Curragh. He's won each of his three starts so far this season, including when cruising to a five length victory in a listed contest over a mile and five furlongs at Navan last month. This is a big step up in class, but he's entitled to find more improvement yet, and the fact that he heads over the Irish Sea for this is perhaps a tip in itself. 

Subjectivist is a typical campaigner from the Mark Johnston yard in that he's been kept busy this season, and although he's got form to turnaround with both Hukum and Pyledriver, he's an upwardly-mobile type. As mentioned, he disappointed behind Pyledriver in last month’s Great Voltigeur Stakes, but he quickly bounced back, and romped to victory in the Group 3 March Stakes over this trip at Goodwood. This represents a quick turnaround, but he’s a straightforward type and is a lively each-way shout provided his excursions don’t catch up with him - though he'd need a career best for win purposes. 

The remainder of the field all have something to prove for win purposes, including Dawn Patrol, who finished third behind Santiago in the Irish Derby in June. He finished third in a listed contest over this trip at Leopardstown last month (Sunchart second), though both would need plenty more here, while Berkshire Rocco has regularly been held at Group level this term - a comment which also applies to Mythical

Lastly, Mohican Heights hasn't been seen since disappointing in the Epsom Derby and has plenty to prove, while Tyson Fury faces a huge step up in class after one start to date. He does at least have winning course form, and impressed when making a winning debut in a novice contest over a mile and a half here in July. He’s entitled to improve for that, but this is an almighty ask, particularly for one that’s making just his second start on a racecourse.

With that in mind, it’s very difficult to oppose Santiago at the prices. He’s the sole Group 1 winner in the field, winning the Irish Derby in June, and showed he handles the trip when impressing in the Queen’s Vase. The booking of Frankie Dettori is an obvious bonus and the 3/1 that’s on offer at the time of writing looks generous when you bear in mind that he ticks plenty of boxes.


St Leger, Saturday 12th September - back Santiago at 3/1


St Leger
Santiago silk


Today's Racing Naps

Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets

New customers using Promo Code P30 only, min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15 (30 days expiry), free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. T&C's apply, 18+
Bet £10 & Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+
£20 Risk Free First Bet Money Back In Cash
New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is €/£20. T&Cs apply. 18+
Welcome Offer
Open Account Offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code ‘100BET365’ can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way. 18+
Up to £30 in Free Bets
New Customers deposit and bet up to £30 at odds of 2.0 or greater within 7 days of registration, Cashed out bets excluded. Matched bonus paid in free bets; 7 day expiry. Offer valid from 09:00BST on 26/05/2020. Card payments only. Geo Restrictions and T&Cs. 18+ | | Please gamble responsibly
Bet £10 Get £30 + 30 Free Spins
You must stake £10 or more at single/cumulative odds of Evens (2.0) or greater on your first bet. Free bet balance of £30 credited within 48 hours of your first bet being settled. Free Bets expire after 7 days. E-Wallet restrictions apply. Minimum 5 game rounds. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days. T&C's apply, 18+
Bet £5 Get £20 In Free Bets
Min £5 bet on the SBK. Rewards valid for 7 days. Free bets must be placed at min odds of 1.5. Exchange free bet limited to certain markets. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply. 18+
£25 Bet Bundle
18+. UK Customers (Excluding NI) only. Cash stakes only. Min £10 stake required for initial £5 free bet. Min odds ½. Max £25 in free bets. Subsequent free bets equal 50% average of each 3 qualifying bets. 13 bets required to receive full £25 free bet. Qualifying bet must be placed within 30 days of opening account. Cashed out bets will not qualify towards your average stake. One free bet offer per customer, household or IP address only. Free bet expires after 7 days. Payment method restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
Money back As A Bonus Up To £40 If Your First Racing Bet Loses + £10 Casino
New customers only. 18+, Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Racing 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), Casino 35x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Racing bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in.