Godolphin, John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien have pretty much dominated the Ladbrokes St Leger so far this century with nine victories between them and it is the Irish handler who appears to hold the strongest hand in the 2013 renewal being responsible for 12 of the 43 horses left in the final Classic of the season at the latest forfeit stage. Despite the surprise absence of Epsom Derby winner Ruler Of The World Ballydoyle still have numerous options including Queens Vase winner Leading Light and unlucky Irish Derby third Festival Cheer.
Just what the O’Brien final line-up will look like on Saturday 14th September is anybody’s guess at the moment but the betting would suggest that Leading Light is the stable’s number one hope at this stage with the Montjeu colt as short as 4-1 to go one better than Camelot last year although 7-1 is still available with Sportingbet and Coral, but it is debatable as to whether the drop back in trip will prove ideal for the improving stayer.
Galileo Rock heads the ante-post market with most bookmakers at prices ranging from 7-2 ( William Hill ) to 6-1 ( Sportingbet ) and even though David Wachman’s colt has strong claims he represents little value for a race some six weeks away. Oaks runner-up Secret Gesture would be of some interest at the 25-1 on offer with Skybet and Stan James if targeted at the race but it is more than possible that she will be kept to races open to her own sex such as the Nassau Stakes and Prix Vermeille.
One horse however who makes plenty of appeal at the double carpet available with Paddy Power is the Sir Michael Stoute- trained Bold Sniper, owned by her majesty The Queen. On the back of Estimates Gold Cup victory and the birth of the royal baby their would be no more popular winner of the Classic, 36 years after her Dunfermline triumphed over the dual Arc winner Alleged in the hands of Willie Carson.
With an official rating of only 99 Bold Sniper would need to improve at least a stone to trouble the principles but with only five runs under his belt the son of New Approach is open to plenty of improvement and gives the impression that he is crying out for the extra two furlongs of the St Leger trip. Stoute finally broke his hoodoo in the Classic when Conduit ran out an easy winner five years ago and the sport will receive a welcome shot in the arm if Bold Sniper can make the necessary leeway to surpass the jubilant scenes witnessed at Royal Ascot last month.
Recommendation: Bold Sniper – 33/1 Paddy Power