Leading bookmakers Ladbrokes, who sponsor next Saturday’s St Leger at Doncaster have decided to go non-runner no bet for the event, in an effort to instill some life into betting on the oldest Classic horserace in the world.
First run in 1776, the 1m 6f contest has been won three times in the last five years by Frankie Dettori, who is set to partner clear favourite Rewilding, a top price 7/4 with Blue Square and the sponsor, who are currently offering a free bet of up to £60 to new customers.
Ladbrokes, in fact, are going top price about the top five in the market, but are shortest about sixth favourite Joshua Tree at 8/1, who could overtake Midas Touch as the Ballydoyle number one hope.
Second favourite on 6/1 is dual Oaks winner Snow Fairy, a tempting proposition at the price with a run, considering connections are still to confirm the Intikhab filly a definate runner, with good- fast ground a prerequisite.
Irish Derby runner-up Midas Touch is as short as 4/1 with Totesport but as big as 7/1 with Ladbrokes and Paddy Power, which suggests the formers’ close association with the O’Brien stable indicates that Joshua Tree may have improved significantly since his third behind Rewilding and Midas Touch in York’s Great Voltigeur Stakes.
Next in the betting come Arctic Cosmos and Dandino at 7/1 and 8/1 respectively with Ladbrokes. Both colts have been specifically targeted for the final Classic after eye-catching performances behind Rebel Soldier in Goodwoods Betfair Gordon Stakes, a recognised Leger trial.
Of the bigger priced entries the most interesting is Await The Dawn, who was most impressive when hacking up at Leopardstown on Saturday.
Ladbrokes have decided not to quote the Giant’s Causeway colt, but William Hills 33/1 would be a massive price if allowed to take his chance.