Saturday afternoon brings the final Classic of the UK flat season – Doncaster’s St Leger. First run in 1776, the St Leger is one of the oldest races in the world and it’s one of the highlights of the flat racing calendar and its brought several high-class winners through the years. Ten runners are set to head to post this weekend and we’ve taken a closer look at each of them below in our 2021 St Leger Preview.
2021 St Leger preview
Fernando Vichi was successful in Listed acton in June at Leopardstown – seeing off The Mediterranean – but was then a well-beaten 9th behind Hurricane Lane in the Irish Derby.
He ran 2nd behind Interpretation last time out over 1 mile 6 furlongs showing that he will have no problem with the St Leger trip, but he’ll have to take a big step forward to land this.
High Definition came into 2021 as one of the Derby favourites but has struggled for form through the season, running 3rd in the Dante at York before flopping in the Irish Derby and the Great Voltigeur.
Connections have splashed out £50,000 to supplement him for Saturday’s race but the step up in trip and possible application of headgear will need to have a dramatic effect if he’s to go close to winning the 2021 St Leger.
Hurricane Lane ran 3rd in the Epsom Derby before landing the Irish equivalent in fine style at the Curragh. He showed that success was no fluke by going on to land the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp and Saturday’s race has been the aim since that victory.
The 2021 St Leger trip should be no issue and he’s a worthy favourite for this weekend’s big race.
Interpretation has improved over each run this season to rattle off a hat-trick of successes including edging out Fernando Vichi last time out at Leopardstown.
He’s very much a young stayer in the making and should be open to more improvement so could run well on Saturday at a big price.
Mojo Star ran a huge race in the Epsom Derby to place 2nd behind Adayar and followed that up with a solid 5th in the Irish Derby behind Hurricane Lane.
He found trouble in running that day and if he can get a clear passage at Doncaster, he should be staying on in the final stages when others have cried enough.
Ottoman Emperor has won his last four races – including the Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood last time out – in impressive style.
The 2021 St Leger is a big step up in class but the trip should hold no fears and he should be in the mix as they head for home on Saturday afternoon.
Scope is lightly-raced with just three runs so far this year including placing 3rd in the Lingfield Derby Trial and then 5th in the Great Voltigeur at York last month.
He would need to show a massive improvement to be involved on Saturday though and he’s a big price at the bookies for a reason.
Sir Lucan put in an excellent performance to place 2nd behind Ottoman Emperor in the Gordon Stakes but was then a disappointing 4th in the Great Voltigeur at York.
The further step up in trip on Saturday will suit but he needs to improve on what he’s shown so far if he’s to land the 2021 St Leger.
The Mediterranean has been in solid form running 4th behind Hurricane Lane in the Grand Prix de Paris and following that up with a strong 2nd place in the Great Voltigeur.
He stayed on strongly in the Voltigeur after being headed and Saturday’s 1 mile 6 furlong trip should be ideal so a big run could be on the cards once more.
Rounding off our 2021 St Leger preview, Youth Spirit won the Chester Vase at the start of May but was then a disappointing 8th in the Epsom Derby, beaten a long way from home.
He’s subsequently run 3rd and 4th in the Gordon Stake and the Great Voltigeur and it would be a big surprise if he could reverse the form from those performances on Saturday.
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