A mile and six furlongs is enough to test even the toughest of horses, but that’s the distance over which 18 of the best runners in the land will complete to take home the St. Leger Stakes.
The European flat season continues with what many consider to be the best of the British Classics, with no other coming close to the St. Leger in terms of age or distance.
First ran in 1776, the St. Leger is also the third and final leg of the 2021 Triple Crown, although there’s no-one who can complete the full set on this particular occasion.
Hurricane Lane is far and away the most fancied favorite to win in Doncaster come September 11, but TurfnSport.com examines who else among the contenders could surprise from big odds.
The Favourite: Hurricane Lane (5/6)
Starting from the top and working our way down, there are plenty of good reasons as to why Hurricane Lane has emerged as the leader atop this year’s pack of three-year-old uber talents.
Not only is he a son of the legendary Frankel and owned by a racing superpower in Godolphin, but he’s thus far living up to the hype after collecting five wins from his six races to date.
What’s surprising is that he was only raced as a favorite for the first time at the recent Grand Prix de Paris, where he notched his second Group 1 victory in a row:
Stunning from Hurricane Lane! ??@godolphin’s Frankel colt is mesmerising in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris for William Buick and Charlie Appleby at @paris_longchamp… pic.twitter.com/C0pXYEpBtu
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) July 14, 2021
The BBC also celebrated Hurricane Lane’s thrilling victory at the Irish Derby in June, another fine ride for one William Buick to add to the catalogue.
It’s not always fashionable to side with the favorites, but given the distance and his clearly thriving relationship with jockey William Buick, this is one event where it’s hard to look beyond the leader.
The Dark Horse: Mojo Star (11/1)
Following the withdrawal for another of Godolphin’s prized assets, Adayar, the field looks wide open in regards to who will test Hurricane Lane, or dare we say, even surprise for the win.
It’s a fairly exclusive club, but one of those benefiting from Adayar’s exit is Mojo Star, whose 11/1 odds all of a sudden look even more tempting given only three entrants are priced lower, reports Horse.bet.
Almost a full year and four races after his debut last October, the colt finally took his first race win in the British EBF Maiden Stakes at Newbury in August, giving trainer Richard Hannon a glimmer of hope here:
Off the mark!
MOJO STAR wins with any amount in hand en route to much bigger targets.
? @RacingTV pic.twitter.com/41oAg9hcg5
— The Winners Enclosure (@TWEnclosure) August 14, 2021
Like many in the field, he’s yet to race more than a mile and a furlong and has previously been outclassed by other horses in attendance at the St. Leger, but Mojo Star could be one who benefits from heavier conditions in Doncaster.
The Sleeper Pick: Save A Forest (33/1)
Don’t allow the 33/1 odds to throw you off, because this daughter of Kingman has in the past demonstrated potential to suggest that price could be significantly inflated on this occasion.
After finishes of fifth and third in her first two races, Save A Forest has won three times in her next five attempts, culminating with a close-fought win at Newmarket in July:
Save A Forest wins the British Stallion Studs EBF Chalice Stakes at @NewmarketRace!
? https://t.co/fkQLQLtgFY#ITVRacing pic.twitter.com/EvBTLJRnd8
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) July 31, 2021
It wasn’t long prior that she finished fourth and 19 lengths behind Snowfall in her Group 1 debut at Epsom, though it’s worth highlighting no-one looked a match for the latter that day.