St Leger meeting: three vulnerabilities Idaho must overcome
Idaho: is set to go off a short-priced favourite for the St Leger
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Three vulnerabilities Idaho must overcome By Alex Wiltshire 7:31AM 10 SEP 2016
Idaho is set to go off a short-priced favourite for the Ladbrokes St Leger on Saturday, however is he a sure thing for the world's oldest Classic? Here are three vulnerabilities he must overcome.
The gruelling 1m6f132y trip is a question hanging over many Leger contenders, however Idaho has arguably the most to prove as the only one of the nine that will line up not to have raced beyond 1m4f.
He will have to overcome several proven stayers who have already won over a distance at least that of the St Leger, including stablemate and Queen's Vase winner Sword Fighter.
Although by Galileo, he is out of a Danehill mare who is more renowned for producing good quality sprinters and milers.
Prospect for soft going
The going was changed to good, good to firm in places on Friday, however a downpour is expected to hit Town Moor on Saturday morning – which could result in a much softer surface come the 3.45 off time for the St Leger as clerk of the course Roderick Duncan said on Friday: "We could get 18mm of rain overnight and if that was the case the ground could end up soft."
Both of Idaho's victories came on good to firm ground, and although he appeared not to be overly inconvenienced by some ease in the surface when finishing second to Harzand in the Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown and third in the Derby, he is yet to win without firm in the description could find one too good once again with rivals Sword Fighter, Muntahaa and Ventura Storm set to relish softer ground.
While Aidan O'Brien dominated the St Leger in the early part of the millennium with Milan (2001), Brian Boru (2003) and Scorprion (2005) all victorious, the Ballydoyle trainer has saddled five favourites in the race over the last ten years – with Leading Light his solitary success in 2013.
Last year Bondi Beach was first awarded the race in the stewards' room before losing it retrospectively as the 2-1 joint favourite, and Camelot was as short as 2-5 when denied the Triple Crown by Encke in 2012.
13-8 favourite Honolulu placed third in 2007 and Frozen Fire could only finish seventh as the 9-4 favourite in 2008.