Three vulnerabilities Idaho must overcome in the St Leger
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 but 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 St 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.
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Although by Galileo, he is out of a Danehill mare who is more renowned for producing good quality sprinters and milers.
A potential for ease in the going
Officials at Doncaster had been braced for heavy rain throughout Friday night but the worst of the weather made its way south of the racecourse, with only 1mm falling by early on Saturday morning. As a result, the going remains good, good to firm in places.
The prospect for further rain remains, however and clerk of the course Roderick Duncan refused to rule out a change before the big race at 3.45.
"The forecast has been so far out so far, I'm not going to risk saying that [conditions will not ease]," he said.
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 and 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.
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