Okay, I’ll concede that point. But let me qualify the statement: The Paul Cole-trained Snurge, back in 1990, was the last horse to win the St Leger having had only two previous runs that season.
In fact, between then and now only two others have managed to win the race having raced less than four times that season.
The stats suggest the Doncaster race is not only gruelling in terms of distance but also demanding of a battle-hardened winner.
That doesn’t bode well for this afternoon’s short-priced favourite, Sea Moon, who looked an exceptional talent when running away with the Great Voltigeur at York last time out, but has had only two outings in total this term.
Can his class overcome his inexperience? And, is 13-8 price enough to take that chance?
Blue Bunting is a Classic filly and she would be completing an international fillies’ triple crown were she to succeed.
Her Newmarket 1000 Guineas victory came courtesy of a finishing kick that indicated stamina was her strongest suit, while her battling qualities were in evidence when she earned a doughty short head success in the Irish Oaks.
She arguably achieved more when running strongly to deny Vita Nova in the Yorkshire Oaks and though, under normal circumstances, it might be reasonable to suggest that she’s been on the go a long time, a horse with the constitution to take its racing is what the race demands.
The step up in trip shouldn’t be a problem for her and, with proven class in this grade, she holds outstanding claims.
I expect she will be strongly backed by the each-way thieves, while the favourite may drift a shade.
Seville boasts the best form in the book but his runner-up finishes in the Irish Derby and Grand Prix de Paris became a fading memory after he was trounced by Sea Moon last time.
Even allowing for the possibility that York has a tendency to exaggerate superiority, it’s hard to reason why he should turn the tables on the winner.
He ran his heart out to finish second in France and perhaps that was part of the reason for his poor display in the Great Voltigeur.
However, I can’t imagine he’s has had enough time to find his form and, though wary of Aidan O’Brien’s innate ability to reinvigorate horses, I’m keen to lay Seville in the place market.
Undoubtedly, Cityscape was somewhat disappointing behind Immortal Verse at Deauville last time out but he drops back in grade quite significantly for the Group 3 Solonaway Stakes at the Curragh tomorrow. The soft ground almost certain to prevail at the track should play to his strengths and it'll be disappointing if he does not emerge on top.