Two To Follow And Two To Avoid At The St Leger Festival

Kew Gardens win the 2018 St Leger under Ryan Moore

Doncaster hosts the final British Classic of the season on Saturday – with the St Leger taking centre stage. Prior to that, we have two days of top-class action, with four races per day covered on our ITV racing tips page.

The St Leger Festival begins on Wednesday, and we have selections for all seven races on our Doncaster tips page. This article will provide two to avoid, and two to follow, at the remainder of the meeting – hopefully pointing punters in the right direction!

Avoid Three-Year-Old Runners In The Park Hill Stakes

Being run on Thursday over an intermediate distance of an extended 1m6f, the Park Hill Stakes has been dominated by four-year-olds in recent years – with seven of the last nine winners coming from that age group.

Runners from the Classic generation have experienced outright or joint favouritism in seven renewals during that same time period – despite only winning with one of their representatives – so three-year-olds are generally well found in the market for this race.

The sole four-year-old in this line-up, Enbihaar, therefore looks a solid betting proposition.

Follow Roger Varian’s Runners In The Sceptre Stakes

Since taking up the training ranks in 2011, Roger Varian has had a raft of big-race winners, including Kingston Hill, who won the St Leger in 2014.

One race that has been particularly favourable to him has been the Sceptre Stakes, with Varian’s runners in the race producing form figures of 0113 – resulting in an eye-catching profit of £39 to just £1 stakes.

Something to bear in mind perhaps, for those looking to oppose either of his representatives – Farzeen and Mot Juste – in this year’s renewal.

Avoid Last Time Out Winners In The Portland Handicap

Saturday’s St Leger card kicks off with the Portland Handicap, run over a five and a half-furlong trip this race provides punters with a tricky puzzle to solve, take last year’s winner A Momentofmadness – who was sent off at odds of 25/1.

In recent renewals, it has proved profitable to avoid horses that had won last time out, with none of the last eight winners arriving here on the back of a victory – despite twenty-six horses attempting the feat.

With the top of the market for this year’s renewal of the Portland dominated by last time out winners – including the well-punted race favourite Bielsa – it would be no shock to see another big-priced winner.

Follow The Favourite In The Champagne Stakes

The Group 2 Champagne Stakes precedes the St Leger, and this race has been a profitable one for favourite-backers in recent years.

The market leader has landed the spoils in seven of the last ten renewals – including last season with the 4/11 favourite Too Darn Hot.

Backing the joint/outright favourite to a £1 stake during that time would have resulted in a profit of £10.47, so it looks wise to keep on the right side of whoever tops the market on Saturday afternoon.

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