The Cazoo St Leger is the world’s oldest Horse Racing Classic and the 2021 edition could be a coronation for red-hot favourite Hurricane Lane who, having already won two Group 1 races this year, is one of the classiest contenders to grace the race in recent years.
Get the lowdown on all 13 contenders for Saturday’s Group 1 showpiece on Town Moor.
Carlisle Bay - 80/1
Promising juvenile but not seen since finishing out the back of the TV in Lingfield’s Derby Trial back in May. Still unexposed but by no means guaranteed to stay and has loads to find to get anywhere near an on-song Hurricane Lane.
Fernando Vichi - 50/1
Stayed this sort of trip well enough when second to Interpretation at Leopardstown but no obvious reason why he should turn form around with his conqueror let alone trouble the best of these. Thrashed by Hurricane Lane in the Irish Derby and, although not fully exposed over staying trips, is very hard to fancy.
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High Definition - 12/1
HIgh-class 2-year-old but career has nosedived this year despite carrying substantial market confidence on each start. Encouraging enough return in Dante Stakes but complete flop when sent off 9/4f with the bookies for the Irish derby and not a great deal more to shout about when only sixth of eight in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York. Connections clearly retain faith given they have stumped up £50k to supplement him but that’s about all his supporters have to cling on to, based on what we’ve seen from him this season.
Hurricane Lane - 4/6
Winner of five of his six starts; only defeat came in the derby at Epsom, where he lost both front shoes during the race. Hasn’t looked back since, getting up late to land Irish derby at the Curragh before trouncing rivals in Grand Prix de Paris, where the vanquished included Aidan O’Brien pair Wordsworth and The Mediterranean. Yet to race beyond 12 furlongs but shapes like stamina won’t be a problem and likely doesn’t need to improve on what he’s achieved so far to make it three Group 1 wins this term. Had this earmarked for some time, comes into the race a fresh horse and is going to take some stopping.
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Interpretation - 20/1
Showed improved form on each of his last three starts, relishing the step up in trip on each occasion. Benefitted from being able to dictate on Ryan Moore’s terms when making all the running in a Listed contest at Leopardstown (Fernando Vichi second) but was always doing enough to repel that rival in the closing stages. Hard to rule out further progress but it is very much required stepping up to Group 1 company for the first time and likely to face competition on the front end.
King Of The Castle - 66/1
Just a maiden win to show from seven racecourse starts and yet to even taste pattern company. Impossible to make a case for, on what we’ve seen, so could be set for pacemaking duties.
Mojo Star - 15/2
Looked a Group 1 winner in waiting when splitting stablemates Adayar and Hurricane Lane at Epsom but unable to run to anything like the same level behind the latter in Irish Derby at the Curragh, even allowing for some slight trouble in-running. Didn’t have to break sweat to shed his maiden tag at Newbury last time and derby form gives him major each-way claims, providing he stays this new trip.
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Ottoman Emperor - 7/1
Big improver in 2021; best performance so far when edging home in Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood, seeing off the likes of Sir Lucan, Youth Spirit and Wordsworth. Probably in front long enough that day and connections feel that he will be seen to better effect when produced a bit later. No reason why he won’t stay this longer trip and good chance he could have an even bigger performance in him after just five starts but this demands a good deal more.
Scope - 50/1
Career-best effort on the figures when only beaten two-and-a-quarter lengths in the Great Voltigeur, a run that gives him a similar form chance to the likes of Sir Lucan, Youth Spirit and The Mediterranean. Not guaranteed to improve for this trip judged on pedigree but needs to, so hard to go overboard about prospects.
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Sir Lucan - 16/1
Closed all the way to the line when narrowly beaten by Ottoman Emperor at Goodwood and similar level of form when fourt in the Great Voltigeur. Sire, Camelot, was only narrowly beaten in this race when attempting to complete the Triple Crown in 2012, and good chance this longer trip will help Sir Lucan. Decent each-way claims if it does.
The Mediterranean - 20/1
Not managed to add to maiden success in four subsequent runs but stuck to task well from the front when second in the Great Voltigeur. Each-way claims on that for sure, especially as improvement might be forthcoming over this trip, but hard to see him being able to hold off the likes of Hurricane Lane at the business end.
Youth Spirit - 25/1
Chester Vase winner earlier in the season and although he bombed out in the derby at Epsom, he has found his level since, acquitting himself well in the Gordon Stakes and Great Voltigeur Stakes. Will stay but seems ideally suited by some ease in the ground, which he looks unlikely to get, so hard to see him playing a major role.
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Save A Forest - 50/1
Only filly in the line-up; won for the third time when producing a strong late run to land the Chalice Stakes on Newmarket’s July Course and looks well worth a try over this trip. However, this is an altogether different proposition against some high-class colts and she’ll need to improve over a stone to get near the frame, let alone win.
One or two of these are on an upward trajectory, notably Ottoman Emperor and Interpretation, while Mojo Star’s derby form gives him a major chance. However, it’s almost impossible to oppose HURRICANE LANE whose two Group 1 wins this term mark him down as the standout contender. He’s been seeing his races out strongly so it’s a stretch to think the longer trip will prove his downfall while he’s unlikely to be caught out of his ground should this become tactical. He’s going to be an extremely tough nut to crack.