Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Who Will Win St. Leger Stakes 2019?

St. Leger is one of the most prestigious horse races in Great Britain. It is also the oldest one of the five classics, established in 1776 and the last of the five to be run each year. The race takes place in Doncaster and is part of the four-day St. Leger festival, attracting a large audience both on the track and on television. Today, we will talk about the horses and trainers who are top favorites to win the 2019 edition of the race.

Betting on St. Leger 2019

Sponsored by William Hill, this event attracts a lot of punters in the UK and all over the world, who never hesitate to put their money on a horse they think can come out on top. Sports bookmakers have already come out with betting odds for this event.

They currently have Japan as the heavy favorite at 4/1. Broome is next at 9/1 and Anthony Van Dyck, Constantinople, Logician, Sir Dragonet and Sovereign all received odds of 10/1. The four horses that are least likely to win are Severance, Peach Tree, King Pellinor, and Kiefer, all at 100/1.

Although horse racing can be a bit hard to predict, bookies are generally correct with their odds. Last year’s favorite, Lah Ti Dar, finished second. The biggest surprise was Southern France, finishing third despite relatively high odds of 20/1 of winning the race.

Now, let’s go over some of the top favorites.


Trained by the very successful Irishman Aidan O’Brien, Japan has had great results lately, winning 2 out of his last 3 races, including a prestigious win at the Royal Ascot in June. He was also the heavy favorite for that race, and he delivered, which gives us very little doubt that he will come through again in Doncaster.

Japan is rightfully the top favorite and then some for this event, but, as we said previously, anything can happen when it comes to horse racing. However, anything else but a win for Japan seems pretty unlikely at this point.


Another favorite that is trained by A P O’Brien, as are most other favorites, is Broome. This horse has had great thus far, winning 3 out of his 8 races. He had an outstanding start of the year after he won his for two races, the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes and the P.W. McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes. He was also pretty good at the end of 2018, but his last two races were rather disappointing, finishing 4/13 and 6/8.

However, given his history of success, and the overall solid year he’s had, we would still put Broome among the top favorites to win the St. Leger Stakes in September.

Anthony Van Dyck

Sired by legendary horse Galileo, Anthony Van Dyck has risen as one of the top racing horses after winning the 2019 Epsom Derby. He also took the Derby Trial Stakes in May, in his debut as a 3 year old.

In his most recent race, the Irish Derby, Anthony started as a 5/4 favorite but ended the race in 4th place despite making some nice progress during the race.

Given his impressive record of 8 top 3 finishes in 10 races, including 5 wins, it is hard not to count on Anthony Van Dyck as one of the heavy favorites for this race.


Constantinople is having an outstanding year, earning top 2 finishes in all 4 of his races thus far, and there is no reason to believe that the 2019 St. Lager Stakes will be anything different. Even if we go back to 2018, this horse hasn’t finished outside the top 3 since his very first race in August 2018. A full year and 7 more races under the belt, Constantinople will look to keep his impressive run going in this tournament.

Monday, 29 July 2019

Stuart Williams: Still Pulling Rabbits

Stuart Williams
Stuart Williams has operated from various locations in Newmarket – Graham Lodge, Trillium Place and, most recently, Diomed Stables – since taking out a training licence in 1993. He saddled his first winner, Greenback, in a lowly median auction maiden stakes race at Lingfield in March, 1994, and has since established a reputation for coaxing the best out of horses of budget level. Timeform once called him, “A conjurer of a trainer. One who can transform an apparently moderate animal into a frequent winner.”

Williams has saddled several high-profile, and prolific, winners over the years. In 2004, Sendintank started the year on a handicap mark of 50, but won ten handicaps on a variety of surfaces and finished the year on a handicap of 91. Just for good measure, the Halling gelding also won the Ladbrokes Mallard Handicap at York, off a mark of 96, the following September.

That same year, the Williams-trained Exponential, who had finished last of 13, beaten 17 lengths, on his debut at Beverley six weeks previously, landed a gamble from 100/1 in 8/1 in the Wright Brothers Maiden Auction Stakes at Nottingham. A spokesman for Ladbrokes, who reportedly lost £160,000 on the race, said, “This is the biggest winning market mover on a single day's trade we can remember.” The victory didn’t go unnoticed by the Jockey Club, who launched an investigation into betting patterns surrounding Exponential, who traded as high as 280/1 on the betting exchanges at one point.

Hogmaneigh, whom Williams originally bought for £18,000, won five of his 36 races for the yard and amassed nearly £148,000 in total prize money. His victories included the Vodafone “Dash” Stakes on Derby Day at Epsom in 2007 and the Portland Handicap at Doncaster in 2008. Eton Rifles whom he acquired, as 6-year-old, from David Elsworth in October 2011. Eton Rifles won five Listed races for the yard, including the Prix Contessina at Fontainebleu three years running in 2012, 2013, 2014. More recently, Williams also saddled Royal Birth to win the totescoop6 Heritage Handicap at Ascot in 2016 and the Betway Hever Sprint Stakes at Lingfield in 2017.

Williams had his best season so far, both numerically and monetarily, in 2016, when he saddled 51 winners and amassed just over £580,000 in total prize money. He couldn’t quite match those levels in 2017, but has made a bright start to 2018, with 9 winners and nearly £125,000 in total prize money, to lie third in the trainers’ championship table.