Crystal Ocean Tops Betting to Win 2017 St Leger
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Crystal Ocean is the 7/2 favourite with bet365 to win the 2017 St Leger, where the British horse has been heavily tipped for the 1m6f contest ever since his victory in the Group Three Gordon Stakes at Goodwood last month.
Crystal Ocean had never prevailed in a Group contest before his Goodwood win; however, the way he quickened up inside the final furlong, before putting over three lengths between himself and his rivals when crossing the line, he looks a strong contender to provide his trainer with his second success in the oldest British Classic.
Last season’s Champion Jockey Jim Crowley is set to ride the three-year-old as Crystal Ocean’s usual pilot, Ryan Moore, is retained by Aidan O’Brien. Moore will instead be on board Capri, the winner of the Irish Derby at the Curragh.
British trainer Roger Varian won his maiden Classic in the 2014 St Leger when Kingston Hill justified favouritism to land the Doncaster contest. The Newmarket-based trainer will be hoping Defoe can follow in his footsteps at Town Moor.
Defoe started his campaign at Newbury in May and since then he has won on all four of his starts where he has gradually been stepped up in trip. His latest win really did showcase his St Leger credentials as he was successful of 1m5f and picked up his opening victory at Group level.
O’Brien is set to bring a strong challenge over from Ireland as he looks for his fourth British Classic win of the year. Capri heads the charge and is second best in the betting at 4/1. The son of Galileo is expected to improve for the step up in distance and could end up going off as the favourite if punters get behind the Ballydoyle runner on the day.
The St Leger is live on ITV1 and part of a seven-race card at Doncaster, which also includes the Park Stakes and Champagne Stakes.