Race Assessment: VRC St Leger

Flemington Race 6 | The VRC St Leger | 2800m 3YO Open LR SW  | 4.00pm AEST

The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 with the rail out 10m the entire circuit. from the 400m to winning post and true for the remainder.

There is a 60% chance of a very light shower on Wednesday (1mm-2mm), which shouldn’t have any impact on the track at all. Expect the track to race in the Good 4 – Good 3 range.

History suggests that a few horses off the fence (3-5) will provide at least some advantage on the day. That typically suits those settling off the lead in stalking positions, able to peel out and run-on in the straight from not too far back.

Speed and Tactics 

Delos (5), Bijou Belle (4) and Runaway (2) should be ridden positively. In a large field like this there’s also likely to be at least a couple of wider drawn runners that will see little option but to press forward to look for a position somewhere handy to the pace. Grand Casino (16) and Maheera (17) look potential candidates to do that, with possible Creedence (10) who has blinkers on for the first time.

While there doesn’t appear to be high pressure in the race, there should be enough happening early, which combined with a large field should ensure a decent pace for the 2800m

Early Pace Rating: Average

Late Pace Rating: Average

Best Suited: 2 to 6 lengths off lead

WFA Performance Ratings - Winning Benchmark

The race really does revolve around the performance of Astoria. Aside from his last start run in the ATC Derby, he’s consistently rated between 91.5 and 96.9 at 2000m+ which is comfortably clear of the established peak of other runners in the race.

If he was to under-perform then a rating of 87-88 at the weights is likely good enough to win.

Race Assessment

In our assessed price order:

2. Astoria: Forecast 91.5 - 96. Assessed $1.85

His ATC Derby run says beaten 35.8L, but it’s perhaps one of the most misleading margins you’ll ever see in a form-guide. After settling back in the field, he was moving very stylishly into the race, saving ground along the fence and looked like he had plenty to offer. However, at the 350m mark in the straight he was blocked into the fence and eased out of the race from that point on. His prior 95.3 rating when a narrow 2nd to Levendi is dominant in this race and reads very well considering Levendi won the Derby. Aside from that rating he has recorded between 91.3 and 96.9 in his last 5 runs, which go back to last Spring. That peak 96.9 came in the VRC Derby over 2500m as an early 3YO, so there’s no reason to be worried about 2800m here. With dominant rating credentials and a draw / track that is likely to suit his style, he’s rightfully a clear-cut favourite and in my opinion wins this race more than 50% of the time. That certainly doesn’t make him a good thing, but I my book he deserves to be odds-on.

10. High Energy: Forecast 86 - 90. Assessed $15.00

His run in the Galilee Final was enormous after sitting 3W the trip, covering ground 6-7w on the bend and still finishing off strongly once he balanced up. That performance does look the main danger here, but I can’t get too carried away with it given it was a Soft track and he did start 66/1 off the back of prior form which was more moderate. This is his seventh run in his first prep.

9. Alpha: Forecast 84 - 87. Assessed $23.00

He was poor in the Galilee but did start shorter than many of these and is the most lightly raced with potential to improve. He has to be considered a longshot, but a much-improved performance would not surprise.

3. Runaway: Forecast 84-87. Assessed $26.00

Bring different form from Geelong and some solid ratings that suggest he’s right up to a race like this if Astoria under-performs. The problem is that it’s likely to be a disadvantage trying to race on pace from an inside draw on this track in a race of this nature.

1. Won Won Too: Forecast 93 - 87. Assessed $26.00

Was good winning the Galilee Final but did have a charmed run. I think if you swap the runs among a few different horses we end up with a few different winners in that race and that’s a possible scenario here as he draws 15 compared to 2 last start. I can’t have him any better than just in a big bunch with other longshots.

13. Maheera: 83.5 - 87. Assessed $26.00

Worked hard early in the Galilee and battled on well to be beaten 2.3L. Has to content with a wide draw again but has the Weir polish so she can’t be totally discounted.

4. Antipas: Forecast 83 - 87. Assessed $26.00

His Oakbank win last started rated competitive with the majority bunch here and he might have a bit more to offer up in distance.

6. Rezealient: Forecast 84 - 86. Assessed $26.00

Narrowly beaten in the Galilee but never left the fence the entire way and faces a much more challenging run from barrier 14 here.

8. Grand Casino: Forecast 84 - 86. Assessed $26.00

Every chance when 5th in the Galilee, but was only 2nd up and has some scope to improve.

17. Seven Falls: Forecast 83 - 86. Assessed $31.00

First emergency from NZ and with just 4 starts that profile deserves some respect.

5. Wolfe Tone: Forecast 82 - 86. Assessed $41.00

Started shortest of these in the Galilee but had every chance beaten 3.1L. He does have a 94 rating when beaten 3.8L at 200/1 in the VRCE Derby last spring so there is some staying talent there, but in this case that looks a spike and the rest of his form places him as a clear longshot.

7. Delos: Forecast 80 - 86. Assessed $41.00

Has won his last two at Newcastle and Goulburn for the Waterhouse / Bott Stable but needs to find a big new peak here.

11. Creedence: Forecast 82 - 85. Assessed $61.00

Was poor in the Galilee. Prior form is somewhere in the bunch, but it’s hard to get away from that last start failure.

15. Bijou Belle: Forecast 83 - 85. Assessed $81.00

Dropped out last start beaten 23.8L with no obvious excuse. Her prior ratings were okay, but it would be a big surprise if she won this.

12. Fantastic Rock: Forecast 80 - 84. Assessed $101.00

Beaten in a Pakenham Maiden LS. A new peak is possible after just 3 career runs, but it will need to be a big improvement.

14. Miss Lillian Forecast 81 - 83. Assessed $151.00

Her ratings don’t look up to this.

16. Blue Jay Way: Forecast 79 - 82. Assessed $251.00

Was poor in the Galilee. Prior form is somewhere in the bunch, but it’s hard to get away from that last start failure.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Astoria – Bet to WIN at > $1.85 Stake 2.3% of your total bank.

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