St Leger 2020 runner guide, odds, racecard and verdict

Horse of a lifetime Pyledriver heads a field of 11 runners in the £350,000 Pertemps St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday.

William Muir’s stable star bids for a first Classic success, after taking the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Great Voltigeur at York.

Jockey Martin Dwyer is chasing a first Group 1 victory since Sir Percy's 2006 Derby heroics.

Among Pyledriver's rivals are Irish Derby hero Santiago and Hukum, the mount of Jim Crowley, who has enjoyed a stellar season.

Aidan O'Brien team of three is completed by Dawn Patrol and Mythical, while Joseph O’Brien’s Galileo Chrome and Sunchart add to the Irish challenge.

Berkshire Rocco, Mohican Heights, Subjectivist and Tyson Fury complete the line-up.

The final Classic of the year was first run in 1776 and is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.

Here is Mirror Racing's horse-by-horse guide:

1. 13-224 Berkshire Rocco (8) Andrew Balding, Andrea Atzeni 40/1*

A well-regarded type given some tough assignments this season against a couple of these. Had a mid-season break and warmed up in satisfactory fashion behind Pyledriver at York. Could run well over this longer trip at a decent price.

2. 4-2313 Dawn Patrol (10) Aidan O'Brien, Padraig Beggy 18/1

Has the required stamina in his pedigree and stayed on strongly to take third in the Irish Derby, which was won by his stablemate and the reopposing Santiago. Third behind Pista last time, who advertised the form at the track this week, that still leaves him a fair way short of what is required here.

3. 71-154 English King (11) Ed Walker, Tom Marquand Non-runner

4. 5-111 Galileo Chrome (12) Joseph O'Brien, Shane Crosse 11/2

Firmly on an upward curve and a real market springer in recent days. Has excelled once given the chance to try longer distances, winning his last two starts by five and six lengths. A strong galloper, he will be doing all his best work at the finish. Yet to tackle a Group race, trainer Joseph O'Brien would not be bringing him over to make up the numbers.

5. 31-11 Hukum (1) Owen Burrows, Jim Crowley 7/2

Unbeaten in two starts this season, he graduated from handicap company to take the Geoffrey Freer Stakes against his elders. Hit the line strongly there under in-form jockey Jim Crowley and looks highly progressive. Lost a shoe and cut a leg during his Royal Ascot success, but still toughed it out. Faces better quality horses again this time so will need to step up once more.

6. 11-30 Mohican Heights (2) David Simcock, Jamie Spencer 25/1

Unbeaten in his starts as a two-year-old, he has not really fired this term. He chased home Pyledriver at Royal Ascot, shaping as though he needed a stronger test and was always well behind in the Derby. A half-brother to several stayers, it depends if he's A1 for this. If that's the case, he outrun his odds, with jockey Jamie Spencer in fine form since his return.

7. 43-503 Mythical (9) Aidan O'Brien, Emmet McNamara 50/1

Has only one won race and would probably prefer some give in the ground. Hard to fancy and may be adding the pace to the contest, with O'Brien's number one hope Santiago.

8. 7-2101 Pyledriver (4) William Muir, Martin Dwyer, 3/1

An impressive winner of the Great Voltigeur Stakes under a penalty, which has produced 14 winners of the St Leger, including Logician last year. Still improving for his small stable, there is a question mark over stamina. Will the top-rated runner be able to reproduce his turn of foot with an extra two and a half furlongs to travel? He hasn't won back-to-back races in his career either. A very good horse but there are viable alternatives.

9. 21-113 Santiago (6) Aidan O'Brien, Frankie Dettori 3/1

Aidan O'Brien's leading contender as the trainer seeks a seventh win in the race since 2001. Teams up with Frankie Dettori like they did in 2005 with Scorpion. A fluent winner on his first try over 1m 6f, Santiago added the Irish Derby for good measure. Had no extra to offer against Stradivarius the next time when he raced keenly and his finishing effort was used up a little earlier than desired. Had a nice break since and is the one to beat.

10. 321371 Subjectivist (5) Mark Johnston, Joe Fanning 14/1

Thrives on racing and this half-brother to last year’s Leger second Sir Ron Priestley won by 15 lengths in lesser company on his most recent start. Rated 10lb lower than Pyledriver, he will give his all from the front but will do well to fight some of his classier rivals off in the closing stages.

11. 1-5822 Sunchart (7) Andrew Slattery, Andrew Slattery 50/1

Unlikely to be good enough to win this, on form with Dawn Patrol. Has finished well behind when tried in Group company previously.

12. 1 Tyson Fury (3) Richard Spencer, Kieran Shoemark 80/1

An unknown quantity with just the one start and win to his name, he has always been well-regarded by his team. Recorded good fractions on debut, but the level of the form leaves him with a lot to find. Will be interesting to see how he goes.

VERDICT

Santiago has all the attributes to win this for Aidan O'Brien and Frankie Dettori. He ran a good race against his elders and a superb horse in Stradivarius last time, when he traded blows with runner-up Nayef Road early enough. Back in trip a couple of furlongs, he has been freshened up since and will take all the beating under Frankie Dettori.

*Best industry odds at the time of publication, subject to change

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