Tomorrow at Flemington’s Anzac Day meeting local trainer John Sadler will shoot for his third win in the 2012 VRC St Leger with his promising Starcraft colt Starkiato taking on a smart field of fellow three-year-olds.
Running as Flemington Race 6 at 3:55pm the $150,000 Listed VRC St Leger (2800m) field features 16 hopefuls with the bookmaker.com.au odds led by Michael Kent’s last start stakes winner Backbone ($3.80).
Another one of the single figure fancies in the VRC St Leger betting markets is then Starkiato who has drawn the ‘visitor’s gate’ in 16.
Over the 2800-metres, which they see for the first time, Starkiato should have plenty of time to work their way into a winning position and they have one of the best hoops on their back in Glen Boss.
Taking over the riding duties from Luke Currie last start Boss rode Starkiato to a close second when beaten just a long neck by Streets Of Seattle in a 2400m handicap at Sandown on April 18.
“He still found the line the other day when he got exposed a little bit early,” Sadler said.
“He’s a better chaser and a couple of times in his races he’s got to the front a little bit too soon.
“He seems to have come through that race really well which surprised me as he’s been up a long time.
“As he’s gone on he’s become more genuine.
“His form is pretty honest. He was unlucky in a pretty good form race at Caulfield when he wasn’t beaten far and got turned side-on so you can definitely make a case for him having a good chance in the race.
“He’s always shown us something but it’s taken a while to come.”
Sadler has given Boss free reign when it comes to riding tactics for the St Leger from the wide barrier, the trainer hopeful Starkiato can be their third VRC St Leger winner following Sadler’s earlier successes with Full At Last (1988) and Bohemiath (1998).
“We haven’t had much luck with the draw; I’ll just leave it to Bossy,” Sadler said.
“We’ve liked him (Starkiato) all along but didn’t really picture him as a St Leger horse.
“I thought he’d be about a 2000 metre horse.”
The other main dangers in this year’s VRC St Leger field and markets include Peter Moody’s Galilee Final third placed Vatuvei ($6), Duel Lover ($7.50) out to give trainer Nigel Blackiston back-to-back wins in the race after the success of Right Of Refusal 12 months ago, and Jim Conlan’s up-and-coming Zabeel grey Rive Gauche ($8.50).
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