Irish St Leger Trial betting tips: Southern France has big shout in Classic prep run

The 2018 Irish St Leger Trial betting tips given by Horsebetting.com experts say Southern France is worth a wager to land the spoils en route to either the Curragh Classic or Doncaster equivalent next month. Aidan O’Brien stablemate Giuseppe Garibaldi is feared most, while Twilight Payment rates a good each-way bet for the 1m 6f Group 3 race on Saturday, 25 August. There’s more in our 2018 Irish St Leger Trial betting tips preview.

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Odds
5/2
Selection
Southern France
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Odds
9/2
Danger
Giuseppe Garibaldi
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Betfred logo
Odds
11/2
E/W
Twilight Payment
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Southern France can land spoils in Curragh’s Leger Trial

Ballydoyle maestro Aidan O’Brien has won the last four renewals of the Irish St Leger Trial at The Curragh and has leading contenders to do so again in this year’s race on Saturday (15:25). Southern France is the pick of his runners to land the spoils in the 1m 6f Group 3 test en route to either Classic bearing that name next month.

All four O’Brien horses in this are three-year-old sons of Galileo, but Southern France has the best record of two wins and as many seconds in four career outings to date. After being just denied by a head on debut at Navan back in April, he was stepped up to 1m 4f for the first time and landed a Leopardstown maiden when scoring by a comfortable 2 1/2 lengths from Cypress Creek.

Southern France was then pitched into Listed company back at Navan and won again when always holding the runner-up over 1m 5f and finding plenty for pressure to run out a half-a-length victor. Connections then went to Royal Ascot, stepping him up in class and distance again for the Group 2 Queen’s Vase.

Seamie Heffernan gave Southern France plenty to do as the race developed but – despite some signs of greenness – he made headway before the final furlong, was then switched and ran on well to take second at the death behind Kew Gardens. Although no match for the winner and beaten 4 1/2 lengths, there was lots to like about his staying credentials over this trip.

If he does go on contest the final Classic of the season on either side of the Irish Sea, then Southern France will need a better ride than he got at Royal Ascot. As Kew Gardens has come out and won a Group 1 in France since and then given weight all-round when a close-up third in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York’s Ebor Festival, the form has a solid look.

After just four runs, Southern France is one of the least exposed horses in this Leger Trial and an official mark of 107 may still underestimate his ability. He gets weight-for-age to the tune of 10lb from the older horses, so that is another huge plus in a race where entries are closely matched on ratings.

There is simply nothing not to like about Southern France in this and, with even more to come from him, he can win this prep run en route to potentially bigger and better things. He thus appeals most among 2018 Irish St Leger Trial betting tips.

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Giuseppe Garibaldi also respected

Course and distance winner Flag Of Honour is top rated of the O’Brien quartet, but has to give 5lb to his fellow three-year-olds for landing the Group 2 Curragh Cup last time out. That makes him worse off at the weights with a rival he has beaten 1 1/2 lengths twice in stablemate Giuseppe Garibaldi who, at those revised terms, is taken instead as the main danger to Southern France.

He has made great strides this season landing a 1m 5f maiden at Navan when beating the aforementioned Cypress Creek by 1 1/2 lengths back in June. Connections quickly turned Giuseppe Garibaldi out again five days later and he landed a Listed affair at Leopardstown when staying on strongly and asserting near the finish in the 1m 4f King George V Cup.

Stepping up into Group 2 company off the back of that effort saw him far from disgraced when a two-length third to Old Persian in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot. The winner has gone on to land the aforementioned Great Voltigeur following a monster gamble, while the runner-up Rostropovich was again a gallant half-a-length second in the Irish Derby.

That is strong form and Giuseppe Garibaldi then tackled 1m 6f for the first time in the Curragh Cup at this venue. He kept on well without being able to match Flag Of Honour, but now meets that re-opposing rival on better terms and that should be enough to make it third time lucky in their head-to-head battle.

Something looked clearly amiss with Giuseppe Garibaldi last time out when he was a seven-length third to Wells Farhh Go in the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy over 1m 5f at Newmarket. Connections have given him a break to freshen up since after five races in 40 days, so he should be spot on to do himself justice and give Southern France plenty to think about.

Twilight Payment has each-way claims

Of the older horses, Godolphin owned five-year-old Twilight Payment has twice placed in this race, showed improved form since being gelded and looks an each-way alternative to consider to the O’Brien contingent. Trained by Jim Bolger, this son of Teofilo recorded his second career success at Listed level last time out when an assertive 3 1/2 lengths winner of Her Majesty’s Plate at Down Royal – franking the Curragh Cup form in the process.

Twilight Payment has almost made a career of being placed behind Order Of St George – a three-time winner of this Classic Trial – and it was nice to see him step out of that one’s shadow with victory on his previous outing. Weight-for-age is against him here, but it was last year and he still managed to make the frame.

The Leger Trial 12 months ago was a hot for the grade affair with Twilight Payment beating top dual-purpose gelding Wicklow Brave, who had won the 2016 renewal of the Classic, half-a-length into fourth and the runner-up Rekindling went on to land the Melbourne Cup.

A repeat of that run here gives Twilight Payment claims of making the frame and it’s worth remembering he had to give a whole stone to Flag Of Honour in the Curragh Cup on his penultimate start. There’s now a 9lb swing for being beaten 4 3/4 lengths, so means he holds every chance of reversing the places – not just on that one, but Giuseppe Garibaldi too.

For those reasons, you simply cannot discount Twilight Payment, who also had excuses in the Curragh Cup when slightly impeded before entering the final furlong. He makes most appeal as an each-way punt in our 2018 Irish St Leger Trial betting tips as a result.

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