Can race trends help you find the winner of the St Leger at Doncaster?

Mickael Barzalona and Encke celebrates after beating hot favourite Camelot and Joseph O Brien to win the Ladbrokes St Leger Stakes during the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival at Doncaster Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 15, 2012. See PA Story RACING Doncaster. Photo credit should read: John Giles/PA Wire.

Mickael Barzalona and Encke celebrates after beating hot favourite Camelot and Joseph O Brien to win the Ladbrokes St Leger Stakes during the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival at Doncaster Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 15, 2012. See PA Story RACING Doncaster. Photo credit should read: John Giles/PA Wire.

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Few subjects divide racing followers more than trends.

The race-profile patterns that supposedly help determine which kind of horse can or cannot win.

The statistics, based on previous runnings of a particular race, which could tell you, for instance, that horses carrying more than 9-0 cannot win it.

Or that three-year-olds rarely win it. Or that horses with handicap marks lower than 90 always win it. Or that only two-year-olds with previous experience can possibly win it.

Punters either embrace trends with religious zeal or disregard them with ruthless scorn.

Personally, I find them a useful tool to have on board, providing at least ten years’ worth of relevant data can be accurately assessed.

Particularly at the big, long-established meetings and in the major contests, trends are a means of providing an angle, a way-in to your race study.

But do they provide the means to finding winners?

Let’s experiment and look at this weekend’s big race, the final Classic of the Flat season, the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster.

Based on the previous ten runnings of the race, these are the top ten pertinent trends that stand out:

1. All of the last ten winners finished in the first three last time out.

2. Nine of the last ten winners had won previously that season.

3. The sires of nine of the last ten winners had a stamina index of a minimum of 9.6 furlings.

4. All of the last ten winners had finished in the first two over 1m4f or further.

5. All of the last ten winners had finished in the first three in a Group race.

6. Nine of the last ten winners had run a minimum of four times that season.

7. All of the last ten winners had a minimum Racing Post Rating (RPR) of 126.

8. All of the last ten winners had run over a minimum of 1m4f in their last two starts.

9. All of the last ten winners had an official BHA rating of a minimum of 111.

10. Nine of the last ten winners had their last run in either the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York or the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood.

All pretty strong trends, I am sure you’ll agree. But now let’s apply them to the likely runners in Saturday’s Leger. Here are the qualifiers for each trend:

1. Excess Knowledge, Eye Of The Storm, Feel Like Dancing, Foundry, Galileo Rock, Great Hall, Leading Light, Secret Number.

2. Cap O’Rushes, Feel Like Dancing, Great Hall, Leading Light, Libertarian, London Bridge, Ralston Road, Talent.

3. Cap O’Rushes, Excess Knowledge, Eye Of The Storm, Feel Like Dancing, Foundry, Galileo Rock, Great Hall, Havana Beat, Leading Light, Libertarian, Ralston Road, Talent.

4. Cap O’Rushes, Excess Knowledge, Feel Like Dancing, Foundry, Galileo Rock, Great Hall, Leading Light, Libertarian, London Bridge, Ralston Road, Talent.

5. Cap O’Rushes, Excess Knowledge, Eye Of The Storm, Feel Like Dancing, Foundry, Galileo Rock, Havana Beat, Leading Light, Libertarian, Secret Number, Talent.

6. Cap O’Rushes, Feel Like Dancing, Havana Beat, Libertarian, London Bridge, Ralston Road, Secret Number.

7. Cap O’Rushes, Excess Knowledge, Galileo Rock, Libertarian, Talent.

8. Cap O’Rushes, Feel Like Dancing, Galileo Rock, Great Hall, Havana Beat, Libertarian, London Bridge, Ralston Road, Secret Number, Talent.

9. Eye Of The Storm, Galileo Rock, Libertarian, Talent.

10. Cap O’Rushes, Excess Knowledge, Foundry, Havana Beat, Secret Number.

Now finally, let’s make the findings relevant to the race by awarding one point for each qualification and totting them all up. These are the final totals:

CAP O’RUSHES -- 8 points.

EXCESS KNOWLEDGE -- 6 points.

EYE OF THE STORM -- 4 points.

FEEL LIKE DANCING -- 7 points.

FOUNDRY -- 5 points.

GALILEO ROCK -- 7 points.

GREAT HALL -- 5 points.

HAVANA BEAT -- 5 points.

LEADING LIGHT -- 5 points.

LIBERTARIAN -- 8 points.

LONDON BRIDGE -- 4 points.

RALSTON ROAD -- 5 points.

SECRET NUMBER -- 5 points.

TALENT -- 7 points.

So there you have it. A crude method of finding the winner, you might think. And maybe a method that has actually further muddied the waters of a hellishly difficult Leger to solve.

But love ‘em or hate ‘em, the trends tell us that Saturday’s race will be won by either Libertarian or Cap O’Rushes to maintain Godolphin’s fine record in the Leger in recent years, with Galileo Rock, Feel Like Dancing and Talent battling it out for third and fourth.