St Leger Stakes Date is Saturday, 12 September 2020 (NEW time - 3:35 PM)
Type: Group 1 Classic Flat Race
Age Of The Horses: 3 Year Old Colts And Fillies
Distance: 1 Mile 6 Furlongs 115 Yards
Winner 2019: Logician
The oldest Classic in horse racing is the St Leger Stakes, first run on Cantley Common outside Doncaster in 1776. As the brainchild of politician and British army officer Anthony St Leger, it moved to its current location, Town Moor, two years later where Doncaster Racecourse has since built up.
Originally staged over two miles, the St Leger was cut to nearer its current distance in 1813. As the third and final leg of the Triple Crown, along with the 1000 or 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and The Oaks or Derby at Epsom Downs depending on a racehorse’s gender, winners can go on to have careers at stud which influence the breeding of National Hunt types.
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2020 St Leger Stakes Info
Famous modern winners of the St Leger Stakes include Nijinsky and Oh So Sharp, the last colt and filly to complete the Triple Crown respectively; Commanche Run, Shantou, Milan, Brian Boru, Scorpion and Conduit. The emphasis is very much on stamina in this Classic, unlike the other age restricted races over a mile and a mile-and-a-half which happen earlier in the season.
Three-year-olds are supposed to strengthen up as the year progresses. The St Leger is an established part of the British pattern programme for the autumn and competes with Irish Champions Weekend in the Emerald Isle. It remains the centrepiece and culmination of the four-day St Leger Festival at Doncaster.
2020 St Leger Stakes Runners & Favourites
There are 15 horses entered in the St Leger and it is from these runners that the winner will be crowned on Town Moor. Check out who is gunning for Classic glory:
- Berkshire Rocco (Andrew Balding)
- Dawn Patrol (Aidan O’Brien, IRE)*
- English King (Ed Walker)
- Galileo Chrome (Joseph O’Brien, IRE)*
- Hukum (Owen Burrows)
- Max Vega (Ralph Beckett)
- Mohican Heights (David Simcock)
- Mythical (Aidan O’Brien, IRE)*
- Pyledriver (William Muir)
- Santiago (Aidan O’Brien, IRE)*
- Subjectivist (Mark Johnston)
- Sunchart (Andrew Slattery, IRE)
- Tiger Moth (Aidan O’Brien, IRE)*
- Tyson Fury (Richard Spencer)
- Believe In Love (Roger Varian)**
*Holds an early closing entry in the Irish St Leger the following day.
**Filly, holds five-day entries in the Park Hill Stakes and Doncaster Cup also during the St Leger meeting.
You will find betting on the St Leger Stakes for most of the year. As the Flat season goes on, the picture becomes clearer on which horses are fancied. As an early closing race, you should be able to find out who is entered in it well ahead of the event. Owners and trainers do have the option to supplement horses for it at the five-day declaration stage, though. Any ante post bets you place on the race must take their chance, however, or you will lose your stake.
That is one of the risks run by gambling in advance. On the plus side, you are more likely to get bigger and thus better odds. Check out these fancied St Leger Stakes horses for this year’s race:
The Queen’s Vase is a key St Leger trial, so Santiago is of obvious interest on the back of his Royal Ascot victory. One of many that could target the race trained in Ireland by Aidan O’Brien, the Authorized colt has also followed-up on that with a Classic victory in the Irish Derby. That drop back in trip may not have entirely suited Santiago, who just prevailed by a head over a mile-and-a-half at The Curragh. He has still made great strides and improved vastly on his juvenile form.
Watch Santiago win The Queen’s Vase 2020 at Ascot:
The way Santiago stayed on so strongly at Ascot and had his rivals well strung out in-behind suggests that the St Leger Stakes is the trip he wants. He has since taken on his elders in the Goodwood Cup, but his Irish Derby exertions may have taken their toll. Despite receiving 15lb weight for age, he took on champion stayer Stradivarius and weakened in the final furlong, beaten just over two lengths into third by Nayef Road.
Those rivals were thorough stayers and Santiago had just the sixth race of his life at Glorious Goodwood. Just because he didn’t quite see out two miles yet doesn’t mean the St Leger trip is beyond him. Far from it. Going back against horses of his own age is a plus for Santiago, as is a longer break between races. That is why not all bookmakers pushed his odds out following Goodwood and why he is a top-price 3/1 with Paddy Power for more Classic glory.
Best Odds On Santiago are On Betfair Exchange (7/2)
Also towards the fore in the ante post betting is Great Voltigeur Stakes hero Pyledriver. His win at York’s Ebor Festival was all the more impressive as he gave weight away all-round for a previous win in the grade. Trained by William Muir, this Harbour Watch colt does have stamina doubts on breeding, but has won two of his three starts over a mile-and-a-half well enough. Pyledriver wasn’t stopping or tiring when he hit the line in the Great Voltigeur either.
The bookies have been slow learners with this plucky horse. He wasn’t fancied to win either the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot or his York triumph, but defied double figure odds on both occasions. Pyledriver shaped really nicely indeed prior to that in a competitive Group 3 contest on the all-weather at Kempton, but has since taken his form to a new level. Bookmakers are taking no chances with him this time, however.
If staying the extra extended quarter mile, then Pyledriver’s form is as good as anything else lining up in the St Leger this season.
Up-and-coming trainer Owen Burrows has the progressive Hukum out to take yet another step forward. Like Pyledriver and Santiago, he tasted victory at Royal Ascot albeit in handicap company. It is fascinating how the St Leger betting is bult around three winners from that illustrious summer festival. Hukum has since proven himself far better than a handicapper after building upon his King George V Stakes success by following-up in the Geoffrey Freer at Newbury when last in action.
He took on his elders for the first time over a longer trip that day and won convincingly on a softer surface. Owner Hamdan Al Maktoum of Shadwell fame and retained rider Jim Crowley have had a fine season too.
Granted further improvement, and Hukum is entitled to make it now back against horses his own age over another furlong further, his St Leger claims look solid. That is why he is a 4/1 chance with Betfair in the market after punters consistently supported him since the Newbury win.
Dawn Patrol (11/1) and Tiger Moth (12/1)
Another Ballydoyle inmate with claims for the St Leger Stakes is Dawn Patrol. Although he has only just broken his maiden tag, he was a nearest at the finish third in the Irish Derby when beaten 5¼ lengths by Santiago and fellow stable companion Tiger Moth. The pair’s form ties in closely together, as the latter beat Dawn Patrol in a maiden before their crack at Ireland’s premier Classic. Both have plenty of scope for further progress.
Tiger Moth was just a head behind Santiago at the line and stayed on really well. That suggests he will relish any step up in trip. Dawn Patrol being slightly shorter in the St Leger betting at 11/1 with Unibet suggests that the top-price 12/1 with Betfred about Tiger Moth is also well worth considering, given the finishing order of the Irish Derby. Whether O’Brien aims all of those who placed that day at Doncaster remains to be seen.
Thunderous (16/1) – not running
Yorkshire Dales trainer Mark Johnston had the second and third in the St Leger Stakes last season, so on that basis Dante hero Thunderous enters calculations. That Group 2 contest is a Classic trial, albeit in normal circumstances for The Derby rather than this race. However, the way that the Night Of Thunder colt belied his breeding to win at York should dispel any stamina doubts. Thunderous was strongest in the final half-furlong of the extended mile-and-a-quarter test.
In order to put his staying credentials to the test, he could run again on the Knavesmire in the Great Voltigeur. That may be under a penalty because of that previous course success for Thunderous. The dam side of his pedigree has more stamina, so that gives bettors hope that he will get the St Leger trip. At ante post odds of 16/1 with BetVictor, Thunderous has won four of his five starts and, having lowered the colours of Sir Michael Stoute’s highly-regarded Highest Ground last time out, cannot be discounted.
Al Aasy (16/1) – not running
William Haggas has a St Leger Stakes hopeful in Al Aasy after his win the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy over a mile and five furlongs during the July Festival at Newmarket. The son of Sea The Stars found a mile-and-a-quarter too sharp when fifth to subsequent Prix du Jockey Club hero Mishriff at Listed level. However, when stepped up to a mile-and-a-half Al Aasy bolted up by 10 lengths in a novice event also run on the Rowley Mile at headquarters.
The way he ran on well for a comfortable success on the July course, accounting for Dawn Rising by 1¾ lengths, suggests he could be a stayer. It is easy to forgive Al Aasy his last run under a penalty when last of six in the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. The drop back in trip and race terms were both against him. It was also his fourth run in just seven weeks, so a break to freshen up before the St Leger could be wise now. Al Aasy is also a 16/1 shot with Betfair if going back up in trip for the Classic.
St Leger Stakes Stats & Trends
- Most successful horse – As a Classic, the St Leger can only be won once.
- Leading jockey – Bill Scott rode a record nine winners in mid-1800s. Lester Piggott partnered eight victors, but Frankie Dettori is the most successful active rider with six wins. They were Classic Cliché (1995), Shantou (1996), Scorpion (2005), Sixties Icon (2006), Conduit (2008) and Logician (2019).
Frankie Dettori and Logician after Winning the 2019 St Legers Stakes:
- Leading trainer – John Scott trained a whopping 16 St Leger Stakes winners between 1827 and 1862. In the modern era, Aidan O’Brien has saddled six scorers in Milan (2001), Brian Boru (2003), Scorpion (2005), Leading Light (2013), Capri (2017) and Kew Gardens (2018). John Gosden has handled five St Leger heroes to date in Shantou (1996), Lucarno (2007), Arctic Cosmos (2010), Masked Marvel (2011) and Logician (2019).
- Leading owner – Including his Godolphin global breeding operation, Sheikh Mohammed has owned a record nine winners of the St Leger. They are Oh So Sharp (1985), Moonax (1994), Classic Cliché (1995), Shantou (1996), Nedawi (1998), Mutafaweq (1999), Rule Of Law (2004), Mastery (2009) and Encke (2012).
- Age – As all St Leger entrants must be three-year-olds, there is no age profile for the race.
As one of the premier Flat races run in the UK, the St Leger Stakes is one that bookmakers are bound to have bonuses and promotions for. Check back closer to the time of the race to view the latest betting offers for it.
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St Leger Stakes Past Winners
These are the previous race winners of the St Leger over the last 10 years. You can also read all about the last three renewals below the table:
What Happened in 2019?
Logician made it five wins from five and completed an unbeaten season with victory in the St Leger Stakes. Sent off odds-on as the 5/6 favourite under Frankie Dettori, he became just the second colt owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah of Juddmonte Farms to land the Doncaster Classic. Logician was also the fifth St Leger winner for trainer John Gosden. Despite taking a keen hold early on, Dettori steadied his mount and held him up towards the rear of the eight-runner field.
Frankie Dettori riding Logician at the St Legers Stakes (2019):
After making very smooth headway three furlongs from home, Logician switched towards the stands’ side to continue his run. He led two out when asked and was ridden clear approaching the final furlong before staying on strongly for a ready 2¼ lengths victory over 7/1 chance Sir Ron Priestley, who was just a head in front of Mark Johnston’s other runner, the 40/1 outsider Nayef Road. Irish raiders filled the minor places with Sir Dragonet fourth at 11/4 and 8/1 shot Il Paradiso fifth.
2018 St Leger Stakes Result
Master Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore followed-up on their St Leger Stakes success from the previous year thanks to Kew Gardens. The Queen’s Vase and Grand Prix de Paris scorer was back in the winner’s enclosure at Doncaster after landing odds of 3/1. After tracking the leaders around Town Moor, Kew Gardens started making headway approaching three out. He led at the two-furlong marker and was ridden clear approaching the last.
He then stayed on strongly for a 2¼ lengths win over John Gosden trained filly and 7/4 favourite Lah Ti Dar. O’Brien also had the third home in the St Leger Stakes, Southern France, who beaten a further 4½ lengths at 20/1. Kew Gardens reversed The Derby form with Epsom runner-up Dee Ex Bee, who came fourth at 9/1 for Mark Johnston. Godolphin’s Great Voltigeur Stakes winner Old Persian finished fifth at odds of 8/1.
2017 St Leger Stakes Result
Irish Derby hero Capri completed a Classic double at Doncaster with St Leger success. The grey colt was a fifth winner of the race for Aidan O’Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore. After racing in touch, he tracked the leaders half-a-mile from home and put his nose in front three furlongs out. Capri soon came under a ride and then a drive, but stayed on strongly to justify favouritism and a 3/1 starting price for a half-length victory over Sir Michael Stoute’s 5/1 chance Crystal Ocean.
He was a short-head in front of 9/2 shot Stradivarius for John Gosden who won the Queen’s Vase. The front three pulled 1½ lengths clear of Irish raider Rekindling, returned at 10/1 for trainer-jockey brothers Joseph and Donnacha O’Brien who went on to land the Melbourne Cup. Gosden also had 8/1 filly Coronet beaten a further 1¼ lengths in fifth. This competitive renewal of the St Leger Stakes was all about Capri, though.
Key Trials for the Juddmonte International
Throughout the summer, there are Classic trials for the St Leger Stakes. It can prove wise, for instance, to look at horses that finished down the field in The Derby who stayed on late. Here are the main Group races that throw up winners of the St Leger:
- The Derby (Epsom Downs) – Serpentine
- Queen’s Vase (Royal Ascot) – Santiago
- Bahrain Trophy (Newmarket) – Al Aasy
- Gordon Stakes (Glorious Goodwood) – Mogul
- Great Voltigeur Stakes (York) – Upcoming: 19 August
- March Stakes (Goodwood) – Upcoming: 29 August