St Leger Stakes 2022 date: TBD
Type: group 1 classic flat race
Age of the horses: 3 year old colts and fillies
Distance: 1 mile 6 furlongs 115 yards
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.
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.
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.
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.
Meanwhile, check out our Horse Racing Betting Offers page.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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: