St. Leger Stakes

St. Leger Stakes ? Race Details:

When:
September
Track Location:
Doncaster Racecourse, Doncaster
Race Distance:
1 mile, 6 furlongs, 132 yards (2937metres)
Race Status:
Group 1
Race Conditions:
Three-year-old Thoroughbred Colts & Fillies (excludes Geldings) at Set Weights
Weights:
Colts- 9 stone / Fillies- 3 stone 11 pounds
Stakes:
?500 000
Inaugurated:
1776

The St. Leger Stakes is the third and final race in the esteemed England Triple Crown series. Run over a distance of 1 mile, 6 furlongs and 132 yards on a left-handed turf track, this Group 1 Classic race is held at the Doncaster Racecourse in September each year. Only three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies can qualify for this event and compete for the ?500 000 offered in prize money.

First run on 24 September 1776 when the filly Allabaculia claimed victory, the St. Leger Stakes is the oldest and longest distanced of Great Britain?s five Classics. This race is also the third leg of the Fillies Triple Crown, which starts with the 1000 Guineas Stakes and Epsom Oaks.

When betting on the St. Leger, punters backing the ante-post favourites in recent years have had much success with 11 of the past 16 races won by the favourite. Because the St. Leger is the last of the Classics to take place and is held late in the season, there are plenty of lead-up races and chances for punters get a good idea of the performance and current form of the horses contending this race.

It is important to look at the career statistics of not only the runners but their trainers and jockeys as well. Over the last decade, Irish trainer Aidan O?Brien has produced three winners, Scorpion (2005), Brian Boru (2003) and Milan (2001); his entries are often a good bet for the St. Leger. Another trainer who has dominatee the St. Leger scene in recent years is the famous Godolphin stables? Saeed bin Suroor. Four horses trained by Suroor have claimed victory in the St. Leger, Classic Cliche (1995), Nedwai (1998), Mutafaweq (1999) and most recently Rule of Law in 2004. So keep an eye on any entries trained by Suroor in the next St. Leger Stakes.

Because of the long distance of this event, looking at the performances of three-year-olds over similar distance races of around two miles in the months leading up to the St. Leger can be a great indication of which horses have the stamina and fitness to excel in the event. There are a range of quality prep races for the St. Leger, including the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes (1 mile 4 furlongs). This is often the last race St. Leger entries will run prior to the event, and it has been an excellent guide in recent years as six of the last ten St. Leger winners placed within the top four in the Great Voltigeur, including Lucarno in 2007.

Other key lead-up races to watch are the:

Group 1 Irish Derby (1 mile 4 furlongs) at Curragh in late June
Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes (1 mile 4 furlongs) at Ascot in June
Group 3 Gordon Stakes (1 mile 4 furlongs) at Goodwood in late July

In the last ten years five St. Leger winners finished within the top five in the Irish Derby and three horses managed to win the Gordon Stakes and the St. Leger in the same season. Many runners may also have competed in the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Epsom Derby (1 mile 4 furlongs) in early June. Any of these prep races, when combined with the St. Leger, make some of the most popular betting doubles with English bookies and punters. If you can pick the horse to claim victory in two of these race you will see a very profitable return!

The English Triple Crown, although still considered one of the most coveted feats in thoroughbred racing, has not been won since Nijinsky II in 1970. Recently Triple Crown contenders that have previously run in the first two legs of the series, the 2000 Guineas and Epsom Derby, have not been seen on the field for the St. Leger. Many now say that a St. Leger victory would decrease the stud value of a Guineas and Derby winner, as the horse may display stamina but the victory implies a lack of the very lucrative racing attribute, speed.

St. Leger Stakes ? Records:

Race Record:
3:01.90 set by Lucarno in 2007.
In 2006 Sixties Icon ran the race in 2:57.29 but the event was contested at York over a shorter distance.
Most Successful Jockey:
Rider Bill Scott amassed and incredible nine St. Leger victories over his career with Jack Spigot (1821), Memnon (1825), The Colonel (1828), Rowton (1829), Don John (1838), Charles the Twelfth (1839), Launcelot (1840), Satirist (1841) and Sir Tatton Skyes (1846).
Most Successful Trainer:
John Scott boasts one of the world?s most impressive training record, producing an amazing 16 St. Leger winners; Matilda (1827), The Colonel (1828), Rowton (1829), Margrave (1832), Touchstone (1834), Don John (1838), Charles the Twelfth (1839), Launcelot (1840), Satirist (1841), The Baron (1845), Newminster (1851), West Australian (1853), Warlock (1856), Imperieuse (1857), Gamester (1859) and The Marquis (1862).

St. Leger Stakes ? Recent Race Results:

Year

Winner

Jockey

Trainer

Owner

Time

2009
Mastery
Ted Durcan Saeed bin Suroor Goldolphin 3:04.81
2008
Conduit
Frankie Dettori Sir Michael Stoute Ballymacoll Stud 3:07.92
2007
Lucarno
Jimmy Fortune John Gosden George Strawbridge 3:01.90
2006
Sixties Icon
Frankie Dettori Jeremy Noseda Susan Roy 2:57.29
2005
Scorpion
Frankie Dettori Aidan O’Brien Magnier / Tabor 3:19.01
2004
Rule of Law
Kerrin McEvoy Saeed bin Suroor Goldolphin 3:06.29
2003
Brian Boru
Jamie Spencer Aidan O’Brien Sue Magnier 3:04.64
2002
Bollin Eric
Devin Darley Tim Easterby Sir Neil Westbrook 3:02.92
2001
Milan
Michael Kinane Aidan O’Brien Tabor / Magnier 3:05.16
2000
Millenary
Richard Quinn John Dunlop Neil Jones 3:02.58

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