Irish St Leger Tips

The stayers come to the fore in early September each year at The Curragh, as the track plays host to the Irish St. Leger. Here we take a look at the best odds and racing offers available and provide our betting tips for this stamina sapping contest.

This Group 1 race for runners aged three years and older was first run at the Curragh in 1975. One of the top staying events of the season, the 1m6f event now offers €285,000 in prize money for the winner alone. Run on the same weekend as the English St Leger, it may not quite have the class but remains a fascinating betting prospect.

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Irish St Leger Betting Tips

  • Cross Counter to win at 3/1 with Coral

NB – odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change

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Irish St Leger Tips and Betting Offers, 4.10 at Curragh, 15th September 2019

A thrilling renewal of the Irish St Leger will see 10 horses gun for glory over one mile and six furlongs. Four of them hail from Aidan O’Brien’s yard with the Ballydoyle master eager to secure a hat-trick of consecutive wins in this race. There’s an even greater O’Brien presence thanks to Aidan’s son Joseph who kept three names in the mix during Friday’s declarations. It’s promising to a fantastic father versus son battle but it’s not just each other they have to worry about here.

Kew Gardens back after lengthy break

Deeming Kew Gardens to be the strongest of his runners, Aidan O’Brien has paired the four-year-old up with favoured jockey Ryan Moore. The pair combined brilliantly to win the English St Leger last year and they are trading at 11/4 (Betfair) to secure what would be a famous double. It’s clear this race has been the target for some time yet somewhat surprisingly the four-year-old has not been handed a practice run. Last season we didn’t see the best of the colt until he had three starts under his belt. It’s been over 100 days since his narrow loss in the Coronation Stakes and such a long break makes him a bit of a gamble.

Twilight Payment a credible outsider

For Joseph O’Brien, Latrobe (10/1, William Hill) represents his best shot of success according to the bookies. Last year’s Irish Derby winner fell just short in the 1m 6f Curragh Cup but proved unstoppable in the Ballyroan Stakes shortly afterwards. Finishing that 1m 4f test strongly, there are no real concerns that the Camelot colt can last the trip here. It’s a little strange to see new stablemate Twilight Payment trading at a much longer 16/1 (Betfair) as it was the six-year-old that triumphed in the Curragh Cup. Formerly under the care of Jim Bolger, O’Brien junior swooped for the gelding’s services on the back of that spirited win.

Cross Counter to shine in the Irish Derby

Cross Counter (3/1, Coral) has travelled to Australia and the UAE but never before has he made the short trip over the Irish Sea. His two previous trips abroad couldn’t have gone any better with the four-year-old winning both the Melbourne Cup and the Dubai Gold Cup. Things haven’t gone so swimmingly since returning home however with Charlie Appleby’s horse twice losing to Stradivarius (and others) first at Ascot then Goodwood. He still performed credibly in both showings though and a slightly shorter test could see him just offer that little bit more. A change of jockey could well produce the same result too as it was William Buick who rode him to his most recent victory.

Betting Predictions

On his day, Kew Gardens could beat any name on the racecard but you do have to wonder if he’ll be fully sharp lacking a recent run. His record certainly suggests he won’t which is why we’ll be putting our faith in Melbourne Cup hero Cross Counter to do the business as he steps down in trip. As an each way option, look no further than recent course and distance winner Twilight Payment given his generous price tag.

Previous Winners

  • 2018 – Flag Of Honour – jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Aidan O’Brien
  • 2017 – Order of St George – jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Aidan O’Brien
  • 2016 – Wicklow Brave – jockey Frankie Dettori, trainer Willie Mullins
  • 2015 – Order of St George – jockey Joseph O’Brien, trainer Aidan O’Brien
  • 2014 – Brown Panther – jockey Richard Kingscote, trainer Tom Dascombe
  • 2013 – Voleuse de Coeurs – jockey Chris Hayes, trainer Dermot Weld
  • 2012 – Royal Diamond – jockey Niall McCullagh, trainer Tommy Carmody
  • 2011 – (dh) Duncan/Jukebox Jury – jockeys Eddie Ahern/Johnny Murtagh, trainers John Gosden/Mark Johnston
  • 2010 – Sans Frontieres – jockey Olivier Peslier, trainer Jeremy Noseda
  • 2009 – Alandi – jockey Michael Kinane, trainer John Oxx
  • 2008 – Septimus – jockey Seamie Heffernan, trainer Aidan O’Brien
  • 2007 – Yeats – jockey Kieren Fallon, trainer Aidan O’Brien
  • 2006 – Kastoria – jockey Michael Kinane, trainer John Oxx

Irish St Leger History

Ireland’s version of the oldest of all the Classics first took place in 1915. Whilst the conditions of the race were initially almost identical to the Doncaster St Leger, with the exception that geldings were permitted to run here, that all changed in 1983 when the race became an all-age affair.

Much like in England, the Irish St. Leger serves as the final leg of the Triple Crown. Only two runners have achieved this feat as of 2015, with Museum landing the treble of the Irish 2000 Guineas, Irish Derby and Irish St. Leger in 1935 and Windsor Slipper repeating the trick seven years later in 1942.

It takes a smart stayer to come out on top in this event and a number of winners over the years have rubber stamped their stamina fortitude by winning the Ascot Gold Cup, including 1998 and 1999 champion Kayf Tara and Aidan O’Brien’s irrepressible Yeats.

Top Trainer

It will likely be some time before anyone matches the remarkable feats achieved by Vincent O’Brien in his career. The former Ballydoyle supremo landed this race more than other trainer, recording nine wins in all between the years of 1959 and 1988.

Dermot Weld isn’t all that far behind O’Brien with seven wins in total as of 2015. Those seven victories were spread amongt just three horses. Vintage Crop took this prize in 1993 before famously going on to land that season’s Melbourne Cup.

The admirable chestnut then returned to successfully defend his crown here in 1994. The most impressive record in the history of the race belongs to Weld’s tough and determined, Vinnie Roe who came home in front in four successive years between 2001 and 2004.

Jockey Morny Wing first struck here in 1920 when steering Kirk-Alloway to victory. His win aboard Esprit de France in 1947 was his seventh in all, a tally which remains the leading total amongst the riders.