St Leger Tips

St Leger Stakes Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds

None of the British Classics have been with us as long as Doncaster’s prestigious St Leger and none are run over a distance so far. Here we take a look at the best odds and offers and provide our betting tips for the race.

First run at Doncaster way back in 1776, this Group 1 contest run over 1m6f 132yards now offers close to £700,000 in total prize money. The St Leger is said to be the truest test of the Classics and is always a wonderful occasion to close the Classic season, usually being held on the same weekend as the Irish St. Leger.

St Leger Stakes Tips and Betting Offers, 3:35, 14th September 2019

The St Leger is the final English Classic of the season. At 1 mile 6½ furlongs it is comfortably the longest of the Classics and is the only one in which both colts and fillies regularly compete. As with recent renewals, many of those in the field should compete in the biggest staying races over the next couple of years but who is going to win the near £400,000 prize for connections?

Logician Could Be Something Really Special

Logician goes into the St Leger as the firm favourite. It’s quite incredible to think that at the start of this season Logician hadn’t even had a run and yet here he is topping the betting for the St Leger but there is little doubt he deserves all the support coming his way.

John Gosden believed he could have something special on his hands as soon as Logician turned up in his yard and he showed glimpses of what was to come when wining on his debut at Newbury. That performance suggested that Logician could be a classy competitor over middle distance trips but it was his win in the Great Voltigeur Stakes that really made people sit up and take notice.

You would never guess from his powerful performance that Logician had the lowest rating in the Great Voltigeur. After travelling smoothly for the majority of the race he just had far too much for the competition in the final two furlongs.

Speaking after Logician’s win at York, Gosden was noncommittal about whether he’d run in the St Leger or remain over a mile and a half. It’s great news for all racing fans that he’ll run at Doncaster where he should have little trouble with the extra 2½ furlongs and put the competition in the shade once again.

Dashing Willoughby Guaranteed to Stay

There is no doubt that Logician is the classiest option in the field for the St Leger. The best horse doesn’t always win though and his stablemate, Stradivarius, couldn’t get the job done two years ago. In case things don’t go to plan for the favourite it makes sense to have a dependable stayer on board. Step forward Dashing Willoughby.

After winning the Group 2 Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot, Dashing Willoughby was stepped up to take on his elders. His performances against the likes of Stradivarius, Mirage Dancer and Dee Ex Bee were positive as he proved he can cope with staying trips no problem at all. Dashing Willoughby will need his best performance by some distance to have any chance of landing the St Leger but will be in the mix heading into the closing couple of furlongs so could well grab a place.

Betting Predictions

If the is race goes to form Logician will win. That’s very exciting for connections and for those who got on at the big ante post prices that were available earlier in the season. The 11/10 that bet365 are quoting is still enough to be excited about given Logician’s class but those looking for a bigger potential payout should instead back Dashing Willoughby each way at 16/1 with BetVictor.

St Leger Previous Winners

  • 2018 – Kew Gardens – jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Aidan O’Brien
  • 2017 – Capri – jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Aidan O’Brien
  • 2016 – Harbour Law – jockey George Baker, trainer Laura Mongan
  • 2015 – Simple Verse – jockey Andrea Atzeni, trainer Ralph Beckett
  • 2014 – Kingston Hill – jockey Andrea Atzeni, trainer Roger Varian
  • 2013 – Leading Light – jockey Joseph O’Brien, trainer Aidan O’Brien
  • 2012 – Encke – jockey Mickael Barzalona, trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni
  • 2011 – Masked Marvel – jockey William Buick, trainer John Gosden
  • 2010 – Arctic Cosmos – jockey William Buick, trainer John Gosden
  • 2009 – Mastery – jockey Ted Durcan, trainer Saeed bin Suroor
  • 2008 – Conduit – jockey Frankie Dettori, trainer Sir Michael Stoute
  • 2007 – Lucarno – jockey Jimmy Fortune, trainer John Gosden
  • 2006 – Sixties Icon – jockey Frankie Dettori, trainer Jeremy Noseda

Race History, Top Jockey and Best Trainers

Anthony St Leger was a Major-General in the British Army who had both a pub and a horse race named in his honour. The St. Leger Arms in Laughton is no doubt held in some regard by the locals, but much more famous on a national scale is the final Classic of the racing year.

Doncaster been the spiritual home of the St Leger Stakes ever since the race made its debut at the track in 1776. However not all editions have taken place at the South Yorkshire venue. Newmarket, Thirsk, Manchester, Ayr and York have all played host to the contest over the years.

Unsurprisingly for a race so steeped in history, we have seen just about everything here. From the 1/10 shot Galtee More in 1897 to the 200/1 rank outsider Theodore in 1822, the contest has seen winners covering almost the full spectrum of odds.

Tight photo finishes aren’t usually associated with races over staying trips such as this, but the 1m6f distance wasn’t enough to provide a conclusive result in 1839 or 1850, with the race finishing in a dead heat on each occasion. At the other end of the scale we have the 1954 edition which resulted in a rout by the Charlie Smirke runner Never Say Die, who posted a record winning margin of 12 lengths.

Perhaps the most eventful running came more recently in 2015, when Simple Verse was first across the line but disqualified for interference, only to be reinstated as the rightful winner 11 days later.

The race also serves as the final leg of racing’s triple crown, following on from the 2000 Guineas and the Derby. The first horse to achieve this famous treble was West Australian in 1853 but perhaps the most famous was the brilliant Nijinsky who swept all before him in 1970.

Best Jockeys and Trainers at the St Leger

In both the jockeys and the trainers ranks it is the name of Scott which has proven the greatest here. Bill Scott first struck in 1821 aboard Jack Spigot and for the ninth and final time when Sir Tatton Sykes came home in front in 1846. No jockey has yet matched this total.

Those achievements pale in comparison to those of trainer, John Scott. He enjoyed a remarkable run of success in the race in the 1800s. Starting with Matilda in 1827 and ending with The Marquis in 1862, the trainer known as “The Wizard of the North” racked up 16 wins in total, to post a record that may never be surpassed.