St Leger Stakes Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds, 3.35 at Doncaster, 15 September 2018
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 Betting Tips
Odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.
Betting Offers, Free Bets and Enhanced Odds
- RACEBETS ST LEGER FREE BET OFFER – Bet £10 on the English St Leger and Get 2x £5 Free Bets to Use at the Irish and German St Leger 16/09 – Open to all customers from UK, IRE, MAU & IN. Applies to first single fixed odds bet only. Min bet £/€10. Antepost and day of race. Applies to win or win part of Each Way. Free bets to be used on Irish and German St leger. Maximum 2x £/€5 free bets. Full terms apply. +18. BeGambleAware.org
- TOTESPORT – £20 NEW CUSTOMER OFFER – Significant Terms: New customers only. 18+. Stake £10 on any Sportsbook market for the first time, at odds of evens (2.0) or greater and get a £10 Free Bet within 24 hours of settlement, 7 day expiry. Stake £10 on any Totepool bet for the first time, and receive £10 back in cash within 24 hours of settlement. Full T&Cs Apply.
- WILLIAM HILL – BET £10 GET £30 IN FREE BETS – Significant Terms: New William Hill online customers only. Min. unit stake of £10/€10 at odds of 1/2 or greater. Only the “win” part from EW bets will count. Free bet terms, payment method & country restrictions apply. Free bets credited as 3 x £10/€10. Free bet stakes are not returned as part of the settlement of successful free bets. All Free Bets must be wagered within 30 days.
- BETFRED – BET £10, GET £30 IN FREE BETS OFFER – Significant Terms: New customers from UK & Northern Ireland. Stake £10 or more at odds of Evens (2.0) or greater on your first bet. £30 free bet credited in 48 hours of your first bet being settled. 7 day expiry. E-Wallet restrictions apply. Max 30 Free Spins on selected games. Full T&Cs apply.
- More coming soon… check out the top racing free bets available at the moment.
St Leger Stakes 2018 Betting Tips and Preview
The 2017 St Leger was a welcome shot in the arm for the final Classic of the season. Capri got the better of Crystal Ocean and Stradivarius in a truly high quality race after some less than stellar renewals. Saturday’s race at Doncaster doesn’t look as strong as 12 months ago but those in the field have had some good results between them and there’s still a huge prize on the line.
Old Persian Can Pip the Favourites
Although the lack of contenders from the 2000 Guineas and Epsom Derby in the St Leger is a disappointment for many racing fans, it does open the door for some of the specialist three-year-old stayers. Connections of every horse in the race would love to see their charge kick on to have the sort of success that Stradivarius has had this year and hopes remain high that the two favourites in the betting, Lat Ti Dar and Kew Gardens will kick on in time.
There are several positives for the pair vying for favouritism both have their strengths and will have their backers but the value may well lie with Old Persian at 8/1 with Coral. Charlie Appleby’s colt has already won twice at Group level and it’s the most recent of those victories, in the Great Voltigeur Stakes, that’s of most interest.
Old Persian went into that race at York as a 7/1 shot, largely because of a disappointing performance in the Irish Derby. Those who backed him at the Curragh were unhappy that he was never really a factor in proceedings but form in the Irish and Epsom Derby has rarely been an indicator for success in the St Leger in recent years.
The Great Voltigeur is much more useful as a yard stick. Some will say that Old Persian was fortunate to win as Kew Gardens (who finished third) was carrying a 5lb penalty but the Appleby horse was himself penalised by 3lb and therefore became the first Great Voltigeur winner carrying a penalty for a long time. He’ll need the heart he showed that day to win at Doncaster on Saturday but 7/1 is a very good price about a horse with a genuine chance.
Can The Pentagon Show His True Class?
Connections of The Pentagon have long thought of him as a St Leger horse. That much is clear given that his last three appearances have come over one mile, four furlongs. Unfortunately, results have not lived up to expectations leading some to suggest that The Pentagon simply lacks the class required to win at the top level.
That may be a little premature. Sons of Galileo can find significant improvement as they move through their three-year-old season and The Pentagon should make strides forward as he steps up in trip. A decent performance in the Great Voltigeur Stakes could be the platform for an assault on the St Leger and while a win may be just out of the question, a place certainly is not at tempting odds of 25/1 with Betfred.
St Leger Previous Winners
- 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.