St Leger Odds

The final British classic of the season, the St Leger regularly proves to be an informative betting heat. You can view the odds for the 2020 renewal here a little closer to the time.

St Leger Tips

You can check out our St Leger tips nearer the off of the 2021 renewal...

What is the St Leger? 

The St Leger is the oldest of the classic races in the UK and is run over a trip of one mile and six furlongs (1m 6f) at Doncaster racecourse each September. The Group 1 race was run for the first time all the way back in 1776, ensuring it is one of the most famous in the sport and it remains a stalwart of the British Flat racing summer for the 3-year-old horses.

The Leger is the third and final leg of the “British Triple Crown” following the 2000 Guineas and the Derby at Epsom with Nijinsky the last horse to complete the treble back in 1970. More recently we have seen Aidan O’Brien taste success with the Irish handler saddling Capri and Kew Gardens to glory in 2017 and 2018. The route is slightly different for fillies, who would need to win the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, followed by the Epsom Oaks - though it is worth noting they are also eligible to race against the colts.

At 1m 6f, the St Leger is the longest of the British classic races, ensuring that stamina is the order of the day for any horse looking to be competitive. 

What happened in the 2020 St Leger? 

Joseph O'Brien's Galileo Chrome was a fine winner of the 2020 St Leger, as the well-backed 4/1 shot outbattled 16/1 outsider Berkshire Rocco in a thrilling renewal of the final classic at Doncaster. Prominent throughout, Galileo Chrome was one of a number in with a major chance approaching the final two furlongs, but Pyledriver's chances were lost with him veering to the left, while Santiago was unable to maintain the strong gallop, but it was Galileo Chrome that prevailed to land the prize with aplomb.

The history of the St Leger

Few races can match the St Leger for history, with the first running of the race dating back to 1776 - which makes it the oldest of the British classic races. 

The long and varied history of the race has included some famous landmarks over the years, with a horse Champion the first to do the Derby and St Leger double back in 1800, while West Australian was the first to complete the aforementioned Triple Crown in 1853.

The race has continued to create drama and memories in the 21st century, and Camelot fell agonisingly short of becoming the first horse since Nijinsky in 1970 to win the Triple Crown, when finishing second in the 2012 renewal as a 5/2-on favourite, having already won the Guineas and the Derby. He remains the only serious contender in the pursuit of the Triple Crown in recent memory with few trainers and owners attempting to emulate the great Nijinsky in the modern era. 

Who is the most iconic winner of the St Leger? 

The St Leger roll of honour is a long and varied one, but there is no doubt that Nijinsky remains the most famous name to have claimed the victory over the last 50 years.

The Vincent O’Brien-trained colt remains an iconic name in the world of equine sport, and much of that is to do with his famous victory in the Doncaster classic back in 1970. An outstanding two-year-old, Nijinsky made history the following year as he swept the three classic races, culminating in his St Leger win in September.

A 7/2-on winner on the day, Nijinsky became the first horse in 35 years to claim the fabled Triple Crown, and although he only won by one length, it was a comfortable success for the red-hot favourite.

A disappointing run in the Arc followed but that day in Doncaster ensures that Nijinsky's name belongs in racing folklore.

Are there any trials for the St Leger? 

The St Leger is a massive race in its own right, but there is a clear path for horses to follow on the road to Town Moor. The first place for punters to start when looking to follow potential St Leger horses is the first two classics of the season for the colts – the 2000 Guineas and the Derby.

Those two races are of course run over shorter trips than the Leger (the 2000 Guineas is run over one mile, and the Derby is run over a mile and a half), but the horses who get out-paced in those contests could well find themselves at Doncaster later in the campaign, as Kew Gardens showed when well beaten at Epsom in 2018.

Perhaps the key trial for the oldest classic in the UK is the St Voltigeur Stakes at York in August. Horses that run well at York in the summer will often feature heavily in the market for the St Leger, meaning that punters are well advised to watch the Group 2 race closely.

Who is the most successful jockey in the St Leger? 

Not a household name to many these days, Bill Scott is the most successful jockey in the history of the race - with nine wins to his name. Scott won the race 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 Sykes (1846).

Who is the most successful trainer in the St Leger? 

John Scott is out on his own for St Leger wins, having trained a simply astonishing tally 16 winners of the race. Scott's St Leger winners came courtesy of 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).

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