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St Leger Tips

Need tips for the final Classic of the season? Our expert will provide you with betting tips and ante-post selections, as well as reporting any breaking news and betting developments ahead of the 2019 St Leger.

St Leger Ante-Post Tips

LOGICIAN (Evens, Coral) has looked the real deal in racking up a four-timer, and John Gosden’s charge can make it 5-5 by winning the season’s final Classic.

The Frankel colt has progressed hand over fist in his four starts to date, stepping out of handicap company to win the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York, and he can take another forward step.

Also a winner at Newmarket, and Newbury twice, he showed no signs of stopping when tanking along in that York feature and seeing the trip out really well. The form may not be all that strong, but he won in the manner of a horse who likely has a good deal more to offer.

Of course he has to prove that he gets this extra quarter of a mile; but the way he travelled at York suggests this extra yardage will be no issue to him, and he can take another big step up the ladder by claiming another big Group One success for the Gosden and Dettori combination.

Logician Price Boost

More St Leger Tips

I don’t think either Ballydoyle horse will be good enough to deny Logician, who looked like he still had a couple more gears to reach for when winning at York and Gosden seems confident this extended trip would suit. 

From a punting standpoint however, the favourite offers little appeal at odds-on and, with three paid place still available, I find myself drawn to DASHING WILLOUGHBY (16/1 William Hill).

Dashing Willoughby defeated two future stakes winners at Royal Ascot and there was no shame in finishing behind Communique, Mirage Dancer and Desert Encounter – who has won twice since – at Newmarket. Returning to the trip he won over at Ascot will be a boost and this son of Nathaniel shouldn’t lack for finishing pace on the good Doncaster ground. 

As long as eight runners remain in the field, Dashing Willoughby is an excellent each-way bet at 16/1!

St Leger Betting Guide

The St Leger tends to favour late developing types, and not many winners make their two year old debut before August, with some horses not racing as a two year old at all. That said, class is definitely a requirement for winners, with winners almost always having achieved at least a placing in a Group race before St Leger victory. Plenty of winners have come from either the English or Irish Derbys, with placed horses in those races often being aimed at the St Leger. 

Stamina is also a major component of winning the St Leger. At one mile and six furlongs, it is a long way removed from the six and seven furlong races that populate the majority of the racing calendar. As such, not many horses are even bred to be suited by such a test. One should look for horses by sires with proven stamina over at least one mile and four furlongs (Derby winners are a good place to start). 

The majority of St Leger winners have already won over at least one mile and four furlongs before they arrive at Doncaster.

As regards trainers, John Gosden and Aidan O’ Brien are the two with the best recent record. Scorpion, Brian Boru, Milan and Leading Light are all recent winners for Aidan O’ Brien, and it is no coincidence that those horses were mentioned above as successful National Hunt stallions, with the ties to the Coolmore breeding operation. John Gosden also has an impressive record, with Arctic Cosmos and Masked Marvel counting among his more recent winners (Masked Marvel also holds the record for the fastest St Leger time).

The St Leger Stakes

The St Leger Stakes is the oldest of the five British Classics (completed by the 2000 Guineas, the 1000 Guineas, the Derby and the Oaks), and was first won way back in 1776 by Allabaculia. In 1778 it was first run at Town Moor (Doncaster), and has been run there ever since. Originally run over two miles, it was shortened to one mile and six furlongs in 1813, a distance that tests the stamina of the three year olds.

Historically, the St Leger has been a great source of sires for National Hunt (jumps) racing. The stamina and bravery required to win the race are qualities much desired by jumps breeders, and winning colts can look forward to an increased demand at stud. Currently past St Leger winners such as Milan, Millenary, Scorpion, Brian Boru and Shantou are all standing as National Hunt stallions with much success (Milan has sired Champion Hurdle winner Jezki amongst many other Grade One performers).

"The World's Oldest Classic"

The St Leger is these days known as 'the world's oldest classic', having first been run in 1776. It is the last to be run annually of the UK's five classic horse races, and at 1m 6f 115yd is the longest of them as well.

The Final Leg of the English Triple Crown

It is also a race which is famous for being the third leg of the ‘Triple Crown’, a title given to any horse who completes the Classic treble of the 2000 Guineas, the Epsom Derby and the St Leger. 

To win the Triple Crown, horses must be precocious enough to win the 2000 Guineas over a mile a Newmarket in May, possess the balance and class to take the Epsom Derby in June, and the stamina and endurance to take the St Leger in September. 

Given the unique test it presents, it will come as no surprise to hear that the last horse to achieve the feat was Nijinsky back in 1970 (the great mare Oh So Sharp won the female version – the 1000 Guineas, the Oaks and the St Leger - in 1985). In recent times, Camelot (trained by Aidan O’ Brien) attempted to complete the Triple Crown, but failed by just three quarters of a length to overhaul Encke for their rivals Godolphin.

Doncaster Racecourse

Doncaster Racecourse is the home of the St Leger, and has been since 1778. For the first two years the St Leger was run at Cantley Common, also in Doncaster. The race track has courses for both flat and national hunt races, and is a pear-shaped left-handed flat track of 1m 7f.

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