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St Leger Stakes Tips

2018 St Leger Confirmed Runners

*Number) NAME (draw), weight, rating, jockey, trainer, current odds*

1) DEE EX BEE (3), 9-1, 114, Silvestre De Sousa, Mark Johnston (11/1 William Hill)
2) KEW GARDENS (8), 9-1, 116, Ryan Moore, Aidan O'Brien  (2/1 William Hill)
3) LOXLEY (9), 9-1, 112, James Doyle, Charlie Appleby  (11/1 William Hill)
4) NELSON (1), 9-1, 106, NA, Aidan O'Brien (50/1 William Hill)
5) OLD PERSIAN (12), 9-1, 117, William Buick, Charlie Appleby (7/1 William Hill)
6) PROSCHEMA (2), 9-1, 105, Richard Kingscote, Tom Dascombe (66/1 William Hill)
7) RAYMOND TUSK (7), 9-1, 107, Andrea Atzeni, Richard Hannon (18/1 William Hill)
8) SOUTHERN FRANCE (11), 9-1, 107, NA , Aidan O'Brien (14/1 William Hill)
9) THE PENTAGON (4), 9-1, 103, NA , Aidan O'Brien (25/1 William Hill)
10) ZABRISKIE (5), 9-1, 103, NA , Aidan O'Brien (100/1 William Hill)
11) LAH TI DAR (10), 8-12, 115, Frankie Dettori, John Gosden  (15/8 William Hill)
12) MAID UP (6), 8-12, 105, Rob Hornby, Andrew Balding (25/1 William Hill)

Odds correct as of 13/9/18 at 11:00am...

St Leger Betting Tips

Loxley gave away plenty of experience to the likes of Wells Farhh Go, Giuseppe Garibaldi and First Eleven in the Bahrain Trophy, but looked composed throughout the race and saw out the 13 furlong trip very nicely when passing the post a two-length second.

Since then, Charlie Appleby's colt has claimed two big prizes in France, running out an easy winner in Listed and Group Two company. In the Grand Prix de Deauville, William Buick positioned his mount perfectly just off the pace. As rival upon rival came off the bridle, Loxley cantered to the head of affairs before surging clear to claim a maiden pattern race title.

Appleby has Old Persian in the race and William Buick will ride Godolphin first string. However, I'm a big fan of this horse and I feel he has the class to progress past his stablemate. With James Doyle in the saddle and a favourable each-way price to boot, he's going to be my 2018 St Leger selection.

Loxley Star Rating ⭐ 5 ⭐

Full star rating guide here...

More St Leger Tips

At longer odds, Richard Hannon doesn’t have a St Leger win on his resume, but RAYMOND TUSK(16/1, Boylesport) could give the Wiltshire trainer a good spin if turning out for this contest.

The High Chaparral colt won on his debut at Newbury back in April, beating He’s Amazing, after which he found Loxley too strong at Newmarket next time. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he was never a factor in the Coral Eclipse where he beat only one home having been sent off at odds of 50/1.

His chances were clearly in those odds, but he did run respectably and there was a lot to like about his performance when he romped to victory at Hamilton in the Glasgow Stakes, beating Austrian School readily. 

That perhaps isn’t particularly strong form, but he took another forward step upped again in trip to find only Hamada too strong in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury where he was beaten just over two lengths. He might have finished closer had he not suffered a bump and denied a clear run, and he gave too much ground to the winner.

He kept on well though, appearing strong at the finish, and there could be even more to come from him with this even stiffer test a potential source of further improvement. He does need to improve, and his form falls short of the best of these; but he looks to be going the right way, and he could post a big run.

Full two against the field article here...

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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