St Leger Stakes 2023
2023 St Leger Stakes Preview
Gregory, Continuous and Desert Hero are among the world-beating, superstar three-year-olds that will battle it out for glory in the St Leger Stakes this Saturday. This prestigious Group 1 race back-dates to 1776, cementing it as the oldest of Britain’s five Classics. The meeting always attracts an elegant crowd, filled to the brim with royalty, celebrities and horse racing fanatics - and victory here marks the pinnacle of many trainers’ careers in what has been coined as the sport of Kings. Check here for our preview of the prestigious race, a look back at its rich history and a guide on horse racing spread betting markets.
History of The St Leger Stakes
The first St Leger Stakes was run as early as the 26th of September 1776 and created by Anthony St Leger, a politician and army officer. Conveniently, St Leger lived near Doncaster and inaugurated the race as “A Sweepstake of 25 Guineas” run at set weights. Allabaculia, a filly owned by the 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, was the first-ever winner of the race. The distance of the race has also been altered since its inception to 1m, 6f and 193 yards in 1813 and has remained relatively similar ever since.
Criteria For St Leger Stakes
The St Leger Stakes is the final Classic of the British Flat season and is open to fillies and colts. Not only is it the longest of Britain's five Classics, it also comes in as the oldest. The race is open to both sexes, with colts carrying 9st 1lb while fillies carry 8st 12lb and is available to three-year-olds. The meeting is a mile and six and a half furlongs in distance with £700,000 up for grabs, and £399,970 being awarded to the winner.
Recent Winning Trends
Six of the last ten winners at the St Leger Stakes were favourites and this meeting is clearly an underdog graveyard. The favourites have stamped their supremacy on this fixture in recent years. Capri, a 3/1 favourite won in 2017 while 3/1 second favourite Kew Gardens captured glory the following year. Logician, jockeyed by veteran Frankie Dettori, came in first in 2019 as the heavy favourite, while third favourite Galileo Chrome ridden by Tom Marquand secured victory in 2020.
Most recently, Hurricane Lane blew away the competition in 2021 winning as the favourite and Eldar Eldarov won last year as the second favourite at 9/2. Interestingly, the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York is a crucial stepping stone for the race. Five of the twenty-nine horses participated in the race this year with second-favourite Continuous winning the 1m 4f race.
Top Trainers This Year
John and Thady Gosden have cemented a legacy that many trainers only dream of - boasting Enable, Stradivarius, Golden Horn, Kingman, Ravens Pass and Cracksman being some of their stable stars. This year’s Gregory, who was one of the stars in the early part of the season, made it three wins from three when storming to victory in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot and comes into the horse racing spread betting as the clear favourite.
Aiden O’Brien recorded a 4000th winner as a trainer last weekend and will be attempting to land a stunning sixth St Leger victory on Saturday afternoon with second-favourite Continuous.
William Haggas will be hellbent on claiming his first St Leger victory with aiming to saddle a Royal winner of the staying showpiece as Desert Hero will carry the silks of His Majesty The King. A son of Sea the Stars, the three-year-old earned a third success having stormed to victory in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Who Leads The Pack This Year?
Gregory comes into the Stakes this year as the outright favourite in the horse racing spread betting, already with 3 wins this season. John and Thady Gosden will have high hopes for their charge at the iconic Doncaster fixture despite falling short last time out. However, Continuous is nipping at Gregory’s heels as he arrives in Doncaster as the second favourite - the three-year-old sensation seems to be getting better and better with each race and the the Aiden O’Brien-trained runner was victorious last time out.
Finally, horse racing royalty Desert Hero will be desperate to build on his immaculate form after a monumental win at Goodwood this year - holding strong after a late push from Goldophin’s Chesspiece. The third-favourite, who was bred by the late Queen Elizabeth II, will be wearing the royal colours in the hope of glory at Doncaster this Saturday.
How To Spread Bet On The St Leger Stakes
Spread betting is the perfect way to enhance the thrill you feel when watching a big race like the St Leger Stakes unfold. There are individual race indexes allowing you to predict how a particular runner will perform, while you can pit two horses against each other with a match bet. Another exciting market is the favourites index, allowing you to wager on how particular favourites will perform in the race. Most horse racing punters have their favourite jockey and with the jocky index at Sporting Index, you can now back how an individual jockey can perform. This is similar to the favourites markets with 25pts awarded for the winning ride, 10pts for second, 5pts for third and 0pts for any other place.