The past, present and future of the St Leger Stakes

The horse racing calendar is packed full of high-quality events and races that always attract attention.

For some, the Grand National is the number one race of the year, and it’s easy to see why due to the historic and legendary winners it has produced. Meanwhile, others will prefer the Cheltenham festival and the non-stop big races that come over the four days.

However, there are plenty of excellent races that go on up and down the United Kingdom regularly, even if they don’t get the same publicity or attention as those high profile events.

And, one race that certainly falls into that category is the St Leger Stakes at Doncaster.

The Group 1 Flat race is for three-year-old horses and is one of the five Classic races run during the Flat season. The others are the 1,000 & 2,000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket, Epsom Oaks and the Epsom Derby. All of these are races well-known to fans as they bring the best horses in that age category together, and there have been some significant winners over the years.

The St Leger Stakes is the oldest of the five Classics as it was established in 1776, which also means it’s one of the oldest horse races around. As well as that, it’s also the longest of the five races as it covers a distance of one mile, six furlongs and 115 yards. Again, all of that just adds to the appeal of the race, and the traditions are passed from generation to generation ensuring it remains a popular event.

Therefore, all eyes will be on the race later in the year, and it will be interesting to see what names will feature as punters look to pick a winner when the horse racing betting odds for the race are revealed.

Arguably one of the biggest names to secure a win at Doncaster was Nijinsky, who secured several major wins throughout his impressive career. He remains the last horse to win the Triple Crown, winning three of the major Classic races in one year.

That came back in 1970 when ridden by Lester Piggott, as Nijinsky won the 2,000 Guineas Stake at Newmarket, the Epsom Derby and he completed the treble with a win at Doncaster, making history in the process and the first to achieve the feat in 35 years.

As you would expect for such a prestigious event, high-profile jockeys have regularly featured at Doncaster too, with Frankie Dettori picking up his sixth win of this particular race in 2019 as he won with favourite Logician. Incredibly, his first win in the race came in 1995 and the success on Logician ended 11 years without a win in the St Leger Stakes for Dettori. That victory ended two successive wins for Ryan Moore and trainer Aidan O’Brien,

Even though there is plenty of racing to enjoy between now and the event in September, the St Leger Stakes is a race that stands out in the calendar. The historic race is sure to provide more entertainment and memories when the day arrives.