St Leger Festival
The St Leger is the final classic of the horse racing season and a signal that the UK flat turf season is coming to an end. The Leger itself takes place on Saturday and that is the final day of four fantastic days of action at Doncaster. The final three days of the festival are covered live by ITV, and the racing is a real mix of current stars and next year’s crop who are looking to make a name for themselves in the many juvenile races that take place over the week.
St Leger Preview
The St Leger will take place at 3:35 on Saturday and will be the final of four live races from Doncaster on ITV. This is the last of five classics that take place each season and if the early entries are any indication, we should have a big field for the feature of the week.
One horse is going to make or break the betting market for the St Leger and that is the John Gosden trained Lah ti Dar. She is a hugely exciting filly but would be taking a huge step up in grade here, although after watching her demolish the field at York last time, it is a step up in class that she thoroughly deserves. She has only run three times so far in her career, which has to be a worry, but she has won all three, one maiden and two listed races. Setbacks through the summer prevented her having a full campaign and if she does run in this race then while she will have to be very special to win it, that is exactly what she looks like being.
Kew Gardens for Aidan O’Brien is the current favourite and should Lah Ti Dar not make the race, it is likely that Kew Gardens would go odds-on. After a disappointing 9th in the Derby, he has since won a Group Two at Ascot and a Group One in France, before finishing a credible 3rd, staying on very well over a shorter trip at York.
It would be fantastic to see these two clash and if they do then there is likely to be little between them. However, Lah Ti Dar is probably the most exciting horse in training right now, she could go all the way to the top and she is the selection to win the feature on Saturday. If she doesn’t turn up then those looking for value away from the favourite should be looking towards Raymond Tusk who should relish the trip and stays for certain, and he finished behind a nice horse last time out so his form looks pretty solid.
St Leger Festival – Day One Preview
The first day is a low key start to the meeting but there is a great feel about it as the most important race of the day raises a huge amount of money for charity. The Leger Legends race has been going for a while now and it is a race for retired jockeys to get back in the saddle and raise some money for much-needed horse racing charities. It is a great way to kick off the festival and with some popular names taking part this season, it is certainly a race worth watching.
The feature in terms of quality on the first day is the Scarbrough Stakes, a listed race over the flying five furlongs. It often pays to follow a sprinter in form and if you are looking for that then look no further than recent York winner El Astronaute. John Quinn’s sprinter has won twice this season, both of those wins coming at York which is a flat, open, straight track just like Doncaster. He steps up into listed company here but looks to be the bet of the day on day one of the St Leger Festival.
St Leger Festival – Day Two Preview
The action picks up on day two and we have two Group Two races as well as a £300,000 sales race for two-year-olds. The feature of the day is the Park Hill Stakes, a 1m6f contest for fillies and mares in which Pilaster is going to be well fancied. Roger Varian’s filly has just four starts to her name, but she has won all of her three starts this season, progressing through the ranks. She won a Group Two last time out at Goodwood and although this looks to be a stronger race, there is likely more to come from this exciting filly and she can make it four from four here.
The other Group Two on the card is the May Hill, which is a seven-furlong race for two-year-old fillies and we should see a very good winner of this race, with a strong field lining up. Despite only having one run to her name, Dubai Beauty looks to be the horse to be on here after a very nice debut run. She has to tackle more experienced horses and ones that have already run to a high level but there is a chance she could be a little bit special, and that makes her of interest in this race, so she is the selection.
St Leger Festival – Day Three Preview
Two Group Two races and a Group Three alongside a competitive handicap make up what is going to be a fantastic day of racing on Friday at Doncaster. The feature is the Doncaster Cup, a staying Group Two race over 2m2f but this year the field for this race looks to be a little weaker than normal. Aidan O’Brien’s Idaho is not the easiest of horses to win with and is certainly not the most trustworthy either but he looks to be a class above his rivals in this race, and he can take the prize back home to Ireland with him.
The other Group Two on this card is the Flying Childers, which is a mad five-furlong dash for two-year-old speedsters. Rumble Inthejungle ran very well at Royal Ascot on just his second career start before going even better at Goodwood when winning a Group Three with ease. He looks more than capable of being up to the task here and is a very interesting runner. In the Group Three Sceptre Stakes, Laugh Aloud is one to note, she ran a nice race on the back of a long layoff last time out and should have improved for the run, which gives her every chance here.
St Leger Festival – Day Four Preview
While the Group One St Leger is the feature race of the day on Saturday, there are also a further two Group Two races and the tough puzzle that is the Portland Handicap. It is the Portland where there appears to be a good bet though, Holmeswood ran a cracking race at York despite finding trouble throughout and would likely have won with a clear run. If he comes here in the same form, a clear run would give him an outstanding chance of taking what is usually a hugely competitive race.
In the Group Two Park Stakes, it may be worth looking towards D’Bai, a horse who has been mixing it with some of the best all season long. This race looks to be the kind of level he needs and he should prove to be very competitive in it.
St Leger Betting Offers
Betfred – Treble Odds One Winner Lucky 15
A Lucky 15 is one of the most popular multiple bets to place and with four races covered live by ITV on three of the four days of this festival, it is an ideal bet for those watching at home on TV. Almost every bookmaker will offer you the consolation of paying you out at double the odds on your Lucky 15 bet if you place it online with them, but for extra value head over to Betfred. They offer treble the odds on your lucky 15 bets and if you are placing one each day of the festival, this could make a huge difference to your profit and loss over the course of the week.
Ladbrokes – 2 Extra Place Races at Doncaster Every Day
If you like to place an each way bet on the horses then you should always shop around for additional value. Ladbrokes will pay out an additional place on two races every single day, and they are covering the meeting at Doncaster this week. This could be the difference between a winner and a loser if you bet with Ladbrokes or another bookmaker, so it is well worth checking out to make sure you are getting the best deal on your each way bets.
10Bet – Free Bet if 2nd to SP Favourite
10Bet have a free bet offer during the entire St Leger festival from Wednesday to Saturday that is certainly worth checking out. Simply place a bet on any race at Doncaster over the four days and if your selection finishes 2nd behind the SP favourite then you will receive your money back up to £10 as a free bet. This is a great way to use a consolation to pick up free bets and while winning is always best, finishing 2nd could give you a free bet thanks to this offer.