The St Leger Festival
The adage goes: “The fastest horse is to win the Guineas; the luckiest horse is to win the Derby, and the best horse is to win the St Leger.” That is sufficient to give an idea of the importance of the St Leger Stakes, taking place as part of the St Leger Festival in September, on the Doncaster racecourse.
The Doncaster racecourse
The St Leger Festival takes place on the Doncaster racecourse. Another name the racecourse is famous by is the Town Moor course. The track is a left handed one and has the shape of a pear. The length is one mile 7½ furlongs.
Besides the St Leger Festival, one more event of Group 1 takes place on the course: the Racing Post Trophy.
Not only does the Doncaster course take over events whose venues have closed, but also there are conventions which are of non sporting nature.
The St Leger Festival
Known also because of the St Leger Stakes, which is named after its sponsor, Ladbrokes, the festival is eagerly awaited as the premier event in the autumn horse racing calendar. It is also the last event of the flat racing season. The St Leger Festival lasts four days.
The Great Voltigeur Stakes, which takes place at the racecourse of York, is regarded as the trial race for St Leger.
St Leger 2017 schedule
- Wednesday, 13 September: The Leger Legends, a charity contest run on the straight mile
- Thursday, 14 September: Ladies Day
- Friday, 15 September: Gentlemen's Day, and Doncaster Cup
- Saturday, 16 September: St Leger Stakes
Day One: the day of the charity race
That is a fitting opening of the festival, with the participation of celebrities in racing who participate in the charity event, a flat race, run on the straight mile. The charity race is called Leger Legends. The money raised goes to support the Northern Racing College and a facility for rehabilitation of injured jockeys, Jack Berry House.
Day Two: Ladies Day
This is a special day for ladies who will gather to claim the title of the Best Dressed Lady. That is a social occasion which is unmissable. Furthermore, the title winner will be representing the Doncaster Racecourse in the Yorkshire Best Dressed Lady for 2017 contest.
Day Three: Gentlemen's Day
Of course, the highlight is the Doncaster Cup race. This is the oldest race which is conducted under the horse racing rules, and in 2017 it will celebrate its 251st anniversary, a record for any such race on a worldwide scale.
Day Four: St Leger Stakes
This is the climax of the festival, being the final leg of the Triple Crown and the completion of the Fillies' Triple Crown.
The Doncaster Cup
Initially being of Group 3, the Doncaster Cup was promoted to Group 2 in 2003. That is a flat race of Group 2, which is run at a distance of 2 miles and 2 furlongs; the track is left handed. Starting as a race over a distance of 4 miles, it continued over 2 miles and 5 furlongs, then some further shortening was introduced, but in 1927 the distance of 2 miles 2 furlongs was restored.
The Doncaster Cup is one of the leading races for stayers, i.e. horses racing over long distances. Their age is three years and upwards.
Currently the event takes place on the third day of St Leger Festival.
The St Leger Stakes
The race is named after its founder, Colonel St Leger. Today it remains as the oldest classic race in the world. It is the fifth classic race and the final one of the flat racing season. The sponsor is Ladbrokes.
The race is of Group 1, for colts and fillies of 3 years of age. Geldings are excluded. The distance run is one mile, 6 furlongs and 132 yards; the track is left handed. It is larger than the distance run in any of the four other classic races in Britain.
The St Leger race is also the final leg of the Triple Crown, together with 2000 Guineas and the Derby.
Online betting on St Leger Festival Races
There is little time until the festival kicks off with the charity race, so online bookies are already offering bets and welcome packages for those who are to sign up for the first time.
The fourth day is the day of the St Leger Stakes sponsored by Ladbrokes, so pay special attention to the offers extended by Ladbrokes. The online bookie is ready with a special welcome offer of a matched free bet for signing up on the Ladbrokes site and placing your first bet. Use the promo code to get the bet offer.
The Doncaster Cup is another race which is in the limelight for online bettors.
Ante post betting on the St Leger Festival races
Ante post betting is placing your bets before the day of the race, so the offers of odds by online bookies on the horses to run in the St Leger races are already online.
Look at the clear favourites in the run up to the festival and the races you intend to wager on, and also at the second favourites who are deemed to be the strongest contenders to the firm favourites.
Special double prices
There will be special offers of special double prices by online bookies, for bettors who would like to place multiple bets containing a horse in the list offered with the same horse in any other race. To avail yourself of these offers, look for the conditions that the online bookie extending the special double price has for this type of betting.
Multiple bets are wagers in which you choose three or more horses in different races. There is not a requirement that all of them have to score in order to get you a return. These bets can provide exciting opportunities.
For example, a trixie wager is on three horses in three races, with the trixie win bet made up of 4 bets: three doubles and one treble. In a trixie, minimum two horses are enough to get you winnings.
In a patent bet, you will have three single bets added to the ones the trixie contains. The profit you can win is attractive, but the risk of losing is upped. Yet another example is a yankee, with 11 bets in it: six doubles, four trebles, and an accumulator; here again two horses are enough to get you a return.
Multiple bets are attractive if you have enough experience to choose the type of bet that is likely to yield wins.