Third Leg Of The British Triple Crown
The St Leger stakes is the oldest Classic race in the world and dates back to 1776. As the feature race of the Doncaster St Leger Festival which takes place every September, It is also the fifth and final Classic race in the British racing season and is confined to three-year-olds over a mile and three-quarters.
It also concludes the British Triple Crown after the 2000 Guineas and the Derby, last achieved by Nijinsky in 1970. Oh So Sharp completed the fillies’ Triple Crown of 1000 Guineas, Oaks and St Leger for the late Sir Henry Cecil in 1985.
The Doncaster racecourse is in the heart of Yorkshire and the home of the St Leger.
Following a £34 million redevelopment in 2006, the racecourse now boasts an impressive five-storey grandstand. This includes private hospitality suites and a wide range of dining experiences.
The St Leger race was devised and named after Lieutenant Colonel Anthony St Leger, an army officer and politician. As well as the St Leger, Doncaster also stages the first big handicap of the flat turf season in the Lincoln.
The new flat turf season traditionally opens at Doncaster with the Brocklesby Stakes for two-year-olds over five furlongs. Doncaster also brings the curtain down on the flat turf racing season with the November Handicap.
Legend Of The Turf
The St Leger Festival stages a unique race for “Legends of the Turf” on the opening Wednesday where retired jockeys compete in a charity race over the straight mile.
The money raised goes to the Northern Racing College and Jack Berry House, a rehabilitation facility for injured jockeys. The race was introduced in 2010 with winning riders including Mick Kinane, Julie Krone and Tony McCoy.
Thursday is Ladies Day, one of South Yorkshire’s biggest social occasions featuring the Best Dressed Lady award. The first Doncaster Cup on Friday was in 1766, ten years before the inaugural running of the St Leger Festival.
The Group Two staying race is part of the British Champions’ Series and is one of the most prestigious staying races of the season. Three-time winner Double Trigger is remembered by a bronze statue adjacent to the main grandstand.
So Why St Leger Festival?
The St Leger Festival closes on Saturday with the big race itself. The Festival’s final day also features the Champagne Stakes for two-year-olds and the Portland Handicap over six furlongs.
Tickets sell well in advance for the St Leger Festival! Don’t delay – reserve your Doncaster tickets today!