St Leger Stakes Horse Racing Betting Guide 2021

Steeped in rich history, the St Leger Stakes event is held in September every year, and is the final British classic race of the season. The group 1 flat course event takes place at Doncaster Racecourse and is open to three-year-old fillies. Read on to learn more about this famous horse racing event and how to bet on The St Leger Stakes.

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St Leger Stakes 2021 Odds, Tips & Predictions

We will add the latest odds, betting tips and predictions for the 2021 St Leger Stakes when they are available.

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Popular St Leger Stakes Betting Markets

There are many ways to bet on the St Leger Stakes race. You can bet in the ante-post market if you want to place your bet early. However, it may be risky since if your horse does not run, your bet loses.

As it gets closer to the race date, bookmakers may go non-runner, no bet. That means you also miss out on a better price. The most popular horse racing bets are by far the win and each-way bets when betting on St Leger. There are a few other options that could pay out big for small stakes if you pull off a Forecast or Tricast win. Other bets might include ‘without the fav (Favourite)' and match betting markets, where you bet on one horse to beat another one. Here are a few of the most popular selections for St Leger Stakes betting: 

Forecast Bet

A Forecast bet for the St Leger Stakes is where you select two horses to finish first and second place in the contest. If your picks are successful and end up in the order you predict, your bet wins.

Tricast Bet

A Tricast bet is somewhat similar to a forecast; however, as you may have guessed, the bet can stretch further to include the third horse. The horses you select all need to finish in the top three places in the exact order listed on your betting slip to win the bet. Such bets require precision to succeed and can pay high odds. 


The most common bet is predicting the winning horse. The bet has average chances of winning and is straightforward.


For a Show bet to win, your horse must finish in first, second, or third place and this bet provides excellent chances to win with modest payoffs.


A place bet offers favourable odds and chances. Your chosen horse must finish in first or second place.


A Quinella bet offers average winning chances. Your horses will have to finish in first and second place in either order, and it is standard practice to box three horses.


An Exacta bet is a bit more difficult to win since your horses have to finish first and second in exact order. It is a somewhat riskier horse race bet, and the payout depends on the odds.


A Trifecta is harder to win since your chosen horses must finish the race in first, second and third place in the precise order you list them. It can be a costly bet, especially if you bet on several horses at once.


A Superfecta is a tough bet to win since your horses must finish first, second, third and fourth. You need a sizable bankroll for a chance of a big payoff.

If you are just starting out, feel free to check out our horse racing beginners' guide for an in-depth explanation of horse racing odds, betting tips and terms and everything you need to know.

Race Structure of the St Leger Stakes

The St Leger Stakes takes place every September at the Doncaster Racecourse in England. The race is open to three-year-old Thoroughbreds and is a flat race on grass. Geldings are excluded, and only colts and fillies are permitted to enter the competition. The race is a long one at 1 mile, 6 furlongs and 132 yards. That equates to 2,937 meters.

The St Leger Stakes is more than 2 furlongs longer than the longest of the US Triple Crown races – the Belmont Stakes. The prize pool is more than £700,000, and the eventual winner will pocket around £400,000. The St Leger Festival is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious racing events in the British horse racing schedule. It offers a blend of history and classy horse racing during a four-day extravaganza every September. The St Leger Stakes festival runs over four days, with a dramatic climax on day four.


History of the St Leger Stakes

Few horse races can match the St Leger Stakes in terms of history and culture. The first race dates back to 1776, making it the oldest of all the classic British races.

Charles Watson-Wentworth, the 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, founded the St Leger Stakes. His horse won that inaugural race way back in 1776. The horse was initially unnamed; however, it was later given the name Allabacullia. The Marquess was encouraged to call the Rockingham Stakes after himself. After declining the suggestion, he named it after Anthony St. Leger instead. He was an army officer who originally proposed the idea of the race.

The first races were run over a full two-mile distance and held at Cantley Common, but it subsequently moved to its current location after the first two years; however, the range was not reduced until 1813. Since then, not much has changed. On a few occasions, the race was moved to alternative locations, notably during the Great War where it was transferred to Newmarket and briefly renamed the September Stakes. In 1939 the event was cancelled when the Second World War broke out, and from 1940 to 1945 it was held at various courses, including the Manchester Racecourse and the Thirsk Racecourse. 1939 was the only year the race was not run at all. The St Leger name has inspired several other races throughout the world which use the same name. They include the Irish St. Leger, the New Zealand St. Leger, the VRC St. Leger and the French St. Leger.

The race has a long and checkered history with a few famous landmarks over the years. A horse called Champion was the first to achieve the St Leger and Derby double in 1800, and West Australian was the first horse to complete the Triple Crown in 1853. More recently in 2012, the race created drama and memories when Camelot fell agonisingly short of matching Nijinsky’s 1970 feat of winning the British Triple Crown. The horse came in second in the renewal as a favourite, having previously won the Guineas and Derby. He was the only recent contender in the pursuit of the Triple Crown to date with few trainers and owners managing to emulate Nijinsky in the modern era.

Past Winners of the St Leger Stakes

The St Leger Stakes roll of honour must include Nijinsky, who remains the most famous name to claim victory since the race began. The Vincent O’Brien-trained colt is an iconic name in equine sport due to his remarkable success in the Doncaster classic in 1970. The two-year-old Nijinsky made history in 1971 as he breezed through all three classic races, ending with his St Leger Stakes win in September that year. More recently, Irish handler Aidan O’Brien tasted success saddling Capri and Kew Gardens swept to victory in 2017 and 2018. Here are the winners for the last ten years.

Year Horse Jockey
2010Arctic CosmosWilliam Buick
2011Masked MarvelWilliam Buick
2012EnckeMickael Barzalona
2013Leading LightJoseph O'Brien
2014Kingston HillAndrea Atzeni
2015Simple VerseAndrea Atzeni
2016Harbour LawGeorge Baker
2017CapriRyan Moore
2018Kew GardensRyan Moore
2019LogicianFrankie Dettori
2020Galileo ChromeTom Marquand

St Leger Key Stats

  • St Leger is the longest of Britain’s five classic races.
  • The inaugural race took place in 1776.
  • Weights for Colts – 9st 1lb, Weights for Fillies – 8st 12lb.
  • The race is open to three-year-old horses of both sexes.
  • William Hill is the official sponsor since 2017.


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St Leger Stakes Betting FAQs

🏆  Are there any trials for St Leger?

The 2000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby are the first two classics of the season, and they are both shorter than the St Leger Stakes. Horses who are out-paced in the first two contests may find themselves at Doncaster anyway later in the campaign.

💪  When is the event held?

The St Leger Stakes Festival is held annually every September, and is the most highly anticipated horse racing festival of the year.

👍  Where does the St Leger Stakes festival take place?

The event takes place at the famous Doncaster Racecourse.

⚒️  What distance is the race?

The running distance is one mile, six and a half furlongs.

🥇  How much is the prize pool? 

The prize money is worth around £700,000, with almost £400,000 going to the winner.

ThePuntersPage Final Say

The St Leger Stakes is the most prestigious of the three British Classics. St Leger Stakes betting markets and attractive odds combine with this event and provide more excitement. With a prize pool of around £700,000, the St Leger Stakes is the pinnacle of horse racing. Betting on the event can yield a decent payoff if you take advantage of the attractive odds online bookies tend to offer – you can enhance your horse racing experience and win like a champion!