Doncaster's St Leger Festival is one of the most prestigious race weeks of the British horse racing calendar and it revolves around the final Classic of the season.
The St Leger is the longest of the British Classics at one-mile-six-and-a-half-furlongs and the Town Moor race serves as the ultimate stamina-test for the graduating three-year-old class.
|What||Doncaster St Leger Festival|
|Where||Doncaster Racecourse, Yorkshire|
|When||Thursday 14th September – Sunday 17th September, 2023|
|How to watch||bet365 Live Sports Streaming, ITV & Sky Sports Racing|
|Odds||St Leger: Gregory 7/2, Continuous 7/2, Desert Hero 11/2, Arrest 8/1, Savethelastdance 10/1, Chesspiece 14/1, Tower Of London 20/1|
The St Leger Festival takes place from Thursday 14th-Sunday 17th September, with four days of high-class racing spearheaded by the St Leger itself on the Saturday afternoon.
It is often said that: 'The fastest horse wins the Guineas; the luckiest the Derby – and the best horse wins the St Leger' – but who will be victorious in the Doncaster showpiece this time around?
The St Leger Festival is staged at Doncaster Racecourse in South Yorkshire. Racing at Doncaster dates back to the 16th century and it is one of Britain's oldest tracks as such.
The left-handed, pear-shaped track is just under two-miles in circumference and mostly flat and is affectionately known as Town Moor.
Every race at the meeting can be viewed via the bet365 Live Sports Streaming service, while selected races from the St Leger Festival will be covered by ITV Racing for terrestrial viewers in Britain alongside race-by-race coverage on Sky Sports Racing from all four days.
Day one includes the Group 2 May Hill Stakes over a mile as well as the Weatherbys Scientific, a top two-year-old Sales race with a prize pool of £300,000.
On the Friday, the action is spearheaded by the Group 2 Doncaster Cup for the stayers, alongside the Flying Scotsman Stakes and the Flying Childers Stakes.
Saturday is all about the big one, with St Leger completing Britain's Classic jigsaw for another season and boasting a prize pool of £700,000 in 2023. The Champagne Stakes and the Park Stakes are on the support bill alongside the famous Portland Handicap on St Leger Day at Doncaster.
For the first time in 2023, the St Leger Festival finishes on a Sunday, with the inaugural St Leger Community Funday, which includes the Leger Legends Charity Race for ex-professional jockeys, as well as the Sceptre Fillies' Stakes and the Scarbrough Stakes.
Bill Scott holds the record for the most St Leger wins with nine, scoring on Jack Spigot (1821), Memnon (1825), The Colonel (1828), Rowton (1829), Don John (1838), Charles the Twelfth (1839), Launcelot (1840), Satirist (1841), Sir Tatton Sykes (1846).
Frankie Dettori's win on Logician in 2019 was his sixth St Leger success and makes him the most prolific rider of his era. The Italian is set to retire at the end of 2023 and may partner 7/2 chance Gregory for John & Thady Gosden in his final St Leger appearance.
That accolade is the possession of John Scott (brother of Bill) who amassed an incredible 16 wins and was dubbed 'The Wizard of the North'.
He saddled Matilda (1827), The Colonel (1828), Rowton (1829), Margrave (1832), Touchstone (1834), Don John (1838), Charles the Twelfth (1839), Launcelot (1840), Satirist (1841), The Baron (1845), Newminster (1851), West Australian (1853), Warlock (1856), Imperieuse (1857), Gamester (1859), The Marquis (1862) to St Leger glory.
Aidan O'Brien (seven) and John Gosden (five) are among the most successful trainers in the modern era.
Logician broke the track record in 2019 when maintaining his then unbeaten record to win for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori in a time of 3mins 00.27seconds.
Here are the winners of the St Leger since 2012.
|2012||Encke||Mickael Barzalona||Mahmood Al Zarooni|
|2013||Leading Light||Joseph O'Brien||Aidan O'Brien|
|2014||Kingston Hill||Andrea Atzeni||Roger Varian|
|2015||Simple Verse||Andrea Atzeni||Ralph Beckett|
|2016||Harbour Law||George Baker||Laura Mongan|
|2017||Capri||Ryan Moore||Aidan O'Brien|
|2018||Kew Gardens||Ryan Moore||Aidan O'Brien|
|2019||Logician||Frankie Dettori||John Gosden|
|2020||Galileo Chrome||Tom Marquand||Joseph O'Brien|
|2021||Hurricane Lane||William Buick||Charlie Appleby|
|2022||Eldar Eldarov||David Egan||Roger Varian|
The John & Thady Gosden-trained Gregory is 7/2 for St Leger glory. He won his first three starts, culminating in the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot over this St Leger distance of a mile-and-six-furlongs in June.
He was surprisingly beaten since in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York over shorter, with his conqueror there, the Aidan O'Brien-trained Continuous, now trading at 7/2 for Doncaster glory.
Splitting the pair on the Knavesmire was Castle Way and Charlie Appleby's previous 1m5f Newmarket Group 3 winner is now rated at 20/1 for St Leger success on 16th September.
Desert Hero (11/2) won the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood in August and could bid to give William Haggas a St Leger winner in the Royal silks of King Charles.
Meanwhile, O'Brien's contenders also include Tower Of London at 20/1 and Savethelastdance at 10/1 – the latter was a popular pick after her Irish Oaks success at the Curragh in July but was beaten since in the Yorkshire Oaks.