|Friday 17th June 2022
Doncaster Racecourse Prepares for the 2022 St Leger
The attention of the horse racing fraternity may be on Royal Ascot right now, but it will not be long before the switch focus to one of the most eagerly-anticipated race meets on the calendar: the 2022 St Leger, the oldest of Britain’s five Classics.
The St Leger takes its name from Anthony St Leger, a politician and army officer who lived near Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Initial rules stated the race was open to colts and geldings who were to carry eight stone, although fillies received an allowance of two pounds. The inaugural St Leger ran at Cantley Common on September 24, 1776. The St. Leger Stakes has run almost every year since making it one of the longest-running horse races not only in the United Kingdom but globally.
The meet is one of the most popular on the British racing calendar and sees tens of thousands of horse racing lovers descend on Doncaster Racecourse each September. The 2021 edition had a £700,000 purse, making it the second most valuable of the English Classics behind the Epsom Derby. That bumper prize pool attracts the best horses, jockeys, and trainers, in addition to seasoned punters who try their look with the sites listed in these online sports betting reviews.
Many famous jockeys have ridden home St Leger champions, not least the legendary Frankie Dettori. The famous now-retired Italian romped home on the Khalid Abdullah-owned Logician in 2019, doing so in the record time of 3:00.27, beating the 2011 time of 3:00.44 set by William Buick onboard Masked Marvel in 2011.
The 2020 St Leger took place behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tom Marquand rode Galileo Chrome home, beating Berkshire Rocco by a neck in a thrilling encounter.
Crowds returned to Doncaster in 2021, and the addition of spectators made it a magical experience for al. William Buick won the St Leger for the third time in his career, doing so on the Irish horse Hurricane Lane. Buick was initially held up in midfield but nudged along and never looked back once he was out in front. The 8/11 favourite eventually finished 2 ¾ lengths ahead of Rossa Ryan on Mojo Star and 4 ¾ lengths in front of Wayne Lordan on the 28/1 shot The Mediterranean.
Gearing Up For the 2022 Festival
The 2022 St Leger takes place at Doncaster Racecourse between September 7-10, and everything points to it being an incredible spectacle. Day 1 features a Leger Legends Day with a charity race taking place, while Day 2 is Ladies Day, which is considered Yorkshire’s biggest social occasion; the best-dressed winner walks away with £500 for their efforts!
Day 3 is the famous Doncaster Cup, with Day 4 seeing the Cazoo St Leger take place. They often say the fastest horse wins the Guineas, the luckiest wins the Derby, but the best horse wins the St Leger.
Although the racecard is yet to be confirmed, bookmakers are already compiling odds for the St Leger champion. Westover, owned by Juddmonte, is the early front-runner. Westover recently finished 3/17 at Epsom despite going off as a 25/1 underdog.
The A.P. O’Brien-trained Luxembourg is another fine horse to look out for during the Cazoo St Leger. He has quickly racked up three wins from four outings, plus a third-place finish. Luxembourg comes from outstanding stock with Camelot being his sire.
Eldar Eldarov is another much-fancied horse. Owned by KHK Racing Ltd and trained by Roger Varian, this three-year-old has won all three of its outings, including the Queen’s Vase at Ascot on June 15.