Distance: 1 mile 6 furlongs 132 yards (2,937 m approx)
Race Record: 3:01.90 Lucarno 2007
Track: Left handed
Track Bias: Pear shaped course with the start in the front straight leading to a wide sweeping turn followed by a long back straight into a tight turn back to the front (final) straight where there is a long stretch to the finish line. It is difficult to lead all the way and leaders will often be swamped by the run on horses who can maintain a sustained fast final 400m.
History: The official starting date for this race is 1776, but the original version of this race was over 2 miles at Cantley Common. It was devised by Anthony St Leger, an army officer and renamed in recognition the following year. It was moved to Town Moor (now Doncaster) in 1778 and is the oldest Classic race in Great Britain (therefore the world.) Champion was the first horse to win the Derby-St Leger Double in 1800 and West Australian was the first to complete The Triple Crown consisting of the 2000 Guineas-Derby-St Leger in 1853. Fifteen horses won the triple ending with Nijinsky in 1970, but fewer horses have tried since and none have achieved it.
Past winners: Mastery 2009 (also Derby Italiano ’09 & Hong Kong Vase ’10) Scorpion 2005 (Grand Prix De Paris) Nijinsky 1970 (King George VI $ Queen Elizabeth, Irish Derby, Epsom Derby, 2000 Guineas, Gladness Stakes).
Lead Up Form: Great Voltigeur and King Edward VII are popular lead up races with several horses coming off wins or placings in recent years to win the St Leger.
Related Races: Irish and Epsom Derby winners have done well in this race and many horses go on to France for the Prix De L’Arc de Triomphe. The 2000 Guineas Stakes & The Epsom Derby combine with the St Leger Stakes to form the English Triple Crown.
Statistics & Trends: In recent times Lester Piggott won the race 8 times while Frankie Dettori has won it 5 times and Saeed Bin Suroor also has 5 wins although not all of them with Dettori in the saddle. The record for most winners trained is held by John Scott who trained 16 winners from 1827 to1862 and 6 of those were ridden by his brother Bill who also has the record.
Betting on the Epsom Derby, 1000 Guineas, 2000 Guineas & St. Leger Stakes is available online now at Sportsbet.com.au.
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