The St Leger is the final Classic of the British Flat season, the longest in distance and the oldest in years. Open to three-year-old colts and fillies and staged in September at Doncaster over 1 mile 6 furlongs and 132 yards (2,920 metres), the race began life in 1776. The event was thought up by Anthony St. Leger, an army officer and politician living near Doncaster. It was originally run over two miles, with colts carrying 8st, and fillies 7st 12lb.
The St Leger is the final leg of the English Triple Crown, following the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and the Investec Derby. It also completes the Fillies’ Triple Crown, which begins with the QIPCO 1000 Guineas and the Investec Oaks.
Camelot was the most recent horse to head to Doncaster following victories in the Newmarket and Epsom Classics in 2012 but the Aidan O’Brien-trained colt could only finish second to Encke, who provided Godolphin with a sixth success in the race. O’Brien gained some consolation a year later when he won the race for the fourth time courtesy of Leading Light.
One of the best recent winners was Conduit in 2007, for trainer Sir Michael Stoute (his first St Leger victory, completing his full house of English classic races). In his next start Conduit was triumphant in the Breeders’ Cup Turf in the USA and the following year he won that race again, preceded by a famous victory in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
Current leading jockey: Frankie Dettori, 5 wins (1995-6, 2005-6, 2008)
Current leading trainer: Aidan O’Brien, 5 wins (2001, 2003, 2005, 2013, 2017); Saeed bin Suroor, 5 wins (1995, 1998-9, 2004, 2009)