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St Leger betting tips and bookies 2020

The St Leger Festival is a four-day British Flat horse racing meeting held at Doncaster Racecourse in Yorkshire, usually every September. This event builds up to its feature contest, the St Leger race which is the final Classic of the season, on the last day. Discover how to make effective St Leger betting decisions, which races to bet on and how. You can also find out the most crucial stats and trends. There are even some St Leger tips for this year. 

Best St Leger betting sites in 2020

Right underneath, you can find a shortlist with the top 3 bookmakers to bet the Festival. Our experts picked them by evaluating the odds they offer for the races, the variety of betting markets as well as whether or not they have faller insurance:

What types of races are there at the Doncaster St Leger Festival

The table below lists the main races for all four days of the St Leger Festival. The class and type of race determine how much each event is worth. There is a wide variety of St Leger races held over different distances during the meeting. From conditions contests to handicaps, age-restricted events, and sales races, the most prestigious are those with Group status. However, St Leger itself is the only Group 1 at this Festival:

Race Type Day Open To Distance
Scarborough Stakes Listed Day 1 2yos and up 5 furlongs
Sceptre Fillies’ Stakes Group 3  Day 1  3yo fillies and up 7 furlongs
May Hill Stakes Group 2 Day 2 2yo fillies 1 mile
Park Hill Fillies’ Stakes Group 2 Day 2 3yos and up 1 mile, 6 1/2 furlongs
Flying Childers Stakes Group 2 Day 3 2yos  5 furlongs
Doncaster Cup Stakes Group 2 Day 3 3yos and up 2 miles, 2 furlongs
Flying Scotsman Stakes Listed Day 3 2yos 7 furlongs
Champagne Stakes Group 2 Day 4 2yo colts 7 furlongs
St Leger Stakes Group 1 Day 4 3yo colts and fillies 1 mile, 6 1/2 furlongs
Park Stakes Group 2 Day 4 3yos and up 7 furlongs


What is Doncaster Racecourse like

Before looking at the St Leger betting, you need to know what the Doncaster course is like. A circuit of the track is about two miles, and it's left-handed (counter-clockwise). The long home straight on Town Moor means any horse you back in the St Leger betting needs to stay. The runners climbing up Park Hill as they head out of the back straight. Doncaster Racecourse then turns downhill into a long run-in of more than half-a-mile in length. There is a separate mile-long straight for some of the shorter distance and juvenile races too.

Vital stats before betting for the St Leger Festival

Like all horse races, there are statistics and prevailing trends which may help you to find the winner of the St. Leger and other events at the Festival. While this doesn’t guarantee anything, and trends can always be bucked, you will make better-informed choices based on knowing this information more often than not. Consider these stats and trends before taking a punt in St Leger betting:

⏩ Although three-year-olds won every renewal of Sceptre Fillies’ Stakes between 2006 and 2015, only one of that age has landed the spoils since.

⏩ No filly or mare has ever had more than one victory in the Park Hill Stakes in its entire 180-year history.

⏩ Frankie Dettori is the most successful jockey in the Flying Childers Stakes history with six wins, and three of those have been in the last six years.

⏩ Only three horses aged three have won the Doncaster Cup since 1989.

⏩ Just one three-year-old since 2000 has won the Portland Handicap.

⏩ Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien has saddled six St Leger winners of the race since 2001.

⏩ Of active jockeys, Dettori is the most successful with six winning rides in the Leger.

⏩ Two of the last three winners were sent out by O’Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore.

⏩ John Gosden and Saeed bin Suroor are the joint-most successful active British trainers, saddling five horses apiece to Leger victories.

⏩ Sheikh Mohammed is the most successful owner in the race’s history. Including runners who carried the Godolphin silks as well as his own colors, he has been involved with nine St Leger scorers.

How often do favorites win

Horses may be fancied in the betting for the St Leger Festival, but that is no guarantee that they will win races at the meeting. In general terms, several studies found that favorites were beaten in two-thirds of all horse races on average. While St Leger tips may recommend market leaders, it is always worth checking if there is any case for betting on other horses. Favorites only win about 30 percent of the time, so concentrating your efforts elsewhere in the betting for the St Leger Festival may prove more rewarding.

Where can I bet market leaders

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St Leger tips: Which horses should I bet on at the Festival

This year’s renewal of the St Leger race should be a cracker. Some of the most exciting three-year-olds trained in the UK and Ireland are being aimed at it by their owners and trainers. We have St Leger tips from our experts who know the form and which horses are the best value for the entire Festival.

Scarborough Stakes

Que Amoro ran the race of her life when chasing home Battaash in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York’s Ebor Festival last time out. This is a massive ease in grade for the Michael Dods trained filly, and her yard won this in 2014 with Mecca’s Angel. Juvenile colt Acklam Express is feared most at the weights after notching a hat-trick for Nigel Tinkler.

Sceptre Fillies’ Stakes

If Raffle Prize, who has been given a summer break by Mark Johnston, runs up to her juvenile form, then she looks value in the betting for the St Leger Festival under Frankie Dettori here. Godolphin filly Althiqa finished in front of last year’s winner Breathtaking Look at Glorious Goodwood and met her off the same terms, to confirm form and go well for Charlie Appleby.

May Hill Stakes

Despite being one of the more exposed runners, Kevin Ryan’s Star Of Emaraaty shaped as though a mile was well within her when landing the Sweet Solera Stakes at Newmarket last time out. Her sire handled a softer surface just fine. Zabeel Queen could be anything after her Ascot novice success and is feared most on the upgrade for Roger Varian, Andrea Atzeni, and Sheikh Mohammed Obaid.

Park Hill Stakes

Clear preference is for Alpinista, who put in a career-best when outrunning her odds and chasing home Arc's favorite Love in the Yorkshire Oaks. Sir Mark Prescott’s filly shaped very much as though the step up in trip would suit her. Roger Varian sends out handicap hat-trick scorer Believe In Love in search of black type, and this progressive sort rates a significant danger on her first start in Group company.

Doncaster Cup

A change of stables for Spanish Mission may prove the making of him, and he appeals to follow-up after a Listed success at Chester on debut for new trainer Andrew Balding. Course winner Red Verdon has reinvented himself as a stayer this season, and it was a mistake to drop him back in trip last time out, so he’s respected alongside Lonsdale Cup also-rans Eagles By Day and Nayef Road.

St Leger Stakes

Santiago is hard to oppose in the St Leger betting for Aidan O’Brien after winning two key trials for the race, the Queen’s Vase and Irish Derby. With Stamina doubts about plucky Great Voltigeur hero Pyledriver, the progressive Geoffrey Freer scorer Hukum who, like his market rivals, also won at Royal Ascot looks a bigger danger for Owen Burrows. 

Should I bet ante post for the St Leger Festival

Another of the essential St Leger tips is to get your bets on ante-post. You may be wondering why. How horses get on in their prep runs and previous outings shape the St Leger Festival's betting a lot. While you aren’t guaranteed a run for your money, you will likely get a better price than if you choose to wait. That is because horses who do well have their odds cut in the St Leger betting. This happens time and again with bookmakers. Be smart and follow our St Leger tips.

How to bet on handicaps at the Doncaster St Leger Festival

There are no trials for the many handicap races at the Festival sadly. Anything prominent in the betting for a St Leger Festival race is worth a closer look, but the nursery handicaps are best avoided altogether. There is so little form to go on because the horses running are Flat juveniles and so getting heavily involved isn’t advisable.

Sprint handicaps like the Portland Handicap have risks too. A bad draw can make or break a horse’s chances whatever their price in the St Leger betting. The middle and long distance handicaps, such as the Mallard Handicap, are the best St. Leger races to bet on. There is form to study and more time to overcome a bad draw. 

Is there value in betting for the St Leger Festival

betting types on politicsLike any horse racing meeting, there is value in the St Leger betting. Avoid nursery handicaps and juvenile races where there is little form to go on. If you are going to bet in a handicap, then stick to long-distance events. The best St Leger tips all suggest betting on Group races ante post. Doing this each way can also see you turn a profit if the horse places.

With so much action going on at Doncaster, betting for the St Leger Festival can be tricky. By following the tips given here, you should make better choices. Therefore, that increases your chances of coming out of the Festival ahead. Due to the wide variety of races taking place, it is wiser to just watch some of them, rather than getting heavily involved in the St Leger betting all the time.

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FAQ
Q: When is the St Leger Festival in 2020?

The St Leger Festival of 2020 is on from Wednesday, 9 September to Saturday, 12 September at Doncaster Racecourse. The main event, the St. Leger Stakes is run on the final day of the meeting.

Q: Who won the St Leger in 2019?

Logician, trained by John Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori, won the St. Leger in 2019 beating Mark Johnston duo Sir Ron Priestley and Nayef Road.

Q: What other St Leger betting races are there?

There are seven races each day at this meeting and betting for the St Leger Festival will be available on them all. Other big events include the Doncaster Cup, Park Hill Stakes, and Sceptre Fillies’ Stakes.

Q: Why is the St Leger so called?

The St Leger race is named after Anthony St Leger, a wealthy landowner to whom Park Hill, which overlooks Doncaster Racecourse, belonged. St. Leger races date back almost 250 years to 24 September 1776 when it was held on Cantley Common.

Q: Who will win the St Leger in 2020?

Betting on a big field handicap is challenging, but Santiago is one of the most obvious choices. Trained by horse racing legend Aiden O'Brien, it has already claimed victory in the Irish Derby and the Queen's Vase.

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