Updated: November 2019

2018 St Leger Festival

14 January 2019

THE ST LEGER FESTIVAL – 12th – 15th Septmber 2018


The St Leger (now known as The St Leger Festival) was originally devised by Anthony St Leger, an ex army officer and politician who lived near the famous Doncaster racecourse. It was initially “A Sweepstake of 25 Guineas”, and the original distance was 2 miles. The rules stipulated that colts and geldings were to carry 8 st, and fillies would receive an allowance of 2 lb.

The very first race was run at Cantley Common on 24 September 1776 and the name of the race was decided at a lavish dinner party held in 1776 at The Red Lion Inn located in the Market Place, Doncaster to discuss the following year’s race.

It was suggested that it should be called the Rockingham Stakes in honour of the Marquess of Rockingham, but she proposed that it should be named instead after Anthony St Leger. The event was moved to its present location, Town Moor, in 1778

The very first Derby-St Leger double was aptly achieved by a horse called “Champion” and todays distance of 1 mile and six furlongs was inaugurated in 1813 from which point the distance has remained very much the same.

The St Leger is the final leg of the triple crown (2000 Guineas, Derby and St Leger) and this was first achieved by the horse West Australian in the year 1853.


1. Fastest winning time (at Doncaster) – Masked Marvel (2011), 3m 00.44s
2. Widest winning margin – Never Say Die (1954), 12 lengths
3. Longest odds winner – Theodore (1822), 200/1
4. Shortest odds winner – Galtee More (1897), 1/10
5. Most runners – 30, in 1825
6. Fewest runners – 3, in 1917


Doncaster is one of the pre-eminent racetracks in Great Britain and holds both top class flat and jumps racing throughout the year inluding the big season opening flat handicap, The Lincoln as well as the Great Yorkshire Chase and many other big races.

But Doncaster is also well known for its vibrant city centre, nightlife and other interesting things to do outside of the racing. Here are just a few ideas for you if you are attending the 2018 St Leger Festival at Doncatser.



La Fiesta is a small and contemporary Mediterranean bistro and restuarant which offers a 50+ seats venue in an intimate setting – a welcoming place to relax, with good company to enjoy a taste of Spain. Savour one of their appetizing tapas, satisfying main meals and heavenly desserts – including vegetarian, gluten free and children’s options.


El Toro is another flavour from the Mediterranean and is a stunning location. Experience authentic and traditional flavours of Spain in the heart of Doncaster, with a friendly atmosphere and beautifully decorated restaurant our team will ensure you get a real taste of Spanish living.

Why not try their famous Tapas – Tapas can be practically anything from a chunk of tuna, cocktail onion and an olive skewered on a long toothpick, to piping hot meat with sauce served in a miniature clay dish – or anything in between. Tapas are served day in and day out in every bar and café in Spain. So much a part of the culture and social scene that the Spanish people invented the verb tapear which means to go and eat tapas!


A highly acclaimed seafood and champagne bar with a wide selection of dishes for every taste. High level of top 5 star reviews make this one place you must try out and to coincide with the upcoming St Leger festival they will be open until 8pm on Thursday Friday & Saturday this coming week, they will also be open early for champagne breakfasts before racing,see you there!


CUSWORTH HALL http://www.cusworth-hall.co.uk/

Cusworth Hall was built in the 1740s and is in a parkland setting on the outskirts of Cusworth village in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. The Hall is now the Museum of South Yorkshire Life and its collections depict life in the locality over the last 200 years. The Hall provides a beautiful backdrop to the lakeland landscape of the country park.

The hall is one of only four listed Grade 1 buildings in the district.

Built by George Platt, a local builder and architect, for William Wrightson between 1740-45, it was refaced and extended by James Paine in 1749-53. The Hall and Park have been managed by the local authority since 1961. The grounds are open to the public.

East of the Hall is Shrubbery Walk – a band of ornamental trees including the Strawberry tree, Redwood and Ginkgo. Native trees to be found include Elder, Hazel, Yew and Holly.

The lakes are home to common wildfowl such as mallard, coot and moorhen. Black coot and moorhen can be easily separated, coot having a white bill and lobed feet, moorhen having a red bill and clawed feet. Toads and frogs are present here, as are water scorpions and diving beetles. Other wildlife in the Country Park includes tawny owls and up to six bat species. Daubenton’s or water bats can be seen at dusk flying over the fish ponds looking for insects.


You’re in for some FANTASTIC FAMILY FUN at the UK’s No.1 walk-through wildlife adventure! Yorkshire Wildlife Park is home to some of the most amazing animals on the planet, from the only polar bears in England to majestic lions, tigers, black rhino and so much more!

With nearly 400 animals and 70 different species of animal, Yorkshire Wildlife Park is a fantastic place to experience a truly breathtaking walkthrough wildlife adventure!



Excellent night, great music and great home brewed beer at great prices. We would recommend a night here with friends and they appear to have loads of music through the week from different genres.

The quality of bands playing at this venue constantly surprises. The beer is very good and its a real local pub atmosphere. Free entry and you can also take your dog in – whats not to like!


Graham and Ton Wilsdon run The Salutation Pub in Doncaster. They both met in Tons first restaurant in Thailand (Ratchaburi) A few years later they got married and decided to start their family in Doncaster. Graham had a share in a Fabrication Business and Ton wanted to get back into the bar/restaurant business.

So now they have taken on The Salutation with its great customer base, excellent location and warm welcome for racegoers who are visiting the St Leger Festival at Doncaster Racecourse.

The pub has a special ambiance, with a great selection of cast ales beers and lagers, along with a new quality wine list. Also a great variation of malt whiskies and gins, completed by the premium tonic Fever Tree.

They have also introduced a small selection of home cooked Thai Food along with the existing pub menu of burgers, chips and steak pie.


The St Leger is the last classic of the season and although we have no contender for the Triple Crown, it still looks to be an eagerly contested renewal with 16 entries at the five day declaration stage.

The field is headed by the likely favourite Kew Gardens from the Aiden O’Brien yard and is a worthy favorite after finishing third over a trip too short at York last time and with Ryan Moore likely to ride looks the one to beat at 7/4.

The very interesting horse here is Brundtland for Godolphin who has had the one run (winner) at te back end of last year and it is fascinating this one is entered in a Classic on only it’s second start. They must rate this one very highly and at 33/1 this has to be worth a little nibble EW (Each Way) Don’t forget Encke winning this at the same odds a few years back for Godolphin.

Of course the aforementioned duo are from very powerful yards but another interesting contender is Maid Up from the Andrew Balding yard. This one has improved leaps and bounds this season and won from a mark of 105 last time very easily. At 20/1 this looks another great value EW bet.

Below you can see all the racecards for the week.


Wednesday 12th September

13:50 British Stallion Studs EBF Conditions Stakes (Plus 10) (2yo, Class 2, 6f 2y, 7 runners)

14:25 Owlerton Greyhound Stadium Nursery (2yo, Class 2, 7f 6y, 7 runners)

15:00 D C Training And Development Services Scarbrough Stakes (Listed) (2yo+, Class 1, 5f 3y, 9 runners)

15:35 Clipper Logistics Leger Legends Classified Stakes (Str) (3yo+, Class 5, 1m, 19 runners)

16:05 EBF Breeders’ Series Fillies’ Handicap (3yo+, Class 2, 1m 3f 197y, 11 runners)

16:40 William Hill Leading Racecourse Bookmaker Conditions Stakes (3yo+, Class 2, 1m 2f 43y, 4 runners)

17:15 1stsecuritysolutions.co.uk Handicap (3yo+, Class 4, 5f 3y, 14 runners)

Thursday 13th September

13:50 British Stallion Studs EBF ‘Carrie Red’ Fillies’ Nursery (2yo, Class 2, 6f 111y, 14 runners)

14:25 William Hill May Hill Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies & Mares) (Str) (2yo, Class 1, 1m, 11 runners)

15:00 DFS Park Hill Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies & Mares) (3yo+, Class 1, 1m 6f 115y, 7 runners)

15:35 Weatherbys Racing Bank 300,000 2-Y-O Stakes (2yo, Class 2, 6f 111y, 22 runners)

16:05 Silk Series Lady Riders’ Handicap (Pro-Am Lady Riders’ Race) (3yo+, Class 3, 6f 2y, 19 runners)

16:40 Mechanical Facilities Handicap (3yo+, Class 2, 1m 2f 43y, 10 runners)

17:10 DFS Handicap (3yo, Class 2, 7f 6y, 8 runners)

Friday 14th September

13:50 Japan Racing Association Sceptre Stakes (Fillies and Mares) (Group 3) (Class 1, 7f 6y, 18 runners)
14:25 Wainwrights Flying Childers Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1, 5f 3y, 25 runners)
15:00 William Hill Mallard Handicap (Class 2, 1m 6f 115y, 20 runners)
15:35 Doncaster Cup Stakes (Class 1, 2m 1f 197y, 9 runners)
16:05 Weatherbys Global Stallions App Flying Scotsman Stakes (Listed) (Class 1, 7f 6y, 15 runners)
16:40 Gary Reid Memorial British EBF Maiden Stakes (Plus 10) (Class 3, 7f 6y, 17 runners)
17:10 Lakeside Village Outlet Shopper Handicap (Class 2, 6f 111y, 16 runners)
17:45 Coopers Marquees Classified Stakes (Class 3, 1m 2f 43y, 16 runners)

Saturday 15th September

13:50 William Hill Portland Handicap (Class 2, 5f 143y, 42 runners)

14:25 Alan Wood Plumbing And Heating Park Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1, 7f 6y, 12 runners)

15:00 Howcroft Industrial Supplies Champagne Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1, 7f 6y, 17 runners)

15:35 William Hill St Leger Stakes (Group 1) (British Champion Series) (Class 1, 1m 6f 115y, 16 runners)

16:10 Napoleons Casinos & Restaurants Nursery (Class 2, 1m, 17 runners)

16:45 P J Towey Construction Ltd Handicap (Class 2, 1m, 21 runners)

17:55 Cliff Stud Rearing Winners Handicap (Class 2, 1m 3f 197y, 14 runners)



This week we will be providing readers with one selection each day and hoping we can come up with more profit after our 40/1 second place advised each way last week with Al Kout


There are no selections for day one of the meeting.


Today’s selection comes in the 3.35 at Doncaster and we like the look of Kevin Ryan’s CELEBRITY DANCER at 16/1EW.

Has looked a progressive horse in all four starts to date and it’s last run was a highly promising fourth when tackling the Goffs Premier Yearling Stakes.

Looks excellent each way value and be sure to place your best with a bookmaker paying out five places instead of the usual four (Skybet and Paddy Power both offering this concession)


Today’s selection comes in the 2.25 at Doncaster and we like the look of Karl burke’s LITTLE KIM at 25/1 EW

Had looked a progressive horse in it’s first three starts with two wins and a solid performance in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot. The last two runs have been Ok without being spectacular and possible she may have needed her last run after a short break.

The booking of Frankie Detorri is an eyecatcher and we can see this one running a very solid race.

Looks great each way value and Bet365 are the only bookmaker paying 1/4 odds on this race.



Today’s selection comes in the 1.50 at Doncaster and we like the look of Karl burke’s ROUNDHAY PARK at 28/1 EW

Has been looking very solid in it’s most recent handicap starts and looks like the horse has been given a very solid chance by the handicapper.

Looks great each way value with William Hill and Paddy Power paying 6 places.