St Leger 2023 Preview & Betting Tips

Doncaster Day 2 Tips

3.00 Doncaster – Coltrane (NAP)

The Doncaster Cup looks like being a classic on Friday afternoon with top honours hopefully going the way of the Andrew Balding-trained Coltrane.

Five runners have been declared for the £130,000 contest, with two of them - Coltrane and Trueshan, meeting for the fifth time in their careers.

Coltrane just touched off Trueshan by a neck in this 2m2f event twelve months ago, and Balding is expecting another close affair even though his six-year-old now has a penalty for his Lonsdale Cup success at York last time out.

All things being equal, Oisin Murphy’s mount looks like the one they all have to beat and I make him our 888sport NAP of the day for those of you placing your horse racing online bets with us.

Danger: The Grand Visir

3.35 Doncaster – Bague D’Or (NB)

A model of consistency, James Ferguson’s Bague D’Or can make his presence felt once more in this Mallard Handicap at Doncaster. 

As long as he doesn’t duck the task in hand he looks the highly probable winner based upon his runner-up effort at the York Ebor meeting last time out.

None of the form of the others really matches up to that Knaversmire race this season and he can go well at a nice price.

Danger: The Goat

2.25 Doncaster – Francis Meynell (E/W Longshot)

Wouldn’t it be poetic justice if jockey Kevin Stott was to turn over some rather fancied Amo Racing runners in the Flying Childers on Friday, and that’s a distinct possibility with his mount Francis Meynell.

Having made a successful introduction at Navan, Michael O'Callaghan's speedily-bred Blue Point youngster was immediately aimed at this Doncaster contest.

Odds of 14/1 look far too big in my opinion and I recommend an each-way flutter on the Irish raider.

Danger: Malc

Doncaster Day 3 Tips

3.35 Doncaster – Gregory (NAP)

He’s done it before and he may well have done it again, but I do believe Frankie Dettori has opted for the wrong mount in Saturday’s St Leger.

Not all fairytales come true and the reason Gregory got beaten last time at York is that in my opinion, Dettori got his tactics all wrong on him.

Arrest will therefore be the mount of Dettori, with both horses being trained by John and Thady Gosden.

Dettori partnered the original ante-post favourite Gregory to win the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot and finish third under a penalty in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York last time.

At around 4/1 in the betting, I make Gregory our 888sport NAP of the day.

3.00 Doncaster – Audience (NB)

Just touched off by Kinross in the City Of York Stakes, Audience can avenge that defeat and land this Group 2 Park Stakes at Doncaster.

Audience won the Group 3 Criterion Stakes earlier in the season and has strangely been going off at overinflated odds in his last four outings.

With Spycatcher the only other horse in the field showing any kind of form at the moment, I’m inclined to go with the four-year-old Audience at the price when placing any horse racing online bets.

Danger: Spycatcher

2.25 Doncaster – Vintage Clarets (E/W Longshot)

At first glance when you see the form figures of Vintage Clarets, you immediately think that he’s going off the boil a bit.

However, the four-year-old is actually still putting in some decent performances and has a great each-way shout in this Portland Handicap.

Just 2½ lengths behind Equilateral in the opening handicap at York’s Ebor meeting, Richard Fahey’s runner should thrive over this 5½f trip once again and Oisin Orr is an excellent jockey for the stable.

Dangers: Dakota Gold & Makanah 

*Some of these runners may well feature in next year’s Royal Ascot betting, so be sure to check out all our antepost betting markets*

What Is The St Leger? 

The final Classic of the season is known as the Doncaster St Leger. Not only is it the longest in terms of distance of the five Classic races but it is also the oldest.

Officially known as the St Leger Stakes, the race itself is a Group 1 flat horse race that is open to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies.

The historic contest, run over 1m 6f, has had crowds flocking to Doncaster Racecourse for over 240 years. It has seen some great horses and some great tussles down the years.

St Leger History

The race was the brainchild of Major‐General Anthony St Leger, an Irishman who had settled near Doncaster after marrying a local woman.

He had been MP for Grimsby two years before he came up with the idea of a race over two miles on Cantley Common.

At a dinner party thrown by the Marquess of Rockingham in the Red Lion pub in Doncaster’s Market Place, it was suggested the race should be named after the evening’s host.

He declined the offer and proposed the race be named the St Leger after the Major-General. The race moved to its present site on Town Moor under its new St Leger title in 1778.

The race first came to national prominence when a horse named “Champion” became the first horse to complete the Derby‐St Leger double in 1800.

The distance of the race was also cut to 1m6f and it soon became one of the most prominent races in the horse racing tips calendar.

St Leger Race Date And Time

The St Leger Festival is one of highlights in the UK racing calendar and consists of four days of truly enthralling racing action from 14-17 September 2023. 

St Leger Festival Race Card

Day 1 is Leger Legends Day. Day 2 is Ladies Day and racegoers are encouraged to dress to impress.

Day 3 is Donny Day celebrating everything about Doncaster. Day 4 is the big day itself with the feature race, the St Leger Stakes taking place on a Sunday for the very first time.

Quite often horses that featured prominently in the Royal Ascot betting back in the month of June, race here in September.

2022 St Leger Result

David Egan, having his first ride in the St Leger on the 9-2 chance Eldar Eldarov, won a dramatic race in which the second horse home was demoted to fourth after a stewards’ inquiry.

The day included a series of tributes to the Queen following the monarch’s death. All UK racing returned to action after a break of 48 hours with the Leger meeting being put back a day.

St Leger Betting Odds

Our 888sport horse racing odds for the Doncaster showpiece are as follows, accurate as of 22nd August 2023:

  • 9/4 Gregory

  • 4/1 Savethelastdance

  • 6/1 Desert Hero, Arrest

  • 10/1 Castle Way, Valiant Star, Tower Of London

  • 12/1 Adelaide River, Continuous

  • 14/1 Chesspiece

  • 16/1 Alexandroupolis

  • 20/1 Bar


Steven is a sports and horse racing enthusiast and is a member of the Horseracing Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) in the United Kingdom.

He is a regular visitor to Paris Longchamp for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and a lifelong fan of the Aintree Grand National, a subject he writes about 52 weeks of the year. Last year he reached the impressive milestone of attending the last 30 renewals of the Grand National.