St Leger Stakes Betting Guide - 2021

Last Update

St Leger betting is the last chance to bet on a classic for the season each year. Which is why so many punters take it so seriously.

If you happen to be one of them, you're in luck. This page has everything you need to know about St Leger betting, and more.

From our list of the top St Legers bookies, to our experts' advice for betting on the festival, and even a list of recommended bets, Sportsbetting24 has you covered.

Top 9 St Leger Stakes Betting Sites

  1. bet365 Logo
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  3. William Hill Logo
    William Hill
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St Leger Stakes - bonuses

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Bet On The St Leger With William Hill

William Hill is our number one St Leger betting site. They sponsored the race between 2017 and 2019 and you can be sure they have every angle covered for punters who want to bet on the St Leger Festival. You’ll find extra place specials, enhanced St Leger prices and the William Hill St Leger betting odds are amongst the best in class. To put it simply, if you are planning on having a St Leger punt you could do a lot worse than choosing William Hill.

Recommended St Leger Bets

In this section we look at some of the most highly recommended St Leger bets. Our St Leger bet risk table neatly illustrates the risk associated with each different bet and we also outline whether bets are best suited to novices, beginners or experts. After you check out our risk table*, make sure to read the subsequent St Leger betting advice section where we reveal some superb snippets of advice that should enable you to back more St Leger winners.

Bet Type Risk Recommended for
Win Bet 4 Novice
Place Bet 2 Beginner
Each Way Bet 3 Advanced
Forecast/Tricast 5 Expert
Bet without the Favourite 3 Advanced

(*risk can be managed, not volatility)

St Leger Betting Advice

There are a number of fundamentals you need to stick to when betting on the St Leger. Things like the ground and a horse’s ability to get the 1m 6f distance are vital and certain trainers and jockeys tend to do well in the race too. Check out our expert St Leger betting advice below...

  • The Ground –
    You should always take the ground conditions into consideration before you bet on the St Leger. If you fancy a horse, look back at his previous runs and see whether they came on soft or good ground. If the horse has produced his or her best form on heavy ground, there won’t be much point in backing it for the St Leger if it comes up good to firm. So, always check the weather forecast before you put your money down.
  • Pedigree –
    The St Leger is the longest of the classic races in terms of trip at 1 mile 6 furlongs. The 2000 Guineas is run over 1 mile, while the Derby is run over a trip of 1m 4f. You need a horse with plenty of staying power and one indicator of how likely a horse is to get the trip is their pedigree. If they are related to horses that have won at that distance then the likelihood is that they will stay the distance too.
  • Trainer/Jockey Combination –
    As you can see in our previous St Leger winners section it usually pays to stick with top trainers and jockey combinations. Between 2010 and 2019 John Gosden (3) and Aidan O’Brien (3) won the race 6 times between them. Harbour Law pulled off a big shock in 2016 for Laura Mongan and George Baker, but overall the powerful yards tend to come to the fore in the St Leger Stakes at Doncaster.
  • Watch Video Replays –
    If you want to improve your strike rate of finding St Leger winners then make sure you don’t just look at form figures and comments from tipsters. We recommend looking back at video replays of previous performances because you might see something in a horse that others have missed (interference/slow start etc.). Once your eye improves your ability to find St Leger winners will get better too.
💡TIP! Don't stick to just one festival a year. There are tons of horse racing festivals to bet on. Take a look at our betting guide for the Arc de Triomphe, or our page on Cheltenham Festival betting for more options!

St Leger Odds Comparison

In this section you’ll discover why it is absolutely imperative to get the best St Leger betting odds. They key to maximising your potential profit is getting the best price possible when you bet on the St Leger Stakes. You can see the importance of shopping around if you look at our St Leger odds comparison table* below…

Horse Name bet365 logo
william hill logo
William Hill
unibet logo
Santiago 11/4 11/4 9/4
Love 5/1 5/1 4/1
Mogul 6/1 7/1 6/1
English King 8/1 10/1 10/1
Tiger Moth 10/1 8/1 8/1
Dawn Patrol 10/1 10/1 11/1
*Odds listed above are for display purposes only

As the table above shows, the odds can vary quite dramatically between bookies. This is even more so the case when you are dealing with ante-post St Leger betting markets. Look at Santiago, for example. He is only 9/4 with Unibet whereas with both bet365 and former race sponsors William Hill he is 11/4. Dawn Patrol, on the other hand, is 10/1 with bet365 and William Hill but at Unibet he is 11/1. William Hill were best price about 4 of the 6 horses listed though and that is why they are at the top of our list of the best St Leger bookmakers.

St Leger Festival Format

Traditionally the St Leger Festival is held on the final day of a four day festival at Doncaster racecourse. Usually held in early to mid-September, it begins on the Wednesday (Legends’ Day) and finishes on the Saturday with the St Leger Stakes. There are a total of between 7 and 8 races on each day of the St Leger meeting, with a total of between 28 and 32 races over the 4 days.

The biggest races of the week are held on the final two days of the meeting, including the St Leger itself on Saturday and the Doncaster Cup on the Friday. In the more important races you can be sure that every horse will be doing their best to win and this is the time to increase your stakes if you fancy a horse. On the first two days of the St Leger meeting we recommend minimising stakes as shock results are a bit more likely. You can get upsets in the big one too though, as we discuss later on in our biggest St Leger shocks section.

St Leger Past Winners and Odds

Year Winner Odds
2019 Logician 5/6 fv
2018 Kew Gardens 3/1
2017 Capri 3/1 fv
2016 Harbour Law 22/1
2015 Simple Verse 8/1
2014 Kingston Hill 9/4 fv
2013 Leading Light 7/2 fv
2012 Encke 25/1
2011 Masked Marvel 15/2
2010 Arctic Cosmos 12/1
  • Only three favourites won the St Leger between 2010 and 2019.
  • The biggest priced winner ever was Theodore, all the way back in 1822 at 200/1.
  • Logician set the record for the fastest winning time in 2019, completing the race in 3m 00.27s.
  • The widest winning margin in the St Leger was 12 lengths in 1954 by a horse named Never Say Die.
💡 St Leger Fact: Sixties Icon won the 2006 St Leger in 2m 57.29s but that year the race was held at York Racecourse.

Shock St Leger Results – Encke Beats Camelot

Theodore in 1822 was the biggest priced winner of the St Leger at 200/1 in 1822. However, perhaps the biggest shock in recent times was when Encke scored at 25/1 in 2012. The mighty Camelot was a long odds on shot (2/5) to complete the classic triple crown of Guineas/Derby/St Leger. Nijinsky was the last horse to complete the set all the way back in 1970. So, as you can imagine, there was huge hype surrounding Camelot and not many punters expected him to be turned over.

However, his backers hadn’t considered that Encke, trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni and ridden by Mickael Barzalona, might upset the applecart. 2 furlongs out Camelot was still on the bridle while Encke was driven to the front. The favourite was caught in a pocket though and Encke nicked a lead that he was just about able to hang onto. It was an inspired ride by Mickael Barzalona and a heart-breaking defeat for Camelot and his legion of fans who were hoping he would make history.

St Leger Stakes Festival History

The St Leger is the oldest of the UK classics, first being run all the way back in 1776 when the official distance was 2 miles. The first horse to complete the Derby/St Leger was the fittingly named Champion in 1800. The distance of the race was cut to 1m 6f and 193 yards in 1813 and that remains the trip to this day.

The race has been hosted by Doncaster for the most part, but there has been some exceptions. During WW1 the race was run at Newmarket and between 1940-45, during WW2, it was moved to Thirsk, Manchester, Newmarket and York. It was also run at York in 2006 while in 1989 Ayr hosted the St Leger. The St Leger is the final classic race of the season and you can find out more about the schedule on the official Doncaster St Leger site.

The 1000/2000 Guineas are the opening classic races in early May and the Epsom Derby and Oaks meeting is held in early June. The Glorious Goodwood and York Ebor festivals are worth watching for clues if you are planning on having a bet on the St Leger. The flat season then winds down with big races at Newmarket (Cambridgeshire meeting), Doncaster (Vertem Futurity Trophy) and Champions Day at Ascot.  

St Leger FAQs

When is the St Leger Festival?
The St Leger Festival is held every year in early to mid-September. It is a four day festival and the big races are the St Leger itself and the Doncaster Cup. You can find out more about the how the St Leger Festival in our dedicated St Leger format section.
Where are the St Leger races taking place?
The St Leger festival takes place at Doncaster Racecourse. Apart from a few exceptions in war time and when Doncaster was undergoing development works, the track has hosted the race since 1776 and it is the oldest ‘classic’ race not only in the UK, but in the world. Find out more about the race in our St Leger history section.
Which bookie is best for St Leger Betting?
In our opinion William Hill is the best choice for St Leger betting. As we outlined in our top St Leger bookies section, William Hill sponsored the race between 2017-19 and they have extensive coverage of the meeting. With odds boosts and extra place specials aplenty, William Hill is definitely worth checking out.
What bookmaker has the best St Leger betting odds?
William Hill and bet365 are the top choices when it comes to St Leger betting odds. If you want to have an ante-post bet you can see in our St Leger odds comparison section that both bet365 and William Hill were best price about more St Leger horses than most other bookies. However, you should still shop around just in case another one of the St Leger bookies on our list has better odds for the bet you want to place.