The St Leger Festival 2023 Guide & Information

st leger festival

The St Leger Festival is one of the biggest events of the year at Doncaster Racecourse. Named after the St Leger Stakes, which is the oldest of the five British Classic races, the festival has a history dating back over two centuries.

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History Of The St Leger Festival

The St Leger Stakes is the oldest of the five British Classic races, dating back to when it was introduced in 1776. The race was named after Anthony St Leger, an army officer and politician who lived in the mid-18th century and who established the race. St Leger was an avid horse racing fan and was instrumental in the establishment of the Doncaster racecourse, where the St Leger Stakes has been held every year since.

In its early years, the St Leger Stakes had prize money of just 100 guineas. However, over time the race grew in prestige and importance, attracting the finest horses and jockeys from around the world. Notable past winners include some of the most famous horses in history.

Betting On The St Leger Festival

The St Leger Festival takes place over four days and with multiple races scheduled for each day, there are several opportunities to place bets.

The Doncaster Cup and the St Leger Stakes are the biggest and most popular of the festivals races to bet on but you’ll be able to bet on any of the races either at the racecourse, in a betting shop or online.

If you’re looking for some advice on which horse to back, you can take a look at our free horse racing tips from WhichBookie’s own racing experts. However, you can also do your own research into the runners or simply back one that you like the name of!

When it comes to the types of bets you can place on the races at the St Leger Festival, the most common types are Win bets and Each Way bets. Look out for enhanced odds for win bets and any extra places that are on offer when placing EW bets. There are also forecasts, tricasts and other bet types that can make your wagers a little more interesting on the festival.

Best Bookmakers For The St Leger Festival

Nearly every one of the top UK bookies will be taking bets on races at the St Ledger Festival but some are better than others. When choosing a bookie to place your bets on the races with, take into consideration which ones are offering the best odds. Bookies prices can vary by some margin and by placing your bets at the greatest odds, you’ll be getting the biggest returns if they win.

You should also check to see if the bookies you are betting with have any racing promotions available. Offers such as Best Odds Guaranteed and Extra Places are common on big races and it’s more than likely that some of the top bookies will be offering them on the St Leger Festival races.

Below, we’ve listed five of the top betting sites to bet on the St Leger Festival with.

St Ledger Festival Betting Sites

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Where Is The St Leger Festival?

The St Leger Festival takes place at the Doncaster Racecourse, which is located in South Yorkshire. The racecourse is one of the oldest in the country, dating back to the 16th century.

Doncaster Racecourse has four main stands: the Grandstand, the County Enclosure, the Family Enclosure and the Premier Suite. Each of these stands offers a different level of luxury, with the Premier Suite being the most exclusive and expensive option.

In addition to the main stands, the racecourse also features a number of bars, restaurants, and hospitality suites, offering visitors a range of dining and entertainment options throughout the festival. The racecourse also boasts a large number of betting facilities, with bookmakers and betting shops available around the course.

Doncaster Racecourse features a straight mile and a round course. The round course is used for the St Leger Stakes which is run over a distance of 1 mile and 6 furlongs. The racecourse is also home to a number of other races and events throughout the year, including the Doncaster Cup and the Lincoln Handicap.

St Leger Festival Races & Events

The St Leger Festival is a four-day event that features several races. Here’s an overview of some of the key events during the festival:

Ladies Day

The first day of the festival is known as Ladies Day and it’s a chance for attendees to dress up in their finest attire and enjoy a day of racing and entertainment.

Doncaster Cup Day

The second day of the festival is dedicated to the Doncaster Cup which is one of the oldest races in the country and has been run since 1766.

St Leger Stakes Day

The highlight is the St Leger Stakes itself which takes place on the third day of the festival. The race is open to three-year-old horses and is run over a distance of 1 mile and 6 furlongs. The St Leger Stakes is the final leg of the English Triple Crown, which also includes the 2000 Guineas and the Derby.

St Leger Legends Day

On the final day of the festival, retired jockeys are invited to compete in a special race with the winner receiving the St Leger Legends Trophy.

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Accommodation and Travel

If you’re planning to attend the St Leger Festival, it’s important to plan your accommodation and travel arrangements well in advance.

Accommodation:

There are a range of accommodation options available in the Doncaster area from luxury hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses. Some popular options include:

  • The Hilton Garden Inn Doncaster Racecourse: This hotel is located on the Doncaster Racecourse itself making it a convenient option for those attending the festival. The hotel offers a range of rooms, an on-site restaurant and free parking.
  • The Earl of Doncaster Hotel: This historic hotel is located just a short distance from the racecourse and often fills up quickly around the time of the festival.
  • Premier Inn Doncaster Central East: For a more budget-friendly option, the Premier Inn Doncaster Central East offers rooms at an affordable price and is just a short drive from the racecourse.

Transport:

Getting to the Doncaster Racecourse is relatively easy no matter how you are travelling.

  • By Car: If you’re driving to the festival, there is parking available at the racecourse. However, it’s worth noting that parking can be quite expensive and places can fill up fast.
  • By Train: Doncaster train station is located just a short distance from the racecourse. From the station, you can catch a bus or taxi to the racecourse.
  • By Bus: A number of local bus services operate to and from the racecourse. The main bus station in Doncaster is located near the train station.

St Leger Festival Supporting Races

While the St Leger Stakes is undoubtedly the main event at the St Leger Festival, there are also a number of supporting races that take place over the course of the five-day event. Here’s a closer look at some of these races.

The Champagne Stakes

This Group 2 race is open to two-year-old colts and geldings and is run over a distance of 7 furlongs. The race was first run in 1823 and has since become a key event in the juvenile racing calendar.

The Park Hill Stakes

This Group 2 race is open to fillies and mares aged three and older and is run over a distance of 1 mile and 6 furlongs. The race dates back to 1839 and is named after the Park Hill estate in Sheffield.

The Portland Handicap

This Class 2 race is open to horses aged three and older and is run over a distance of 5 furlongs and 143 yards. The race is named after the Duke of Portland who was a prominent racehorse owner and breeder in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The St Leger Festival Dress Code

The St Leger Festival is a prestigious event, and as such, there is a dress code in place for certain areas of the racecourse. The dress code varies depending on which enclosure you’re in so it’s important to check in advance to avoid any disappointment.

In the Premier Enclosure, the dress code is formal. Men are required to wear a jacket and tie while women should opt for a smart dress or suit. Fancy dress or sportswear are not permitted.

In the Grandstand Enclosure, the dress code is less strict, but still smart casual. Men are asked to wear a collared shirt while women should avoid wearing anything too revealing.

In the Family Enclosure, there is no official dress code, but guests are asked to dress appropriately for the occasion.

It’s worth noting that even if you’re not in an area with a strict dress code, it’s still important to dress appropriately for the occasion. The St Leger Festival is a formal event and dressing up is part of the fun.

If you’re not sure what to wear, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and dress up rather than down.

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