Doncaster’s St Leger 2016 takes place on Saturday 10th September. Facts & figures about the World’s Oldest Classic are listed below, along with some fun Festival statistics:

Largest Field: 30 runners went to post in 1825. The current safety limit is 20.

Smallest Field: In 1917, when the Classic was run at Newmarket during the First World War, Gay Crusader only had to see off two rivals. The smallest fields at Doncaster were in 1783 and 1785, when only four runners went to post.

Biggest Shocks: Theodore (1822) was officially returned at “1000/5” – i.e. 200/1. In more recent times, Moonax was 40/1 when scoring in 1994.

Shortest-Priced Winner: Galtee More (1897) was sent off at 1/10. Biggest-winning distance (since 1900): Never Say Die (1954) won by 12 lengths.

Smallest-winning distance (since 1900): Trigo (1929), Herringbone (1943), Ribero (1968) and Son Of Love (1979) all scored by a short-head.

Most Successful Jockey: Bill Scott with nine wins – Jack Spigot (1821), Memnon (1825), The Colonel (1828), Rowton (1829), Don John (1838), Charles The Twelfth (1839), Launcelot (1840), Satirist (1841) and Sir Tatton Sykes (1846). Lester Piggott and John Jackson rode eight St Leger winners and are the joint second most successful jockeys in the final Classic.

Most Successful Current Jockey: Frankie Dettori with five wins (Classic Cliche 1995, Shantou 1996, Scorpion 2005, Sixties Icon 2006 and Conduit 2008).

Most Successful Trainer: John Scott (brother of Bill Scott) with 16 wins. Scott’s winners were Matilda (1827), The Colonel (1828), Rowton (1829), Margrave (1832), Touchstone (1834), Don John (1838), Charles The Twelfth (1839), Launcelot (1840), Satirist (1841), The Baron (1845), Newminster (1851), West Australian (1853), Warlock (1856), Imperieuse (1857), Gamester (1859) and The Marquis (1862). Other St Leger specialists have been Mat Dawson, John Porter, Cecil Boyd- Rochfort and Dick Hern, who all trained six winners.

Most Successful Current Trainer: Godolphin’s Saeed bin Suroor with five victories – Mastery (2009), Rule Of Law (2004), Mutafaweq (1999), Nedawi (1998) and Classic Cliche (1995). Aidan O’Brien and John Gosden have had four wins each.

Most Successful Owner: The Duke of Hamilton with seven winners – Paragon (1786), Spadille (1787), Young Flora (1788), Tartar (1792), Petronius (1808), Ashton (1809) and William (1814).

Most Successful Current Owner: Godolphin is the most successful current owner with six winners – Encke (2012), Mastery (2009), Rule Of Law (2004), Mutafaweq (1999), Nedawi (1998) and Classic Cliche (1995).

Winning Brothers: The St Leger winners Ribocco (1967) and Ribero (1968) were full-brothers. Both were owned by Charles Engelhard, trained by Fulke Johnson Houghton and ridden by Lester Piggott.

Winning Favourites: In the 70 renewals since the end of World War II, 27 favourites have won the Ladbrokes St Leger. The most recent of those was Kingston Hill at 9/4 in 2014. Nine of the 27 winning favourites were returned at odds-on, the shortest-priced winner being the 1970 Triple Crown hero Nijinsky at 2/7.

Irish-Trained Winners: Since 1945, eight horses trained in Ireland have won the Ladbrokes St Leger. The first of those was Ballymoss in 1957 for trainer Vincent O’Brien, who also scored with Nijinsky (1970) and Boucher (1972). Aidan O’Brien has saddled Milan (2001), Brian Boru (2003), Scorpion (2005) and Leading Light (2013) to victory, while Paddy Prendergast provided the other Irish success with Ragusa (1963).

French-trained Winners: Six French-trained horses have landed the Ladbrokes St Leger in the same period, the first being Scratch II in 1950 for trainer Charles Semblat, who followed up a year later with Talma II. The Andre Fabre-trained Toulon in 1991 was the most recent French success.

Triple Crown: The Triple Crown is the accolade achieved by a horse that wins the English Classics open to colts – the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas over a mile at Newmarket at the beginning of May, the Investec Derby over 12 furlongs at Epsom Downs in early June and the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster.

15 horses have completed the Triple Crown – West Australian (1853), Gladiateur (1865), Lord Lyon (1866), Ormonde (1886), Common (1891), Isinglass (1893), Galtee More (1897), Flying Fox (1899), Diamond Jubilee (1900), Rock Sand (1903), Pommern (1915), Gay Crusader (1917), Gainsborough (1918), Bahram (1935) and Nijinsky (1970).

The following 10 horses won the 2,000 Guineas and the Derby, but were beaten in the St Leger: Cotherstone (1843 – 2nd to Nutwith), Pretender (1869 – unplaced behind Pero Gomez), Shotover (1882 – 3rd behind Dutch Oven), Ayrshire (1888 – unplaced behind Seabreeze), Ladas (1894 – 2nd to Throsttle), St Amant (1904 – 6th (last) behind Pretty Polly), Minoru (1909 – 4th behind Bayardo), Manna (1925 – 10th behind Solario), Cameronian (1931 – 10th (last) behind Sandwich), Camelot (2012 – 2nd to Encke).

The Ladbrokes St Leger Festival Statistics

  • 65,000+ racegoers
  • 10,000 hospitality guests
  • 4,000 pairs of complimentary Ladbrokes flip flops
  • 70 catering outlets
  • 5,000 jugs of Pimms
  • 6,000 bottles of Champagne
Karen Sargeant

Karen Sargeant

Karen can usually be found glued to her computer or at the stables. Having edited several national magazines she co-founded Eclipse Magazine in 2008 after realising that many of her friends were nervous about going racing due to lack of information – what to wear, how to bet etc.

She absolutely loves her job (how many people can say that?!) and is truly grateful to all supporters of and contributors to Eclipse Magazine.

If you are reading this she would like to say THANK YOU! (And please spread the word about Eclipse...!!)
Karen Sargeant

Latest posts by Karen Sargeant (see all)

If you enjoyed this, try...