St. Leger Stakes
The last of the races that make up the UK Triple Crown and also the last of the British Classics, the St. Leger Stakes is also the longest of those prestigious races for three-year-olds. At a course distance of 1 mile 6 furlongs 132 yards, the St. Leger Stakes is a tough final test for any horse aimed at taking the Triple Crown. Later in the year than the other Triple Crown races, the St. Leger Stakes isnít held until September.
Inaugurated in 1776, the St. Leger Stakes is the oldest of the races that comprise the Triple Crown and the British Classic races. First organized by Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, the event was initially run without a name. When the organizers decided to establish a name for the event, they first thought to name it after the Marquess. He insisted that they instead name it for his friend Anthony St. Leger, who had originally suggested the race.
The race takes place at Doncaster Racecourse, which also holds the highly prized Doncaster Cup. This racecourse is one of the most well-established in the UK, and has a history that extends back hundreds of years into the 16th century. Early objections to racing based on some people believing it attracted the wrong sort could have seen the end of racing in Doncaster. The popularity of the races was too strong, though, and so Doncaster Racecourse is one of the largest in Britain to this day.
Anyone wishing to attend the 2009 St. Leger Stakes should mark 9 to 12 September in their calendars. That is when the St. Leger Meeting will be held, with the St. Leger Stakes being run on 12 September. While not as closely watched as other races in the Triple Crown, the St. Leger Stakes are still very popular, and when combined with the Doncaster Cup, the St. Leger Meeting attracts a very large number of attendees.