In what is Doncaster’s jewel in the crown event, the St Leger Festival is one of the most highly anticipated fixtures on the UK & Ireland’s horse racing calendar.
With a number of world-class thoroughbreds lining up across the stacked meeting, the festival acted as a great opportunity for a number of trainers to end their 2022 flat-racing season on a high.
With that in mind, read on as we take a look at three of the feature races that took place at the St Leger Festival over the rearranged card.
St Leger Stakes
In what is the world’s oldest classic, the St Leger Stakes has established itself as one of the most sought-after prizes in all of racing.
Given its history dates back to 1776, there have been some incredible races and notable winners to have run in the 1m6f Group 1 affair.
– and there were nine thoroughbreds who had the opportunity to etch themselves into the history books when they took to the track on September 11th.
With Westover, Changingoftheguard and Francesco Clemente being withdrawn from the meet’s main race, New London quickly became the red-hot horse racing odds favourite to reign supreme in the £786,000 fixture.
With three furlongs remaining down the straight, it appeared as though the three-year-old was in the box seat to make it back-to-back St Leger Stakes victories for his trainer Charlie Appleby and jockey William Buick.
However, it was second favourite Eldar Eldarov who proved the strongest on the day, storming home to triumph in the famed race by two lengths. Haskoy finished in second, while New London came in a disappointing third.
The 2m2f Doncaster Cup Stakes was billed as a battle between two elite stayers in Coltrane and Trueshan.
Both thoroughbreds have enjoyed a successful 2022 flat-racing campaign, with Coltrane securing wins at Ascot and Sandown earlier this year – while Trueshan impressed in victories at Newcastle and Nottingham.
The pre-race excitement was warranted, as it proved to be a nail-biting affair between three horses right up until the finishing post.
Coltrane was the victor, doing so by a neck from Trueshan and Lismore.
While it was a solid victory for the five-year-old, his trainer Andrew Balding will be particularly pleased with the result given how strong Trueshan looked late.
Had it not been such a poor ride from Hollie Doyle atop Trueshan, there’s every chance he would have had enough stamina down the stretch to overcome his staying rival.
The criticism surrounding Doyle’s performance include her strangling the horse back to last place – ensuring she lost plenty of ground despite breaking well.
Additionally, instead of covering and following the lead horse to make a run, she proceeded to challenge out wide – which gave her thoroughbred plenty of work to do over the final two furlongs.
However, whether that proved the difference in the race is unknowable.
Kinross continued his run of good form with a victory in the Group 2 Park Stakes.
The five-year-old’s win comes less than a month after his dominant performance in the City of York Stakes – and he displayed all of his class once again at Doncaster to hold off a fast-finishing New Energy.
It was an admirable performance from the second-placed three-year-old, whose been unlucky not come away with a win this season.
Other notable winners from the meet include Trillium in the Flying Childers Stakes, and Chaldean in the Champagne Stakes – who romped home to win emphatically by three-and-a-half lengths.
Related CTN News: