The Irish St Leger is a Group 1 Classic race over a mile and three-quarters at the Curragh in September.
The Irish St Leger is held on Monday 11th September 2023.
The race was opened up to older horses in 1983 due to declining fields but has retained its Classic status. Vinnie Roe famously won the race for four successive seasons between 2001 and 2004. Other notable winners include Vintage Crop (1993, 1994), Kayf Tara (1998, 1999), Yeats (2007) and Brown Panther (2014).
Find out more about the Irish St Leger:
- 1 Race Overview
- 2 Irish St Leger Previous Result
- 3 Famous Irish St Leger Winners
- 4 Key Irish St Leger Trials
- 5 Irish St Leger Betting Trends
- 6 Irish St Leger – Top Trainers and Jockeys
- 7 Best Irish St Leger Betting Sites
- 8 Summary of Irish St Leger
- 9 Popular Questions
- 10 Related September Articles
- 11 Resources
The Irish St Leger is a Group 1 flat horse race for thoroughbred horses aged three and up hosted in Ireland.
Every year in September, it is hosted at the Curragh over a distance of 1 mile and 6 furlongs.
Check out our guides to all the other Irish Group One horse races.
For racing tips on more races at Curragh, check out our tips guide.
Irish St Leger Previous Result
Check out this result from the Curragh Racecourse:
Famous Irish St Leger Winners
The Irish St Leger was first run in 1915 and was restricted to three-year-olds, making it the Irish equivalent of the Doncaster St Leger. It became the third leg of the Irish Triple Crown after the Irish 2000 Guineas and Irish Derby. Museum won all three races in 1935 with only Windsor Slipper (1942) following him into the history books.
The increased emphasis on speed over stamina in the breeding industry led to a decline in the quality of the race and action was taken in 1983, opening it up to older horses. It immediately became a target for the Gold Cup horses and has been won by many of the leading stayers.
Three-year-olds retained the prize from 1985 to 1989, notably with Authaal in 1986. He was the best horse sired by the ill-fated Shergar and went on to win in Australia before being retired to stud in Japan.
Vintage Crop (1993, 1994) famously won the Melbourne Cup in 1993 for Dermot Weld. In doing so he became the first winner to be trained in the northern hemisphere. He ran in two more Melbourne Cups, finishing seventh and third in 1994 and 1995 respectively. Weld secured legendary status in Australia when striking again with Media Puzzle in 2002.
Oscar Schindler (1996, 1997) and Kayf Tara (1998, 1999) claimed back-to-back Irish St Leger victories but would be surpassed by the remarkable Vinnie Roe. Once again it was Dermot Weld’s genius on display as he produced the gelding to win four times from 2001 to 2004.
Four-time Ascot Gold Cup winner Yeats won this race in 2007 for Aidan O’Brien who would later produced Order of St George to win in 2015 and 2017. There was drama in 2011 when the judge could not split British-trained runners Duncan and Jukebox Jury, declaring it a dead-heat. Search For A Song provided Weld with two more Irish St Leger victories in 2019 and 2020 but her hat-trick bid faltered when well beaten behind Johnny Murtagh’s Sonnyboyliston in 2021.
Key Irish St Leger Trials
The Irish St Leger has a specific trial at the Curragh and four of the last twelve winners ran there, three of them winning it. They were Order of St George (2015 and 2017) and Flag of Honour (2018), all trained by Aidan O’Brien.
The next outing for winners of the Irish St Leger has brought little success, although they have often had very ambitious targets. Voleuse De Coeurs (2013) and Wicklow Brave (2016) ran in the Melbourne Cup, Brown Panther (2014) the Breeders’ Cup Turf and Order of St George (2017) the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. All were beaten, although Order of St George did run very creditably to finish fourth in the Arc.
Irish St Leger Betting Trends
There have been four winning favourites in the Irish St Leger in the last twelve seasons; Sans Frontieres (2010), Order of St George (2015 and 2017) and Flag Of Honour (2018). There have also been one winning second and third favourite with the remaining six starting at odds of 7-1 or higher. The longest priced winner during that spell was 16-1 chance Royal Diamond in 2012. Brown Panther was two points shorter in 2014 and Wicklow Brave was an 11-1 chance in 2016.
Older horses definitely hold sway in the Irish St Leger these days with only three successful three-year-olds in the past twelve seasons. Wicklow Brave won it at the age of seven in 2016, defeating the 1-7 favourite Order of St George and former Ascot Gold Cup winner Trip To Paris. He was an incredibly versatile performer trained by Willie Mullins, winning over hurdles and fences. He tragically lost his life after falling at the last fence with the American Grand National at his mercy in 2019.
The lowest official rated horse to win here in recent years was Royal Diamond (2012) on 104. The highest rated during the same 12-year period was Order of St George on 120 in 2017.
Irish St Leger – Top Trainers and Jockeys
Leading trainer honours in the Irish St Leger are currently shared by Vincent O’Brien and Dermot Weld with nine winners apiece. O’Brien’s last win the race came with Dark Lomond in 1988, almost thirty years after his first victory with Barclay in 1959. Weld is a master at preparing a horse for the Irish St Leger, winning it four times with Vinnie Roe and twice with Vintage Crop and Search for A Song. His other victory was supplied by Voleuse de Coeurs in 2013.
Jockey honours rest with Morny Wing who rode seven Irish St Leger winners between 1920 and 1947. The late Pat Smullen partnered Vinnie Roe to all four of his victories while Johnny Murtagh rode Jukebox Jury to dead-heat in this race in 2011 and trained Sonnyboyliston to win it ten years’ later.
Best Irish St Leger Betting Sites
The Irish St Leger has been won by some top class stayers and there have been numerous multiple winners since it was opened up to older horses. Dermot Weld’s four-time winner Vinnie Roe heads the list and the trainer has a fantastic record in this race. The race has become more competitive in recent years and is one of the highlights of the Autumn in Ireland.
Here are the most popular free bets for Irish St Leger betting.
Summary of Irish St Leger
We hope you have enjoyed our guide to the Irish St Leger.
Find out more on the in-depth list of horse racing fixtures 2023 in Ireland.
Where is the Irish St Leger held?
The Irish St Leger is held at the Curragh Racecourse.
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