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St Leger Festival schedule and race times 2023

St Leger Festival schedule and race times 2023
Photo by Icon Sport.

If you find the rush of flat racing invigorating, you’re in for a treat. The upcoming season heralds the St Leger Festival at Doncaster, a not-to-be-missed event on the racing calendar.

The spotlight will be on the St Leger, this year’s fifth and final Classic. This event is the pinnacle of a dense, action-packed schedule starting from Thursday, September 14, to Sunday, September 17.

A Potential Historical Moment

A unique moment might be on the horizon. Picture the excitement if Desert Hero manages a win in the main race on Saturday. It would be a significant achievement, marking the first Royal winner of a Classic since as far back as 1977.

Diverse Racing Lineup

The festival isn’t just about one race. Seven other Group races are peppered throughout, including the much-anticipated Doncaster Cup. Sweet William, who was so close to clinching a win at the last Ebor, is set to challenge previous champions, Coltrane and Trueshan, who placed first and second, respectively, last year.

Emerging stars will also have their chance to shine. Prominent are the Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes on Friday and the Champagne Stakes on the following day.

A Glimpse at the Schedule

Thursday, September 14: The Exciting Commencement

  • 13:15 – Meriel Tufnell Apprentice Handicap: Named after a pioneering female jockey, this race offers budding apprentice jockeys an opportunity to showcase their skills, hinting at the rising stars of tomorrow.
  • 13:50 – British Stallion Studs EBF “Carrie Red” Fillies’ Nursery Handicap: Highlighting the best of British breeding, this Fillies’ Nursery race promises intense competition as young female horses strut their stuff.
  • 14:25 – Weatherbys Scientific £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes: With a significant prize fund, this race for two-year-olds attracts some of the best young talents in the equine world, guaranteeing high stakes and thrilling moments.
  • 15:00 – Betred May Hill Stakes (Group 2): As a Group 2 race, this event brings in some of the seasoned performers. It’s a must-watch for those looking for high-quality racing action.
  • 15:35 – Betfred Park Hill Fillies’ Stakes (Group 2): A race dedicated to the finest fillies, ensuring a combination of elegance and competitive spirit on the racetrack.
  • 16:10 – Hippo Bamboo Wipes Handicap: This race stands out not just for its unique name but for the level of competition it brings to the table.
  • 16:45 – Winners Wear Skopes Menswear Handicap: A nod to the fashion side of horse racing, this event blends style with the rush of a horse race.
  • 17:20 – Chique Boutique Doncaster Specialists In Racewear Nursery Handicap: Ending the day on a fashionable note, this race emphasizes the style inherent to the world of horse racing.

Friday, September 15: Maintaining Momentum

  • 13:15 – Coopers Marquees EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes: An event spotlighting the maiden fillies, it’s a race filled with potential and promises.
  • 13:50 – Betfred Flying Scotsman Stakes (Listed Race): Holding a special place as a listed race, it promises exceptional horse racing action and showcases the prowess of the competing horses.
  • 14:25 – Carlsberg Danish Pilsner Flying Childers Stakes (Group 2): As another Group 2 race, the excitement remains high, especially with the added charm of the beverage sponsorship.
  • 15:00 – Betfred Doncaster Cup Stakes (Group 2): A significant highlight of the day, this Group 2 race promises elite competitors vying for the cup.
  • 15:35 – Betfred Mallard Handicap: Named after the fastest steam locomotive, expect a swift competition here.
  • 16:10 – British EBF Ruby Anniversary Premier Fillies’ Handicap: Celebrating milestones, this race focuses on premier fillies, combining heritage with competitive racing.
  • 16:45 – Doncaster Groundworks Reinforcements Handicap: As the day moves forward, the action doesn’t wane, with this race further reinforcing the level of competition.
  • 17:20 – Hippo Clean Edge Masking Tape Confined Nursery Handicap: Ending the day with a blend of unique branding and fierce competition, this race ensures a perfect finish.

Saturday, September 16: The Weekend Fever

  • 13:50 – Betfred Champagne Stakes (Group 2): Kicking off with a bubbly spirit, this Group 2 race ensures the atmosphere remains as sparkling as the drink itself.
  • 14:25 – Betfred Portland (Handicap): Holding historical significance, this handicap race is a testament to the longstanding tradition of horse racing.
  • 15:00 – Betfred Park Stakes (Group 2): Another Group 2 race ensures that the thrill continues with top-tier competitors battling it out.
  • 15:35 – Betfred St Leger Stakes (Group 1): The crown jewel of the day, this Group 1 race is one of the most anticipated events of the festival.
  • 16:10 – PJ Towey Construction Handicap: With a nod to construction, this race is built on the foundation of fierce competition.
  • 16:45 – British EBF 40th Anniversary Maiden Stakes: Celebrating a ruby anniversary, this race brings together the best maiden horses in a commemorative setting.
  • 17:20 – Hippo Pro 3 Sealant Handicap: Sealing the day’s events with a final flourish, this race ensures a fitting end.

Sunday, September 17: The Grand Finale

  • 13:50 – Hippo Carpet Protector Handicap: Opening the last day with a race that hints at protection and endurance sets the stage for the events to follow.
  • 14:25 – Betfred City Of Doncaster Handicap: A nod to the host city, this race is a celebration of Doncaster’s rich horse racing history.
  • 15:00 – Vickers.Bet Leger Legends Classified Stakes: As the name suggests, legends take the stage, making it a highlight of the day.
  • 15:35 – Japan Racing Association Sceptre Fillies’ Stakes (Group 3): An international touch with the Japan Racing Association’s involvement, this Group 3 race is a global spectacle.
  • 16:10 – Betfred Scarbrough Stakes (Listed Race): As a listed race, it offers a special blend of competition and legacy.
  • 16:45 – I Love Julie Parkes Nursery Handicap: With a personalized touch, this race adds a hint of affection to the competition.
  • 17:20 – KC Sofas Michael Charnock Memorial Handicap: Ending the festival on a commemorative note, this race is a tribute, ensuring the festival closes with a blend of nostalgia and excitement.

Experience St Leger Festival schedule Live

If you can’t attend in person, numerous services offer live-streaming options. After signing up on their respective platforms, navigate to the specific race’s page and activate the live streaming feature.

The St Leger Festival at Doncaster is more than a series of races; it’s a rich tapestry of history, competition, and sport. An experience that promises both thrill and memories.

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About the author


Andrew Shassetz is a seasoned freelance writer who combines his academic background from the University of Alaska, where he studied Journalism, with a genuine love for horse racing. Following a significant life-changing accident, Andrew courageously shifted his career path from mainstream journalism to full-time freelancing.

Today, he passionately delves into the thrilling world of horse racing and sports. He delivers compelling, insightful commentaries that resonate with readers worldwide, redefining sports journalism with his unique blend of personal experience and professional expertise.