Horse Racing: St Leger Festival 2023 – Day 3 Tips and Betting Preview

It is the final day of the St Leger Festival on Saturday which means that the final classic of the UK season will take place on the Yorkshire track when the feature race of the week is run over the 14 furlong distance.

We’ve had a good look at that race but there isn’t a betting proposition in it, however there is a handicap earlier on the card which does stand out and after a good study of the race we are going double handed in it.

2.25 Doncaster

Main Bet

On St Leger day, the one exception to the small field scenario we are seeing is in the Portland handicap where we have a maximum field of 22 in this ultra competitive handicap over the intermediate trip of 5 and a half furlongs.  Call Me Ginger is the favourite after winning his last 2 to guarantee his place in the field.  It would be some feat if he was to land the hat trick but instead, I’m going double handed with the first being KIMNGRACE for the in-form yard of Richard Hughes.  You have to go back to October of last year for her last win on turf when she scooted up by 3 lengths in a handicap off a mark just 2lbs lower than she faces today.  A further win has been forthcoming, this time on the all weather in a Listed affair at Lingfield but since then, she’s not exactly hit the heights.  Her last 3 runs have all been in handicaps and watching the races back, she’s hardly been disgraced in any.   Front rank for much of the way at Ascot perhaps wasn’t ideal and she faded into a creditable 5th on the stiff track before occupying the same position in the Racing League at Chepstow where she was noted as staying well, whilst last time out, she was in a blanket finish for 4th at York but actually placed 8th when finishing as well as any having failed to get the clearest of passages.  Typically she’s a strong finisher so this extra half furlong will play to her strengths and the fact her mark has fallen by 7lbs over those last 3 runs where she performed with credit each time gives her a massive chance with her draw in 17 right in the mix with regards to where the pace is.

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At a much bigger price, it’s hard to dismiss DUSKY LORD.  You can look to his last 3 runs since moving to the Stuart Williams yard and say he has no chance but that has seen his mark tumble and this very shrewd trainer has probably had this race in mind for some time.  What interests me most is the reapplication of cheekpieces – he ran an excellent 2nd in them when used for the first time at Goodwood last year when he was trained by Roger Varian & then they were left off for the next 3 runs.   Reapplied for the Ayr Silver Cup, he then destroyed his 24 rivals to come clear by 3 lengths off a mark of 90 (races off 92 today).  They’ve not been on since, his mark has dropped from 98 to 92 and it’s interesting they go back on today.  He’s another with a good draw, actually housed next door to my other selection and whilst not in form, he was less than a length behind favourite Call Me Ginger 2 starts ago and is now 11lbs better off with that rival.   At the odds, it’s impossible to leave him out of the final reckoning.


Back Kimngrace (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 11.00 Skybet BOG (⅕ odds 1-7)

Back Dusky Lord (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 21.00 Bet365 BOG (⅕ odds 1-6)

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