St Leger 2023 Runners and Riders – All the Entries For 2023

The final Classic of the British flat season is now upon us. With the list of entries having whittled down to a field of nine, we now have the confirmed list of runners and riders for the seasonal highlight at the South Yorkshire track of Doncaster.

Roger Varian landed the race for the second time when sending out Eldar Eldarov last year but isn’t represented amongst the entries in 2023. If the weight of numbers is any guide, this year’s edition will be heading to either Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle operation or the Newmarket base of John and Thady Gosden, with seven of the nine runners hailing from one of those powerful yards.

Betfred St Leger Stakes: Confirmed Field of Runners and Riders

  • 1. Alexandroupolis – Jockey: Sean Levey, Trainer: Aidan O’Brien – The most lightly raced runner in the field with only three career starts. This Camelot colt was given a break following a decent third in the Group 3 Ballysax Stakes, before returning to finish 6th in the Listed Vinnie Roe Stakes at Leopardstown. As the lowest-rated runner in the field, he will need to improve on what he has shown to date and looks some way down the Ballydoyle pecking order.
  • 2. Arrest – Jockey: Frankie Dettori, Trainer: John & Thady Gosden – Sent off favourite for the Derby in June, following an impressive seasonal return in the Chester Vase. Didn’t fire at Epsom, nor in a lacklustre display in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, but bounced back with a strong staying effort to land the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes. Appears to enjoy some ease underfoot, retains untapped potential as a stayer, and is the choice of Frankie Dettori, who deserts Gregory in favour of this Frankel colt.
  • 3. Chesspiece – Jockey: James Doyle, Trainer: Simon & Ed Crisford – This Nathaniel colt stepped out of handicapping company to finish third by just over five lengths to Gregory in the 1m6f Queen’s Vase at the Royal Meeting. He appeared to fade inside the final furlong that day and was nailed close home by the reopposing Desert Hero over 1m4f in the Gordon Stakes last time out. That race is often a good trial for this, and he’s in good hands, so may take a step forward.
  • 4. Continuous – Jockey: Ryan Moore, Trainer: Aidan O’Brien – Two from two as a juvenile, and returned with a solid third in the Dante Stakes, when reportedly short of peak fitness. Never involved in the Prix du Jockey Club, but stepped forward when second to King Of Steel in the King Edward VII Stakes, before posting a career-best effort when finishing almost five lengths clear of Gregory in the Great Voltigeur at York. By Japanese sire Heart’s Cry, he’s not your typical Ballydoyle runner but arrives on an upward trajectory and is the choice of Ryan Moore.
  • 5. Denmark – Jockey: Daniel Tudhope, Trainer: Aidan O’Brien – The second Camelot colt in the race was a smooth winner on debut at Naas but is 0 from 4 since. He has, however, been running creditably, including when staying on into second behind Middle Earth in the Melrose Handicap and when third under top weight in a similar event at Haydock. This demands more, but plenty of stamina on the dam side of his pedigree, so this test may suit. Should at least help to ensure a strong gallop.
  • 6. Desert Hero – Jockey: Tom Marquand, Trainer: William Haggas – Tough Sea The Stars colt who has won four of six career starts. Showed an admirable attitude when getting up late to land the King George VI Stakes, and again battled well to the line in the Gordon Stakes on his most recent outing. Not far off the best of these on ratings and could be in the mix if handling the step up from 1m4f. One of two in the race attempting to repel the O’Brien/Gosden battalions.
  • 7. Gregory – Jockey: Kieren Shoemark, Trainer: John & Thady Gosden – By Golden Horn, and out of a mare in Gretchen, who was a Group 2 course and distance winner. Long time Ante-Post favourite for this, having launched his career with three successive wins, culminating in a Group 2 1m6f success in the Queen’s Vase. Behind early in the 1m4f Great Voltigeur Stakes last time out but kept on well into third behind clear winner Continuous. Step back up in trip is likely to see him in a better light, but Frankie prefers to ride Arrest.
  • 8. Middle Earth – Jockey: Oisin Murphy, Trainer: John & Thady Gosden – Here we have a late arrival on the scene, having only made his debut in June of this year. Broke duck at the third time of asking with a tenacious success in a 1m4f Newmarket Novice event, before stepping up to pull almost two lengths clear of Denmark in the Melrose handicap. Four pounds worse off with that rival under these terms, but improving, stays well and has the assistance of three-time champion jockey Oisin Murphy.
  • 9. Tower Of London – Jockey: Jim Crowley, Trainer: Aidan O’Brien – The only Galileo colt in the field bids to hand his illustrious sire a fourth St Leger success. Listed class winner over 1m4f and well on top in the 1m5f Ulster Derby Handicap off a mark of 99. Finished a narrow second in the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy last time out, but slow pace, luck in running, and rider dropping whip were all plausible excuses. This is likely to be a far truer test, and he’s an intriguing Ballydoyle outsider under Jim Crowley, who bids to land a first British Classic at the age of 45.