The Doncaster racecourse is a racecourse in Donaster, South Yorkshire, UK. It’s home to two of the most treasured group one races in British racing, the St Leger Stakes and the Racing Post Trophy (now known as The Vertem Futurity Trophy). The course is 1 mile 7½ furlongs and both flat and jump racing take place here.
Doncaster has long been a hub for racing in the UK, with records as far back as the 16th century showing that horse racing took place there. The earliest race of note though has to be the Doncaster Cup which was first run in 1766 and continues to this day. Its long history saw it become part of the Stayers’ Triple Crown (in combination with the Goodwood Cup and Ascot Gold Cup), previously won by Kauto Star.
Colonel Anthony St. Leger founded the (you guessed it!) St Leger Stakes in 1776. It’s the oldest known classic horse race, and is run over a distance of 1 mile, 6 furlongs and 115 yards in September of each year. The purse for the race, which is for three year olds, is close to £750,000 and winning it certainly marks out a horse as something special.
The Vertem Futurity Trophy (aka Racing Post Trophy) is the other group one race held at Doncaster racecourse – in late October each year. This race, for two year olds, takes place over a distance of one mile, and the inaugural run took place in 1961. Both Lester Piggott and Pat Eddery to this day share the best jockey record with five wins a piece. Henry Cecil is leading trainer with ten wins to his name. Three legends of the sport, still looming large.
Five winners of the Vertem Futurity Trophy, including Reference Point and Camelot, have gone on to win the Derby the following year. This surely speaks to the quality of those that take part.