Encke (right) denies Camelot (left, purple) in the Group 1 St. Leger Stakes.

St. Leger Stakes 2012: Camelot Denied The English Triple Crown

Camelot's attempt to become the first English Triple Crown winner since 1970 comes up short in the St. Leger Stakes.

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2012 St. Leger Stakes: Poor Trip Dooms Camelot At Doncaster (Video)

To win a classic race, a horse must not only have talent but also what most would refer to as "racing luck". There is no doubt that 2,000 Guineas and Epsom Derby winner Camelot (GB) has talent, but his racing luck ran out at Doncaster today where he failed to win the third leg of the English Triple Crown, the Group 1 St. Leger Stakes.

Camelot, under regular rider Joseph O'Brien (son of Camelot's trainer, Aidan O'Brien), found himself bottled up behind horses inside the final three furlongs with little racing room. The eventual winner, Encke, raced to the outside of Camelot and was able to get first run on the odds-on favorite, stretching out to a three length lead and never seriously threatened inside the final furlong. And while Camelot kicked on for home in a strong fashion once he was finally able to find space outside of the tiring frontrunners, the distance between him and Encke proved to be too much to make up in deep stretch.

Below is the video replay of the St. Leger Stakes from At The Races UK. Camelot's rider wore purple silks with purple and white stripes on the sleeves and a purple cap. He races towards the rear of the field in the early stages. Winner Encke is in the all blue of Goldolphin.


St. Leger Stakes 2012 Results: Camelot Denied The Triple Crown By Encke

Camelot (GB), attempting to become the first winner of the English Triple Crown in over 40 years, couldn't catch Encke in the final quarter mile and had to settle for second in the Group 1 St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster.

The Guineas and Derby winner ran near the rear of the field in the early stages through a steady but middling pace and appeared to be gaining on the leaders as the field entered the final five furlong straight. As Encke began to stride away from the field, Camelot struggled to find space along the rail and had to be switched out towards the middle of the course before he could commence a final run towards the wire. When finally in the clear, Camelot noticeably quickened but was three lengths behind Encke and couldn't make up the difference at the finish.

Michelangelo (GB) finished in third to round out the trifecta.

Encke is an American-bred colt, a son three-year-old son of Kingmambo out of a Sindar (IRE) mare (Shawanda (IRE)).

Below are the payouts from North American pools for the St. Leger:

WIN: 3-Encke ($64.00, $9.40)
PLACE: 1-Camelot ($2.20)
SHOW: 6-Michelangelo ($6.00)

$1.00 EXACTA: $65.00
$1.00 TRIFECTA: $750.90

The last time a horse swept the 2,000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and St. Leger Stakes was the great Nijinsky (or Nijinsky II in the U.S.) in 1970.

The English Triple Crown differs substantially from the American version due to the spacing of the races (from May to September) and the distances. The 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket is run on a straight mile. The Epsom Derby is a mile and a half over the testing course at Epsom Downs, a course that requires the field to race significantly uphill over the first quarter to half mile, then a sharp downhill run over the final four furlongs, only to experience another uphill run in the last half-furlong before the wire. The final leg, the St. Leger, is a mile and three-quarter run over the less testing Doncaster course.

For more on the St. Leger, check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come, as well as A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.


2012 St. Leger Stakes: Post Time, Video And More

History is on the line in Doncaster, England today as Camelot (GB) goes for the third and final leg of the English Triple Crown in the Group 1 St. Leger Stakes. Post time for the St. Leger is 3:40pm British time, which translates to 10:40am Eastern for those of us on this side of the Atlantic. The race will be aired live by TVG, a horse racing channel available on most satellite and cable companies through a "Sports Pack" or similar add-on.

An alternative method of watching the St. Leger is through one of the Advance Deposit Wagering ("ADW") companies, such as TwinSpires.com, DRFBets.com, TVG.com, and ExpressBet.com. Account holders that live in a state that allows wagering through one of these companies will be able to watch and wager on the St. Leger.

The St. Leger Stakes is contested over a mile and three-quarters at Doncaster Racecourse in South Yorkshire, a triangular shaped course that is home to two of the oldest thoroughbred races in the world - the St. Leger and the Doncaster Cup. Doncaster is a fairly flat course when compared to the more testing grounds at Ascot and Epsom Downs. The nature of the course has a tendency to help speed horses that tend to be punished by the severe undulations found at other locations, although Doncaster is considered to be a "fair" course by most observers.

The St. Leger field will begin the race with a slow accent for a half mile, reaching the highest point on the course with a mile and a quarter remaining in the journey. From there, the field will race downhill for about four or five furlongs until they reach the lowest point on the course. The final straight is five furlongs in length, which gives horses in the rear of the field plenty of time to find space and commence a run towards the leaders.

Race: Group 1 St. Leger Stakes
Distance: 1 ¾ Miles
Purse: £311,905 (Approximately $506,000)
Track: Doncaster
Post Time: 3:40pm British Standard Time / 10:40am Eastern
Online Video: TwinSpires.com, DRFBets.com, TVG.com, Expressbet.com (must be an account holder)

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