Aidan O’Brien dominated the entries in his bid for a seventh St. Leger success, with four of the nine runners hailing from his Ballydoyle operation. Heading up that quartet was the choice of Ryan Moore, Continuous, who had rocketed up the betting following his impressive win in the Great Voltigeur at York. Of the other Irish raiders, Jim Crowley looked to have a decent chance of claiming a first Classic aboard Tower Of London, who arrived on the back of a solid effort in the Bahrain Trophy.
There was no shortage of subplots away from the O’Brien contingent though. Could Frankie Dettori make his final Classic ride a winning one aboard the John & Thady Gosden number one, Arrest? Or would we see a Royal success courtesy of Desert Hero from the yard of William Haggas? The King and Queen were in attendance to find out ahead of an enthralling renewal of the world’s oldest Classic.
- 1st – Continuous 3/1, Jockey: Ryan Moore, Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
- 2nd – Arrest 11/4F, Jockey: Frankie Dettori, Trainer: John & Thady Gosden
- 3rd – Desert Hero 6/1, Jockey: Tom Marquand, Trainer: William Haggas
Prize Money Breakdown
- 1st – £421,355.30
- 2nd – £159,745
- 3rd – £79,946.80
- 4th – £39,824.80
- 5th – £19,986.70
- 6th – £10,030.50
Tote and Forecast Payouts
- Tote Win – £4
- Tote Places – 1st – £1.50, 2nd – £1.60, 3rd – £1.70
- Exacta – £13.70
- Computer Straight Forecast (CSF) – £11.59
- Trifecta – £54
- Tricast – £45.09
With four O’Brien runners in the field, it seemed likely that one of the quartet would be assigned pace-making duties. And so it proved, with Daniel Tudhope quickly setting out to make the running aboard Denmark. Gregory latched onto his coattails in the early stages – no doubt keen to put his proven stamina to good use. Frankie sat just off the pace in fourth, whilst Ryan Moore and Continuous appeared content to bide their time in the second half of the field.
There was little change in the order as they moved through halfway, with Denmark, Gregory, and Chesspiece continuing to press the action. The leaders looked to be setting a reasonable gallop but possibly weren’t going quick enough for Arrest or Desert Crown, who appeared notably keen. In contrast, Continuous was moving ominously well.
Into the straight, Gregory was the first to kick for home as Denmark and Chesspiece folded, but the big threats were coming from behind. Frankie made his move towards the outside, tracked by Tower Of London, but there, smuggling up the inside rail was Continuous. Briefly tapped for toe when the leaders kicked, the Heart’s Cry colt sprouted wings once the gap opened, to power three lengths clear of the field. Despite never having run over this far, he never looked like stopping under the Moore drive and came home 2¾l to the good, with Arrest back in second and Desert Hero running on well for third.
This was a third St. Leger victory for Ryan Moore, who regularly misses this meeting due to its clash with Irish Champions weekend, and a seventh win in the race for O’Brien. We also saw a final gallant effort from Dettori, who received a rapturous reception, and an admirable display from the Royal runner in third.
- 1. Alexandroupolis – SP: 40/1, Trainer: Aidan O’Brien, Jockey: Sean Levey
- 2. Arrest – SP: 11/4F, Trainer: John & Thady Gosden, Jockey: Frankie Dettori
- 3. Chesspiece – SP: 14/1, Trainer: Simon & Ed Crisford, Jockey: James Doyle
- 4. Continuous – SP: 3/1, Trainer: Aidan O’Brien, Jockey: Ryan Moore
- 5. Denmark – SP: 28/1, Trainer: Aidan O’Brien, Jockey: Daniel Tudhope
- 6. Desert Hero – SP: 6/1, Trainer: William Haggas, Jockey: Tom Marquand
- 7. Gregory – SP: 7/1, Trainer: John & Thady Gosden, Jockey: Kieran Shoemark
- 8. Middle Earth – SP: 7/1, Trainer: John & Thady Gosden, Jockey: Oisin Murphy
- 9. Tower Of London – SP: 8/1, Trainer: Aidan O’Brien, Jockey: Jim Crowley