Voleuse De Coeurs wins GAIN Irish St Leger, while Toormore wins Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes
September 15, 2013
What appeared to be a particularly competitive renewal of the Irish St Leger was turned into a procession by Voleuse De Coeurs who gave jockey Chris Hayes his first Classic.
The 9/1 shot moved into the lead at the top of the hill, was ridden two clear at the two furlong pole and from there demolished her rivals as she quickened away up the straight for an impressive six lengths win.
Ahzeemah, trained by Saeed Bin Suroor, was the well-backed 7/2 favourite from 5s at the track. He was all out at the finish to cling on for second, a head in front of John Oxx’s Saddler’s Rock (16/1) who was staying on all the time.
A delighted Chris Hayes said: “That’s super. It’s brilliant to ride for Mr Weld. That’s my first ride for him. He was very bullish and told me to have her handy. She’s a better filly with ease in the ground. They were stopping in front of me and she came back on the bridle and bolted up. Thank God it wasn’t a handicap or I’d be in trouble!
“Lady O’Reilly has been very good to me. Last week meant a lot as it was for the boss [winning the Group 1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday on La Collina for Kevin Prendergast], but I can enjoy this one a bit more now.”
Owner Lady O’Reilly commented: “She did it very easily and she definitely likes the Curragh and this time of year. I think she can rest on her laurels now and maybe go to stud. Chris has had some week.”
Trainer Dermot Weld would like to keep the filly in training though as he said: “She’s a smart filly and a model of consistency. She ran a cracking trial behind Royal Diamond and I knew she would improve for that.
“She’s a joy to train and is very straightforward. I’ve been very fortunate to win Legers with Vinnie Roe and Vintage Crop. She’s a high-class mare and I will try and encourage Lady O’Reilly to keep her in training as I think she will be a high-class Cup mare at five.
“Pat (Smullen) chose Pale Mimosa as she has more pace, but she probably needed the run as she hadn’t run since May. I said to Chris beforehand that there was nothing between the two of mine.”
Bookmaker Paddy Power introduced Voleuse De Coeurs at 10/1 for the Ascot Gold Cup next year. The same firm gave her a first show of 16/1 for the Melbourne Cup.
This was Dermot Weld’s seventh Irish Leger success – four with Vinnie Roe and two from Vintage Crop. The latter, who is now 26, paraded round the paddock before the race.
Toormore provided Middleham Park Racing with their first Group 1 winner as the unbeaten colt made all to give Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes their first success in the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes.
Hughes was able to dictate matters from the front on the son of a Arakan, and the evens favourite was well in control in the final furlong to beat Sudirman by two and three quarter lengths.
Giovanni Boldini could only keep on at one pace to finish a further length and a quarter adrift in third.
The field was reduced to just five runners as Fiscal Focus (nasal discharge) and Wilshire Boulevard (ground) were both absentees.
Tim Palin, racing manager of Middleham Park Racing, said “We weren’t sure what pace there would be in the race but as it turned out he got a fairly uncontested lead.
“He has a great attitude and the further he goes the better he is. He’s in the Racing Post Trophy but will not run again this season. He’s a very clean-winded horse, and could go straight for the Guineas next year.
Richard Hughes said, “The track is wide open and windy, and it’s difficult for two-year-olds. He’s a big shell of a horse, and is not a precocious two-year-old by any means