Rarely will an Irish crowd fall as silent as when the brilliant Ryan Moore produced The Grey Gatsby to collar dual Derby winner and home crowd favourite Australia in the final strides to provide trainer Kevin Ryan with another Group One victory in the Irish Champions Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday evening
After a breakneck gallop was set by the pacemakers, Joseph O’Brien aboard the 30/100 favourite naively brought Australia five horses wide and then kicked for home two furlongs out, but the world’s most sought after jockey Ryan Moore galvanised The Grey Gatsby, despite been four lengths off the pace to marginally edge out Australia in a pulsating finish.
North Yorkshire handler Kevin Ryan has always had alot of confidence in the horse and he now believes he will finally be given the credit he deserves
He said: “He’s a great racehorse and I’m very proud of him, I’ve felt all along that he’s never got the credit he deserved and if he doesn’t now, its unbelievable.”
With the colt’s owner Frank Gillespie confirming the horse will stay in training next year, The Grey Gatsby is to be now targeted at the Champions Stakes at Ascot on QIPCO Champions Day and a potential decider between him and Australia after he was beaten earlier in the season in The Juddmonte International at York by Aiden O’Brien’s colt.
Kevin Ryan was not the only Yorkshire trainer to be celebrating a successful raid across the Irish Sea this weekend, as Mark Johnston’s Bow Creek battled admirably to claim the Group Two Boomerang mile, swiftly followed by Baraweez pocketing the 90,000 Euro prize in the concluding handicap for Brian Ellison.
The next day brought more of the same for Yorkshire’s finest, as David O’Meara, fresh from his first Group One victory last week, cheered home Watchable to claim the opening six furlong handicap at the Curragh and in the process become the new favourite for the Ayr Gold Cup this Saturday.
David Barron provided the icing on the cake on a memorable weekend as his Midterm Break edged out the Karl Burke trained Explosive lady for a Yorkshire one-two in the Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sales Stakes.
Back in God’s own county, Doncaster Racecourse welcomed a record crowd of 61,909 across its four-day St Leger festival which culminated in a breathtaking spectacle as favourite Kingston Hill swooped from last to first to claim the Ladbrokes St Leger in some style and reward pilot Andrea Atzeni with what is sure to be his first group one of many.
Trained by Roger Varian, Kingston Hill’s participation was far from certain throughout the week as the colt had already twice this season been withdrawn due to good to firm ground but his trainer’s judgement was rewarded as the well backed 9/4 favourite came clear to score decisively from the John Gosden trained Romsdal, with Sir Michael Stoute’s Snow Sky further back in third.
Next on the agenda for Kingston Hill could be Europe’s most prestigious race the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe which could be a very realistic target with the likely softer ground set to suit and the defection of a couple of the market leaders making the race look very winnable.