William Buick and Hurricane Lane storm to St Leger victory

Hurricane Lane, the odds-on favourite, eased to a comfortable victory in the Cazoo St Leger in front of a capacity crowd, drawing two-and-three quarter lengths clear of Mojo Star after hitting the front inside the final quarter mile.

Charlie Appleby’s colt, who has been beaten only once in his career when third behind Adayar, a stable companion, in the Derby in June, is now likely to head to Paris on 3 October and join Adayar in the field for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Interpretation, well backed during the day to give Hollie Doyle a Classic success on her first ride in the Leger, set a steady pace from the start but had little more to offer when Hurricane Lane and Mojo Star moved alongside halfway down the straight. Hurricane Lane was clearly going better, egter, and swiftly opened up a decisive lead when William Buick asked him to quicken.

Mojo Star could only stay on at one pace for second, while Aidan O’Brien’s The Mediterranean was a further two lengths away in third. O’Brien’s High Definition, intussen, failed to justify the decision to supplement him on Monday and beat only one of his nine rivals to the line.

“He was the class horse in the race, the race worked out beautifully,” Buick told ITV Racing after pulling up. “You never know [if they will stay] until you go this far with a three-year-old, but he took me into the race so nicely and he’s got that turn of foot at the end as well.

“It’s lovely to win the Leger with him and a fantastic season for everybody. It was just a case of making it smooth and not setting him too hard a task.”

Hopes that the Queen might have a runner in the Platinum Jubilee Derby on 4 June next year suffered a setback earlier on the card when Reach For The Moon, an impressive winner of the Solario Stakes verlede maand, was beaten into second place at odds-on in the Group Two Champagne Stakes.

With none of his three rivals keen to take the lead, Frankie Dettori was forced to make his own running on the 8-13 favourite and it was clear that he had a battle on his hands when Dettori asked for an effort two out but could not shake off his rivals. Lusail, the second favourite, soon dropped away but Bayside Boy, by 5-1, stayed on well through the final furlong to edge out Reach For The Moon by a head.

John Gosden, Reach For The Moon’s trainer, felt that the rain-softened ground might have contributed to his colt’s defeat.

“Frankie said that the ground’s dead and he wasn’t really travelling on it like he normally does,” Gosden said. “It’s good-to-soft, and he said that he wasn’t in love with it and obviously it’s never easy to try and make all in a bit of a headwind on a straight seven [furlongs].

“Better ground, better horse is all I can say there. He hasn’t done a lot wrong but Frankie knew he was in trouble from a long way out on the ground. It’s just a pity we got that rain yesterday.”

In the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, St Mark’s Basilica stayed on strongly in the closing stages to record his fifth successive Group One victory. Tarnawa, a leading contender for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, was three-quarters of a length away in second over a trip that did not play to her strengths.

St Mark’s Basilica drifted to his right in the home straight, taking Tarnawa with him as he did so, but after a stewards’ inquiry the placings were confirmed.

“It was tactical, very tactical,” O’Brien, who is also St Mark’s Basilica’s trainer, gesê. “They sprinted up the straight and he did well.

“He really quickens and that’s what he always had. His strong qualities are that he relaxes and can really turn it on, and he’s done that in every race. When they turned in, they burned. I’d love to see what time they did the last two furlongs in.”

St Mark’s Basilica is 2-1 (van 3-1) with Paddy Power for the Champion Stakes at Ascot in October, although O’Brien suggested that the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, over a mile, could be an option for his colt on the same card.

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