Hurricane Lane wins Britain’s Oldest Classic, The Cazoo St Leger at Doncaster

September 12, 2021

The 2021 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winner at The Curragh in late June, Hurricane Lane (8/11f), added the Cazoo St Leger at Doncaster, England, to what is now becoming an impressive Curriculm Vitae.

Godolphin’s colt had run third in the Cazoo Derby at Epsom, England, at the beginning of June, and had then scored Group 1 success in Ireland and in the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp in July.

Saturday saw the Charlie Appleby-trained chestnut colt run out an impressive winner of Britain final classic of the season, the Cazoo St Leger at Doncaster, over an extended one mile and 6 furlongs.

The race, Britain’s oldest classic, first run in 1776, is the final and longest race of the triple crown which also includes the QIPCO 2000 Guineas over a mile in May and the Cazoo Derby over a mile and a half in June – a challenge now rarely undertaken.

The Normandie Stud Ltd-bred son of Juddmonte Farms’ Frankel had a length and three quarters in hand on Mojo Star (8/1), with The Mediterranean (28/1) best of the Aidan O’Brien-Coolmore runners a further two lengths back in third in the 10-runner field, all of them born in Ireland.

Hurricane Lane and William Buick bided their time through the early stages of the race on Doncaster’s Town Moor, as eventual fourth place finisher Interpretation (8/1) took out the pace under Hollie Doyle.

As the field reached the top of the home stretch, Buick looked comfortable on the odds-on favourite as Irish-born rider Rossa Ryan asked the Richard Hannon-handled Mojo Star to make his move for home.

Godolphin’s retained rider, Norwegian-born Buick and Hurricane Lane soon moved comfortably into the lead, and would never see another horse from then on.

The 33-year-old rider and his 120-rated colt were soon clear of the remainder of the field, and scored an easy two and three quarter length victory at the wire.

The consistent Mojo Star, second in the Cazoo Derby at Epsom to Hurricane Lane’s stable companion Adayar, took the runner-up spot in a second British classic this season, as he kept of gamely inside the last furlong of the contest.

The Mediterranean and Wayne Lordan took third place, the best of the four Aidan O’Brien-handled runners. Another stable companion, the early pacesetter Interpretation, was next home for the Ballydoyle conditioner, two and a half lengths behind his half-brother, both being sons of the late Coolmore stallion Galileo.

The victory of Hurricane Lane was a first triumph for English trainer Charlie Appleby in the Cazoo St Leger and a seventh success for Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation.

For William Buick it was his third win in the Doncaster classic, having won for trainer John Gosden in 2010 and 2011 with Arctic Cosmos and Masked Marvel respectively.

Hurricane Lane, whose only defeat this season came in the Cazoo Derby at Epsom, when the colt lost both of his front shoes, will now likely target the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, Paris, on the first Sunday in October.

His conqueror at Epsom, his stable mate, Adayar, looks to be Godolphin and Appleby’s main chance in the Paris showpiece (though he does require supplementing into the Group 1 over a mile and a half) but it has to be a matter of concern for both owner and trainer that Adayar recently missed his intended prep race as well as a number of days training. 

Hurricane Lane has only one defeat in his seven-race career, and now has five wins in 2021. If Adayar misses the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe next month, Appleby and Godolphin can certainly go to Paris in confident mood knowing that Hurricane Lane will not let them down.

Photo: Hurricane Lane, (Godolphin Twitter @godolphin)

Contributing Authors

Breandán Ó hUallacháin

Breandán Ó hUallacháin writes about Irish, British, French and Australian horseracing, both National Hunt and Flat. He has an interest in the history of racing...

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