hidden hit counter
HomeHorse RacingSt Leger: Racing honours the Queen as Eldar Eldarov wins at Doncaster

St Leger: Racing honours the Queen as Eldar Eldarov wins at Doncaster

A racegoer at Doncaster on St Leger Day
A special racecard honoured the Queen at Doncaster

Eldar Eldarov won the rescheduled St Leger at Doncaster as British horse racing resumed and paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.

The world’s oldest Classic had been put back 24 hours and a two-minute silence was observed before racing began.

Jockeys and trainers bowed their heads before a rendition of the national anthem.

“There is an emptiness as we lost a great friend and ambassador in the Queen,” said jockey Frankie Dettori.

David Egan partnered Eldar Eldarov, trained by Roger Varian, to victory in his first ride in the St Leger.

Racing resumed in Britain on Sunday, having been called off as a mark of respect following the Queen’s death on Thursday.

The Queen was a leading racehorse owner and breeder, who won the Leger with the filly Dunfermline in her silver jubilee year of 1977.

Chepstow’s fixture also went ahead, while Musselburgh was called off with the Queen lying in state in nearby Edinburgh.

No meetings will take place on the day of the Queen’s funeral on Monday, 19 September.

Jockeys pay tribute doing a silence before racing at Doncaster
Jockeys pay tribute before racing began at Doncaster

Emotional win on Eldar Eldarov

While racing has lost one of its biggest supporters in the Queen, it has also been mourning the death of 13-year-old Irish rider Jack de Bromhead.

The son of Grand National and Gold Cup-winning trainer Henry, he died in a fall a week ago during a beach race in County Kerry.

Egan, after winning on his first Leger ride, said: “These Classics are fantastic. I’m obviously very sad for Her Majesty.

“It’s a week today since Jack de Bromhead passed. He was the first person I thought about when I crossed the line. That was for him.”

The 9-2 chance Eldar Eldarov, named after the MMA fighter by Bahrain owner Shaikh Khalid, was followed home by Haskoy but the runner-up was demoted to fourth for causing interference, with 11-8 favourite New London elevated to second and Giavellotto to third after a stewards’ inquiry.

Winning trainer Roger Varian said: “As happy as we are, we are of course thinking of the Queen.

“It’s been a tough week for the Royal Family, our thoughts are with them. Our thoughts are with the De Bromhead family. It’s been a tough week for racing, but horses always give you a reason to look forward.”

Eldar Eldarov wins the St Leger
Eldar Eldarov took the St Leger for trainer Roger Varian, who won with Kingston Hill in 2014

‘A great loss’

Dettori won the opening Champagne Stakes on Chaldean and followed up with Kinross in the Park Stakes – but there was no sign of his famous flying dismount.

“I didn’t jump off out of respect to the Queen. We’re carrying on, but it’s still fresh in the memory,” said the Italian.

Asked for his recollections of the Queen, he said: “I’ve got loads, we’d be here all day.

“We have to deal with it and we’re going to miss her a lot.”

Chaldean’s trainer Andrew Balding’s winners for the Queen included Tactical in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot two years ago.

“It’s been a tough week. This result will maybe lift the mood a little bit at home (Park House Stables in Kingsclere), but it’s a big hole to fill,” he said.

“My father trained for her and my grandfather before that.

“We’ve been so privileged to have worked for her and known her so long. It’s a great loss.”

Balding’s Coltrane beat favourite Trueshan to take the Doncaster Cup.

Kyprios won the Irish St Leger at the Curragh for trainer Aidan O’Brien to take his unbeaten record this season to five and add to victories in the Gold Cup at Ascot and Goodwood Cup.

Highfield Princess completed a hat-trick of Group One victories for John Quinn when taking the Flying Five Stakes.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments