Top 10 furlong star Roaring Lion

Gardens, Laurens and Lion Serve Up Stunning Group 1 Treats

2 years ago

It’s been hard to know quite where to look first on an outstanding day’s racing in Britain and Ireland where all three Group 1 races produced tremendous finishes and truly worthy winners.

First to score was Aidan O’Brien’s Kew Gardens (3/1) in the William Hill St Leger at Doncaster, who delivered a thoroughly professional staying performance in inflicting a first defeat on John Gosden’s fine filly Lah Ti Dar (7/4f). Frankie Dettori’s mount did well to get to within a couple of lengths of the winner having looked as though she wasn’t going to see out the trip three from home, but Kew Gardens travelled like a dream under Ryan Moore and stayed on powerfully inside the final quarter mile. He looks a smart colt and a potentially above-average St Leger winner. Southern France (20/1) was four-and-a-half lengths back in third, just ahead of Dee Ex Bee.

Alpha Centauri (30/100f), Jessica Harrington’s superb four-time Group 1 winner this term, was all the rage to make it five in a row in the Group 1 Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes at Leopardstown, but Karl Burke’s tough as teak Laurens (10/1), who failed to stay in the Yorkshire Oaks last time, took the drop back in trip well and truly in her massive stride to make every yard of the running and hold the odds-on favourite at bay by a length. The winner was recommended in the Betting.Net ante-post preview at 10/1!

Given a masterful ride by Danny Tudhope, Laurens, runner-up in the 1000 Guineas, but winner of the Group 1 Prix Saint Alary and the Group 1 French Oaks already this term, made every yard of the running and dug really deep to fend off Alpha Centauri who appeared to lose her stride pattern well inside the final furlong. Clemmie (20/1) kept on to finish third.

Racing fans were treated though to an absolute humdinger of a Group 1 in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes where it looked for all the world as though the Qipco 2000 Guineas winner Saxon Warrior (5/2) was finally going to have his revenge on old rival Roaring Lion (8/11f), who appeared to have it all to do with three lengths to find at the furlong pole.

Saxon Warrior (beaten a neck by his old foe in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown before finishing only fourth to John Gosden’s star in the Juddmonte International last time out), had taken the race by the scruff of the neck under Ryan Moore, but Oisin Murphy conjured a simply breathtaking turn of foot out of Roaring Lion who got up in the shadow of the post to score by a neck. It sealed an amazing day’s racing on both side of the Irish Sea, and Roaring Lion is now a top priced 9/4 with Betfair to make it a Champion Stakes double by landing the British equivalent at Ascot next month.

Paul Alster

Written by Paul Alster

Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.