His father may still have seven horses entered for Saturday’s Group 1 William Hill St Leger at Doncaster, but trainer Joseph O’Brien is anticipating a bold display in the final Classic of the season from his Irish Derby winner, Latrobe.
It was at the Curragh in June that Latrobe sprang a 14/1 surprise, staying on strongly over the stiff mile-and-a-half to see off Rostropovich, Saxon Warrior and Delano Roosevelt, all trained by Joseph’s father, living legend Aidan O’Brien. Latrobe, a colt by dual Derby winner Camelot out of a Shamardal mare, then dropped back in trip at York last month for the top class Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes, but after racing prominently from the start he was outpaced from the two furlong marker, eventually coming home seventh behind the impressive Roaring Lion.
LATROBE WINS THE IRISH DERBY 🇮🇪
One for O'Brien but it's @JosephOBrien2 not Aidan who trains the winner. Another domination as they take all the placings with Rostropovich second and Saxon Warrior third! @josephfansite23 @aobrienfansite pic.twitter.com/xRRXSrD25j
— World Horse Racing (@WHR) June 30, 2018
The St Leger trip of the extended one-mile-six-furlongs is expected to be within the compass of Joseph O’Brien’s charge, currently a top priced 12/1 with Paddy Power, and connections are hopeful that the Irish Derby winner can bounce back to form over a trip far more suitable than at York three weeks ago.
“It’s a hugely competitive race but he is an Irish Derby winner and entitled to take his place,” noted O’Brien. “He should get the trip and we’ll see what happens. His sire Camelot was second in the race, but he’s out of a quick mare and his sister is best at seven furlongs. It wouldn’t be guaranteed he will stay but you’d have to be quite hopeful.
“I always thought he was relatively versatile with conditions but his best form has been on quick ground. But then he was only beaten a short head on soft ground, so I would say he is versatile and the weather forecast whichever way wouldn’t be a concern.”
Aidan O’Brien’s Group 2 Queen’s Vase and Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris winner Kew Gardens, third in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York last time out, is the current 6/4 favourite with Bet365 to give his handler a sixth St Leger success in the last 17 years. The unbeaten Galtres Stakes winner Lah Ti Dar, trained by John Gosden, is next in the list at 4/1 with BetBright.
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.