Irish St Leger – Race Preview

 Sunday sees the Irish St Leger taking place at the Curragh. Like its British equivalent, the Irish St Leger is a Group 1 contest run over 1 mile and 6 furlongs but it differs in that it is not restricted to only three-year-old horses. This has led to a number of repeat winners of the race, such as Oscar Schindler who was victorious in 1996 and 1997 and the enigmatic Vinnie Roe who won the race for four successive years from 2001 to 2005.

Order of St George is the surprise name in the declared field of 11 runners as he still holds an entry in the British St Leger on Saturday for which he is the current third favourite. An impressive winner of the St Leger trial at the Curragh at the end of August, it will be interesting to see what St Leger trainer Aidan O’Brien decides to eventually go for.

The Brian Meehan trained Agent Murphy is the current second favourite, as he steps up both in trip and class, attempting a Group 1 race and the distance of 1 mile and 6 furlongs for the first time. A winning run at Newbury in mid August was Agent Murphy’s last race but he stayed on well that day highlighting that he should have no issue with Saturday’s distance.

Forgotten Rules is the current third favourite and is one of two entries for trainer Dermot Weld as he aims to win the race for the eighth occasion. Not seen since a disappointing run at the Curragh in mid June, it will be a great training performance to bring Forgotten Rules back to winning ways after three months without a race.

Brown Panther was victorious in last year’s renewal of the race and returns to defend his crown for owner Michael Owen, the ex England footballer. With only two runs this year, Brown Panther has not raced since mid May when second in the Yorkshire Cup at York. A strong run in Sunday’s race is expected, before a crack at the Melbourne Cup in Australia later this year.

Second Step comes into the race on the back of Group 1 winning form having been victorious in the Preis Von Berlin in Germany at the start of August. A repeat of that run could well see the Luca Cumani four-year-old run a big race.

Sunday’s field is completed by Kingfisher, Sea Moon, Gospel Choir, Wicklow Brave, Vent De Force and Good Tradition.

At present, Order of St George is the 3.5 (5/2) favourite with Agent Murphy 5.5 (9/2), Forgotten Rules 6 (5/1), Brown Panther 6.5 (11/2) and Second Step 11 (10/1). The horse racing tip for Sunday’s Irish St Leger is Brown Panther to win at 6.5 (11/2).

By: Scott McGlynn

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