Omar Walker to partner Talented Tony K in St Leger
Another change is in the offing for Talented Tony K when this year's field of three-year-olds face the starter for the 84th running of the 10-furlong Jamaica St Leger next Saturday at Caymanas Park.
Former four-time champion jockey Omar Walker, who partnered Talented Tony K to victory in the 2,000 Guineas will be aboard the colt in the St Leger, which is the final leg of the Triple Crown.
The 31-year-old Walker, who missed Talented Tony K's victory in the Governor's Cup, was set to partner the bay colt by Traditional - Ocean Liner in the Derby, but due to his commitment at the Assiniboia Downs in Canada where he has been creating waves with his riding ability, he was unable to make the trip. Talented Tony K was given a peach of a ride by Shane Ellis in the Governor's Cup.
With Walker unable to ride in the Derby, the connections of Talented Tony K sought assistance elsewhere and eventually signed the much rated North American-based Hall-of-Fame jockey Edgar Prado who rode the colt to a second-place finish behind Relampago in the Blue Riband event.
"Walker will be aboard Talented Tony K in the St Leger. He knows him best; unfortunately he couldn't make it for Derby but he will be here this time around for the St Leger," trainer of the Guineas winner Lorne Kirlew told the Complete Racing Guide.
Kirlew believes that the dynamics going into the St Leger have significantly changed, which bodes well for his charge.
"Talented Tony K did all that was asked of him in the Derby. He ran as expected and made his usual burst when asked by the rider, but the 'juice' ran out in the latter stages of the 2,400 metres. The St Leger is 200 metres less than the Derby, which will be more to his liking, so I expect him to give a stellar performance, and with well racing luck he has every chance of winning," the trainer said.
As to the preparation of Talented Tony K for the St Leger, Kirlew says the colt is going good and is well prepared.
"Talented Tony K has been training well. He is healthy and fit and so I am confident that he will run well in the St Leger this Saturday."
For this season, Talented Tony K has won three races, finished second once and was unplaced in his other start. Thus far he has earned stakes of just over $5 million.