Hurricane Lane storms to victory in English St LegerTuesday, September 14, 2021
LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) – Hurricane Lane added the oldest British classic, the St Leger, to his Irish Derby win on Saturday (September 11) to set up a likely tilt at Europe's most prestigious race, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, in early October.
William Buick steered home the 8/11 favourite two and three quarter lengths clear of Mojo Star (8/1) to give the Norwegian-born jockey his third win in the race and trainer Charlie Appleby his first.
The Mediterranean fared best of Aidan O'Brien's raft of runners, the 28/1 shot finishing third.
Hurricane Lane, who has tasted defeat just once when third in the Epsom Derby behind stablemate Adayar, was the star of the show.
Although Rossa Ryan thrust Mojo Star into the lead past long-time pacesetter Interpretation with two furlongs (400 metres) to go, Buick had him in his sights.
Once he moved up a gear there was no stopping the horse named after a storm that hit Hawaii in 2018. Mojo Star, who had finished one place in front of him at Epsom, stuck to his task but could not make any inroads into the gap that had opened up between them.
Appleby hugged Buick after he returned to the winners' enclosure and then rushed to get a bucket of water to give his equine star a much-needed drink.
“That was a fantastic performance,” purred Appleby to ITV.
“It is great to win any classic but an historic one like this one is extra special.
“I may sound relaxed and, of course, it is terrific for me to win any classic, but this is really great for my family and my extended one – the stable yard.
“I see no reason why he won't go to Paris for the Arc [October 3].
“We will, as usual, let the dust settle a bit and then myself and Sheikh Mohammed [al Maktoum, the mastermind behind winning owners Godolphin Operation will] decide.”
Buick, who may end up with a tough choice between riding Hurricane Lane or Adayar in the Arc, said he had felt pressure but was reassured by the class of horse he was riding.
“He is a great horse and the race worked out perfectly,” said the 33-year-old.
“There is always pressure but I knew I had the best horse.”
While Hurricane Lane may find himself in Paris at the beginning of October, Mojo Star's long-term target is farther away, with trainer Richard Hannon saying he was proud of his horse and he would aim for next June's Ascot Gold Cup.