Harbour Law makes St Leger history
Laura Mongan became the first woman to train a St Leger winner, as favourite Idaho stumbled and unseated his rider.
The complexion of the race changed dramatically three furlongs out when Idaho, who was in mid-division and seemingly going well under Seamie Heffernan, took a bad step, stumbled and lost his rider. The stewards held an inquiry into the incident but were unable to apportion any blame to any other horse.
Idaho's exit from the race left stablemate Housesofparliament to throw down a challenge to leader Ventura Storm, who had seen off Sword Fighter, but all the while George Baker was bringing the winner closer to the lead in order to throw down his late challenge.
Mongan, assisted by her husband Ian, a former jockey who retired in 2013 having spent his final years as a rider working for Sir Henry Cecil in Newmarket, was also sending out the first Classic winner trained in Epsom since 1969.
"We saw him in the paddock and we couldn't believe how well he looked," she said. "It's all a bit surreal at the moment – a lot of screaming – but this is brilliant.
"George has ridden the horse all the time. He knows exactly what to do and we left it all in his hands today as we knew he would know what to do."
Speaking to Channel 4, Ian Mongan added: "I can't get my head around the fact that we have won the St Leger. Did I think we'd run well? In a dream, I thought he might, and he has.
"I sat down with Henry Cecil three or four years ago and he said 'Good horses make good trainers' and he was right. Since this horse came to the yard, he has been the easiest horse for us to do anything with.
"I'm so pleased for Laura, I'm so pleased for the yard, I'm so pleased for Epsom.
"I hear a noise at 2am. I go out in my boxer shorts into the yard to see how he is. That's not so much the stress, but what this means. This horse and this win means everything and I am going to celebrate it. I pray he isn't sold and that he'll be a lovely Cup horse for us next year."
Mick Cornwell, who owns the horse with wife Jackie, said: "We were praying for rain on the way up and when we got about 15 miles on the track it stopped and we thought that might be that but he was the best horse on the day.
"We'll sit down now and make a plan. He's progressed as the year has gone on and I think he will progress again next year.
"Between myself and Jackie, we've been involved in racing for more than 20 years, we have a pre-training yard in Whitcombe, but we've never experienced anything like this."
After receiving medical attention, Heffernan was able to walk away from his fall and Idaho galloped past the winning post riderless just behind the placed horses.
"That wasn't part of the plan!" said Coolmore spokesman Kevin Buckley. "The main thing is that I hope that Seamie is okay now as he has to get to Leopardstown now.
"Fair play to Laura Mongan. It's a great result for her. Is it the Classic that got away? Very possibly. We'll sleep on it."
Leave us a comment!
Share this story:
Subscribe to our Newsletter today to receive Free Horse Racing Tips.
Simply fill out the form below and wait for the Free Tips to land in your inbox.