Irish St Leger: Latrobe bidding to go distance for Classic double

Sat 15 Sep 2018

Latrobe will bid for his second Classic success of the season in the Comer Group International Irish St. Leger at the Curragh on Sunday.

The Camelot colt provided Joseph O’Brien with a first Classic success as a trainer with a memorable victory in the Irish Derby in late June, with his father Aidan’s runners filling out the places.

Latrobe failed to land a telling blow when dropped back from a mile and a half to a mile and a quarter for the Juddmonte International at York last month and O’Brien has responded by stepping him up a mile and and three-quarters this weekend.

The St Leger at Doncaster was also under serious consideration, but he instead remains on home soil for the Irish equivalent.

O’Brien said: “He’s a grand big horse, uncomplicated and he should be better next year.

“He only had one start at two and he progressed a lot over the winter. Because he’s a big horse he’s still relatively lightly raced. He should get the trip and we’ll see what happens.

“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.”

Aidan O’Brien has saddled four previous winners of the Curragh showpiece, with Yeats (2007), Septimus (2008) and the recently-retired dual victor Order Of St George (2015 and 2017) all on the roll of honour.

This year’s three-strong team is headed by Flag Of Honour, who is the likely favourite following successive course and distance victories in the Curragh Cup and the Irish St Leger Trial.

He is joined by Idaho and possible pacemaker Cyprus Creek.

O’Brien said: “Flag Of Honour is in good form. We were delighted with him the last day. He won’t have a problem with any ease in the ground and he stays well.

“He was very comfortable when he went up to a mile and a half. He’s a very honest and straightforward horse.

“He seems to get the mile and six (furlongs) well now and you can never be sure that they will until they do it.

“Idaho is a solid horse. Obviously we know that he stays well as he’s been running over two miles. He’s in good form as well.”

Jim Bolger’s Twilight Payment and John Gosden’s British challenger Weekender complete the six-strong field.

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