St Leger: Favourite Kingston Hill wins season's final classic

Kingston Hill claimed his first classic title at Doncaster
Kingston Hill claimed his first classic title at Doncaster

Kingston Hill, the 9-4 favourite, came from deep in the pack to beat second-place Romsdal and Snow Sky in the St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday.

The Roger Varian-trained horse powered through after jockey Andrea Atzeni had held him back from the early pace.

The Derby runner-up delivered a first Classic win for trainer and jockey.

Atzeni said: "I rode him like the best horse in the race, he travelled beautifully. When I pulled him out he was always going to get there."

BBC horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght
"What a boost for the 2014 Epsom Derby the St Leger turned out to be. Though everyone accepts that Australia was an excellent winner of the premier Classic back in June, doubts had been raised about the horses behind him as they were subsequently turned over. "But, here, the second and third, Kingston Hill and Romsdal, filled the first two places, in the process, as they say, 'franking the form'. "The Arc looks to be the next target for Kingston Hill, and what an interesting new dynamic the colt adds to that race, especially as it's traditionally run on the type of rain-softened going he relishes."

Just as Romsdal, third in the Epsom Derby, moved to strike, Kingston Hill began his charge and although he brushed past eventual third Snow Sky, he was a length-and-a-quarter ahead at the post.

A stewards' inquiry was called because of interference between the first three but the result stood.

Kingston Hill was a doubt for the final British Classic of the flat racing season due to questions about his form on the firm ground conditions.

The win - only the fourth by a grey in the St Leger during the post-war period - came as relief for Varian, who earlier in the season had decided to pull the colt out of the Irish Derby and the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York due to the fast going.

"I am so pleased for the horse," he said. "For him to win a classic is brilliant."

The starting field was reduced to 12 runners after Odeon came to post with undeclared head gear and had to withdraw from the race.

St Leger Result

1. Kingston Hill Roger Varian Andrea Atzeni

2. Romsdal John Gosden William Buick

3. Snow Sky Sir Michael Stoute James Doyle

4. Windshear Richard Hannon Richard Hughes

5. Marzocco (USA) (Blinkers) John Gosden Robert Havlin

6. Forever Now John Gosden Frankie Dettori

7. Hartnell Mark Johnston Joe Fanning

8.Alex My Boy (IRE) Mark Johnston Silvestre De Sousa

9. Kings Fete Sir Michael Stoute Ryan Moore

10. Somewhat (USA) Mark Johnston Franny Norton

11. Granddukeoftuscany (IRE) Aidan O'Brien Colm O'Donoghue

12. Scotland (GER) Andrew Balding Jim Crowley

Recent St Leger winners
2013: Leading Light 7-2 fav (Aidan O'Brien) Joseph O'Brien
2012: Encke 25-1 (Mahmood Al Zarooni) Mickael Barzalona
2011: Masked Marvel 15-2 (William Buick) John Gosden
2010: Arctic Cosmos 12-1 (William Buick) John Gosden
2009: Mastery 14-1 (Saeed bin Suroor) Ted Durcan
2008: Conduit 8-1 (Sir Michael Stoute) Frankie Dettori

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