Brown Panther wins Irish St Leger for Michael Owen

Brown Panther was six lengths clear of favourite Leading Light at the finish
Winner Brown Panther was the only horse to track pacemaker Eye of the Storm

Brown Panther earned a surprise Irish St Leger triumph for joint-owner Michael Owen after shocking Aidan O'Brien's favourite Leading Light.

The 14-1 shot was the only horse to track pacemaker Eye of the Storm and finished over six lengths clear of last year's English St Leger winner.

Leading Light, who won the Ascot Gold Cup in June, pipped 2012 Doncaster St Leger winner Encke for second place.

Winning jockey Richard Kingscote was earning his first classic success.

Former Liverpool and England football star Owen was present at the Kildare venue to witness his horse's surprise success.

Brown Panther, who is trained by Tom Dascombe, finished third in the Curragh classic two years ago but was never in danger of being caught in the final furlong in Sunday's race after stealing a march on the opposition.

Recent Irish St Leger winners
2013 - Voleuse de Coeurs
2012 - Royal Diamond
2011 - Dead heat between Duncan and Jukebox Jury
2010 - Sans Frontieres
2009 - Alandi

Owen described his horse's six-and-a-half-length triumph as "very special".

"He's the apple of my eye, as everyone knows, and he was pretty spectacular out there today," said the former striker.

"Richard was a bit closer to the pace than we envisaged, but he's a relentless galloper and he quickened again.

"He kept galloping and he's a superstar."

Trainer Dascombe, also earning his first classic success, paid tribute to winning jockey Kingscote.

"The first thing to say is he gave him a brilliant ride," said Dascombe.

"It's just worked out today. We have been having a real lean time. We didn't manage to have a winner last week and I was close to pulling him out, but there aren't too many Irish St Legers so you have to run."

Dascombe added that Brown Panther is now likely to be aimed at the Long Distance Cup race at Ascot on British Champions Day next month.

Leading Light's loss was another disappointment for Aidan O'Brien and his jockey son Joseph after Australia's shock defeat in Saturday's Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.

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