St Leger: Aidan O'Brien's Kew Gardens beats Lah Ti Dar

Kew Gardens and Ryan Moore (right) race to victory in the St Leger Stakes at Doncaster
Ryan Moore and Kew Gardens (right) beat previously unbeaten Lah Ti Dar (left) to the line

Aidan O'Brien's 3-1 shot Kew Gardens won the final Classic of the year - the St Leger Stakes at Doncaster.

The two-and-a-quarter-length win was a third Classic of 2018 for O'Brien, who had five runners in the field of 12.

Victory for Kew Gardens, who was ninth in June's Derby, adds to success in the Group One Grand Prix de Paris in July.

Unbeaten favourite Lah Ti Dar, ridden by Frankie Dettori and owned by Lord Lloyd Webber, was second in the race, over one mile six-and-a-half-furlongs.

Southern France, another from the O'Brien stable, kept on for third, a further four-and-a-half lengths adrift.

It was a sixth St Leger for O'Brien, his 31st Classic and a second successive victory in the Doncaster showpiece for the trainer with jockey Ryan Moore, following last year's triumph with Capri.

2018 British classic winners
2,000 Guineas, Newmarket: Saxon Warrior
1,000 Guineas, Newmarket: Billesdon Brook
Oaks, Epsom: Forever Together
Derby, Epsom: Masar
St Leger, Doncaster: Kew Gardens

"It was very smooth," said Moore, who recorded his 11th Classic win. "He's a very uncomplicated horse and he tries very hard. He's got a great attitude to life and he picked up really well. He's a super horse."

Moore took control at the two-furlong point and despite a valiant effort from Dettori, seeking his sixth St Leger, and Lah Ti Dah, O'Brien's Galileo colt was not to be denied a fifth win in 12 starts.

"We always thought he was a horse that would stay well and we thought the distance would suit him," the trainer said.

"He has a lot of class and we're over the moon really."

John Gosden's filly Lah Ti Dar's previous longest race was over a mile and four furlongs at York last time out in August and her trainer said: "That's the first real race of her life. She's only ever seen about one horse before today.

"In the end the best horse won - make no mistake - but I like the way she was closing him down late on. She was getting to him and getting to him."

Elsewhere, Roaring Lion swooped late to beat Saxon Warrior in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.

Oisin Murphy charged down the outside to claim victory on the John Gosden-trained Dante, Eclipse and Juddmonte winner, who was sent off the 8-11 favourite.

Moore, on Saxon Warrior, was denied a big-race double having dashed by helicopter from his Leger win in Yorkshire to the Irish track.

There was a shock in the Matron Stakes as 3-10 favourite Alpha Centauri, seeking a fifth straight Group One win, was beaten by Laurens.

The 10-1 shot prevailed for trainer Karl Burke under a front-running ride from Danny Tudhope.

Analysis

Cornelius Lysaght, BBC horse racing correspondent:

Kew Gardens, racing for the seventh time this year, was much too battle hardened for his opponents - notably the favourite Lah Ti Dar having only her fourth ever race, and showing definite signs of inexperience - ran out a comfortable winner having led with a quarter mile still to go.

To quote a favourite Aidan O'Brien/Coolmore cliche, Kew Gardens is entered "in everything" but the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on 7 October looks likely, and he'll have an each-way shout.

Although it's not been a vintage year for O'Brien, he's still won three British Classics.

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