x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Godolphin's Mastery ends their English classic drought

Godolphin end a five-year drought with an emphatic one-two in the St Leger at Doncaster.

Godolphin ended a five-year wait for victory in an English Classic with a one-two in the St Leger yesterday, but it was Mastery who took the honours by edging out his more fancied stablemate, Kite Wood. Saeed bin Suroor's second string, ridden by Ted Durcan, led home Kite Wood, the mount of Frankie Dettori for Godolphin's first British Group One victory of the season. It was the first time SheikhMohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had tasted Classic glory since Rule Of Law won the Leger five years ago. Godolphin broke their duck in style, starting the day with victory for Poet's Voice in the Group Two Champagne Stakes, a win which installed the colt as an early 2,000 Guineas favourite for next year. "I wanted to drop him in, but he jumped so quick and we were in front," said Dettori. "I held on to him a bit more and we just got there. "He's headstrong, but sensible with it. We might use a pacemaker next time." Added Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford: "He jumped out of the stalls too well for his own good, it works against him - especially over seven furlongs. "We need to get him covered up, but we've not managed to do it so far and he's always doing a bit too much. "He's a very talented colt. The Dewhurst is an option, as is the Prix Jean Luc Lagardere." The Dubai stable came tantalisingly close to claiming a second Group One victory just 20 minutes later when Goodwood Cup-winner, Schiaparelli, made all the running in the Irish St Leger at the Curragh under Olivier Peslier. But Mick Kinane, having spurned the ride on fourth-placed English St Leger runner, Mourayan, piloted Alandi to a well-timed win to give trainer John Oxx a sixth group one of the season. Yeats, the four-time Ascot Gold Cup winner having his final run before retirement, bowed out with a whimper, finishing last. stregoning@thenational.ae