• St Leger

Encke foils Camelot in St Leger

ESPN staff
September 15, 2012 « Mulroy hoping to fend off Spanish inquisition | Chartbeat test »
Mickael Barzalona celebrates winning the St Leger on Encke © PA Photos
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Camelot failed in his bid to land the triple crown, as he was beaten into second by Encke in the St Leger.

All eyes were on the long odds-on favourite, following his wins in the 2000 Guineas and the Derby, as he made his bid to become the first colt since Nijinsky in 1970 to win the triple crown.

But those hopes were dashed as Camelot conceded first run to Encke and it proved pivotal as the Godolphin runner held on by a rapidly-diminishing three-quarters of a length.

Joseph O'Brien, the son of trainer Aidan, settled Camelot towards the rear of the field and was in no rush over the furthest he had been seen over.

As the race developed, Camelot was brought with a run through on the inside. O'Brien had to thread his way past the toiling pacemaker Dartford and the struggling Thomas Chippendale.

He was still travelling with authority with three furlongs to run, at the same time as Mickael Barzalona was asking Encke for maximum effort.

Encke's response was not immediate, but he began to find top gear and with less than two furlongs to run he had put daylight between himself and the chasing pack. Camelot was switched off the rail and with over a furlong to run O'Brien was asking his mount to go and win the race.

Camelot, who had never been beaten in his previous five races, began to eat into Encke's lead but the Godolphin runner held on to land the world's oldest classic at odds of 25/1. Michelangelo stuck on well from the rear to take third.

Godolphin's fine day continued in Ireland as Dawn Approach, the horse they purchased earlier this season, reinforced his position as a leading candidate for next year's classics with a brilliant win in the Group One National Stakes at The Curragh. Sent off the 2/5 favourite, Dawn Approach sauntered four and three-quarter lengths clear of Designs of Rome.

The O'Brien camp capped a miserable day as Fame And Glory finished a well-beaten sixth behind shock winner Royal Diamond in the Irish St Leger.

Toronado made it three wins on the spin with a pillar-to-post success in the Champagne Stakes.

Dundonnell was sent off as a shade of odds-on to follow up his win in the Acomb Stakes at York, but he found Toronado took strong.

Richard Hughes jumped Toronado out of the gate and set a steady gallop. Tha'ir was the first to have a crack, but he was swiftly fended off. James Doyle brought Dundonnell through with the final challenge, but Hughes had not gone for maximum effort and once he asked his charge to dig in he got the response he wanted as Toronado stuck his neck out to land the Group Two prize.

The Richard Hannon stable, successful with Toronado, followed up later on the card with Librano in the Park Stakes. Librano's stablemate Strong Suit was the hot favourite, but he failed to find his usual finishing burst and it was left to Librano, ridden by Kieren Fallon, to score from Pastoral Player.

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