Frankie Dettori improved his Ladbrokes St Leger tally to five wins and gave Sir Michael Stoute his first win in the race, the only British Classic to have eluded the trainer thus far, when steering Conduit to a scintillating three-length win.
There were incredible scenes in the winner’s enclosure as a jubilant Dettori returned to a rapturous reception on the Ballymacoll Stud-owned colt. It was also a huge moment for Stoute, who was claiming a race that he has longed to win.
“It’s incredible to have done it at last, especially for Ballymacoll because we had three seconds for them - Hellenic, Saddlers’ Hall and Hard Top - in the St Leger,” said Stoute.
“I’m relieved! It was looking good from a long way out. I’m just disappointed for Ryan (Moore) because he’s put a lot of work into this horse. He wanted to ride him but the ground scared him a little bit. Frankie was a good substitute.
“It feels good because it’s been a long time coming. We’ve not only had five seconds, we’ve had a lot of placed horses. It was a race that I always wanted to win but I’ve always felt that we only had one who was marginally unluckily and that was Quiff, otherwise we’ve been beaten on merit.
“I should have taken Shergar out because the ground was too bad that day.
“I’m thrilled with Conduit. I thought he was a little bit below par at Goodwood but he showed how progressive he was in the King Edward, where he was just a little bit unlucky to get interference on the bend.
“Ryan was concerned about the ground because the three parts brother Hard Top didn’t go on this sort of ground. He made a late switch and I’m really sorry for Ryan because he’s really brought Conduit along right the way through. I think he just worried about the ground.
“We’ll keep him in training and I’ll enjoy having him next year.
“Doctor Fremantle was following Conduit and I thought he had a great chance but Ryan said that he just emptied past the two.”
Dettori added: “Conduit got lost a bit on his own at the end but it was a great run. I said to Sir Michael that he’s had Lester Piggott, Willie Carson, Walter Swinburn, Pat Eddery, Kieren Fallon, Ryan Moore, Steve Cauthen, and I was the last name on his book and I got him out of trouble.”
Peter Reynolds, Manager of Ballymacoll Stud, explained:“It was great because we didn’t expect him to win on the ground. I was really worried about the ground because his three parts brother Hard Top absolutely hated it here. I think the ground was much better than we expected - it dried up quite a bit.
“It’s great because we were second with Air Marshall and Millenary won the race and we bred his dam. It’s very important to win these Classics to keep the show on the road.
“Sir Michael has done a great job and it’s special to give him his first success in the St Leger. We couldn’t win the Derby with Tartan Bearer, but this isn’t a bad consolation.
“Conduit’s dam died when he was foaled and he had a foster mare - a coloured mare. He did well as a foal and behaved himself very well. The girl who foaled him is here, she foals all of our mares.”
New Zealander Allanah Gilbert added: “I foaled him. The mare died within an hour - she didn’t get up after she foaled. We got the foster mare at around 10am the next morning. It was horrible because he just cried and cried. So it’s great to see him win here today.”
STACK “DELIGHTED” WITH HIS HEROINE
Fozzy Stack, son of trainer Tommy Stack, expressed delight after watching the unexposed Unsung Heroine see off a pair of Classic winners to take the runner-up berth in the Ladbroke St Leger, three lengths behind Conduit.
The hitherto unbeaten Unsung Heroine, a 14/1 shot, lined up for the world’s oldest Classic off the back of only two career starts and repaid the faith of her connections in holding Oaks winner Look Here in third, with Irish Derby hero Frozen Fire further back in seventh.
Stack said: “I’m delighted. She’s always been a very good filly and I’m delighted with the way she has run. I couldn’t be happier - she has an Oaks winner and a Derby winner behind her and it’s only her third start.”
Unsung Heroine has plenty of options open to her now that she has proven her stamina over the extended mile and three-quarter trip of the Ladbrokes St Leger and may venture further afield in the future.
Stack continued: “We might look at the Melbourne Cup next year. We’ll see how she comes out of the race but maybe we’ll have a look at the Breeders’ Cup Marathon next.”
Oaks heroine Look Here (11/4) was travelling like a winner with over a quarter of a mile to race but was unable to repeat the storming run to the line that had sealed victory at Epsom in June. The Ralph Beckett-trained filly took third, a further three and a quarter lengths behind the runner-up.
Beckett said: “She has run a cracker, it was perhaps just a little too sticky for her and I’m not sure that she stayed. She has run a terrific race and we have plenty to look forward to next year.”
BEATEN JOCKEY QUOTES
Eddie Ahern, rider of third-placed Look Here, said: “It was very sticky and holding ground, and she just got stuck in it. She was a bit tired at the end.”
Wayne Lordan, second aboard Unsung Heroine, said: “She’s just run a blinder and stayed on really well.”
Johnny Murtagh, who partnered beaten favourite Frozen Fire, said: “He ran a really good race.”
LADBROKES ST LEGER STAKES (GROUP ONE) £500,000 guaranteed, 1m 6f 132y, For 3yo entire colts and geldings Weights colts 9st; fillies 8st 11 Entries 46 pay £1,250 First Forfeit 24 pay £1,950 Confirmed 18 pay £1,750 Penalty Value 1st £283,850; 2nd £107,600; 3rd £53,850; 4th £26,850; 5th £13,450; 6th £6,750;
1) CONDUIT (IRE) (Ballymacoll Stud) Sir Michael Stoute 3-9-00 Frankie Dettori  8/1
2) UNSUNG HEROINE (IRE) (Adahessonsplusone Syndicate) Tommy Stack IRE 3-8-11Wayne Lordan  14/1
3) LOOK HERE (Julian Richmond-Watson) Ralph Beckett 3-8-11Eddie Ahern  11/4
4) HINDU KUSH (IRE) (Sue Magnier, Peter Magnier & Joe Crowley) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00 David McCabe 
5) ENROLLER (IRE) (Dennis Clarke & Clive Edginton) William Muir 3-9-00 Daragh O’Donohoe 
6) WASHINGTON IRVING (IRE) (Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00 Colm O’Donoghue 
7) FROZEN FIRE (GER) (Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier) 3-9-00 Aidan O’Brien IRE Johnny Murtagh  9/4F
8) DOCTOR FREMANTLE (Khalid Abdulla) Sir Michael Stoute 3-9-00 Ryan Moore 
9) BASHKIROV (Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00 Jimmy Fortune 
10) ALESSANDRO VOLTA (Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00 Jamie Spencer 
11) TOP LOCK (David Brownlow) Andrew Balding 3-9-00 Martin Dwyer 
12) WHISTLEDOWNWIND (Susan Roy) Jeremy Noseda 3-9-00 Gerald Mosse 
13) WARRINGAH (Philip Newton) Sir Michael Stoute 3-9-00 Richard Mullen 
14) MAIDSTONE MIXTURE (FR) (Judith & Tina Wilson) Paul Murphy 3-9-00 Daniel Tudhope 
14 ran Distances: 3, 3.25, 5, nk, nk, 2.5, 4.5, 12, 4.5, 1.75, 6, dist, 19 Time: 3m 7.92s
Breeder: Ballymacoll Stud Breeding: ch c Dalakhani (IRE) - Well Head (IRE)
Totes: Win: £7.80 Places: £2.10; £4.20; £2.00; Exacta: £116.80
Winning trainer:-Name: Stoute, Sir Michael Ronald Date of birth:22/10/45 Date of first licence: 1972 First Winner: Sandal, Newmarket, April 28, 1972, Turn Of The Lands Handicap. Previous Occupation: Served with Pat Rohan, Doug Smith and Tom Jones. Other information: Arrived in Britain from his native Barbados just before his 20th birthday and has won the Champion Hurdle art Cheltenham with Kribensis in 1990. Was the only trainer to win a British Classic in five consecutive seasons, but has yet to add the St Leger to his list. Was awarded a knighthood in 1998 for services to tourism in Barbados. British Classic wins: (14) 1000 Guineas (1989 Musical Bliss, 2003 Russian Rhythm), 2000 Guineas (1985 Shadeed, 1988 Doyoun, 1997 Entrepreneur, 2000 King’s Best, 2001 Golan), Vodafone Derby (1981 Shergar, 1986 Shahrastani, 2003 Kris Kin, 2004 North Light), Vodafone Oaks (1978 Fair Salinia, 1987 Unite), Ladbrokes St Leger (2008 Conduit) Other big race wins: Irish 2,000 Guineas (1989 Shaadi), Irish 1,000 Guineas (1986 Sonic Lady), Irish Derby (1981 Shergar, 1983 Shareef Dancer, 1986 Shahrastani), Irish Oaks (1978 Fair Salinia, 1986 Colorspin, 1987 Unite, 1988 Melodist, 1995 Pure Grain, 2000 Petrushka), Champion Stakes (2000 Kalanisi), Cheveley Park Stakes (1980 Marwell; 1994 Gay Gallanta; 2000 Regal Rose), Vodafone Coronation Cup (1992 Saddler’s Hall, 1993 Opera House, 1997 Singspiel, 2000 Daliapour), Coral-Eclipse (1993 Opera House; 1994 Ezzoud;1997 Pilsudski, 2001 Medicean, 2007 Notnowcato), Dubai World Cup (Singspiel 1997), Falmouth Stakes (1983 Royal Heroine, 1986 and 1987 Sonic Lady, 1998 Lovers Knot), Fillies’ Mile (1985 Untold), Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (2007 Mountain High), Japan Cup (1996 Singspiel, 1997 Pilsudski), Juddmonte International Stakes (1993 & 1994 Ezzoud; 1997 Singspiel; 2006 Notnowcato), July Cup (1981 Marwell; 1986 Green Desert; 1987 Ajdal), King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (1981 Shergar; 1993 Opera House, 2002 Golan), Vodafone Nassau Stakes (1977 Temple First, 1984 Optimistic Lass, 1990 Kartajana, 1994 Hawajiss, 2002 Islington, 2003 Russian Rhythm, 2004 Favourable Terms), Prix de l’Opera (1983 Royal Heroine, 1985 Bella Colora, 2000 Petrushka, 2003 Zee Zee Top), Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (1985 Shadeed; 1987 Milligram; 1989 Zilzal), Racing Post Trophy (2000 Dilshaan), Stanley Leisure Sprint Cup (1986 Green Desert; 1987 Ajdal), Sussex Stakes (1986 Sonic Lady; 1989 Zilzal; 1998 Among Men), Yorkshire Oaks (1978 Fair Salinia; 1985 Sally Brown; 1986 Untold; 1990 Hellenic; 1995 Pure Grain, 2000 Petrushka, 2002 and 2003 Islington) Tattersalls Gold Cup (2007 Notnowcato) Prix Royal-Oak (2007 Allegretto) Matron Stakes (2007 Echelon), Audi Pretty Polly Stakes (2008 Promising Lead) Major Royal Ascot wins: Gold Cup (1978 Shangamuzo), Coronation Stakes (1986 Sonic Lady, 1987 Milligram, 1998 Exclusive, 2003 Russian Rhythm), St James’s Palace Stakes (1989 Shaadi), Prince of Wales’s Stakes (1981 Hard Fought, 1991 Stagecraft), Golden Jubilee Stakes (1985 Dafayna), Queen Anne Stakes (2000 Kalanisi, 2001 Medicean, 2002 No Excuse Needed), Jersey Stakes (1977 Etienne Gerard, 1980 Hard Fought, 1989 Zilzal, 1997 Among Men, 2006 Jeremy), King Edward VII Stakes (1983 Shareef Dancer, 1991 Saddler’s Hall, 1994 Foyer, 2002 Balakheri, 2006 Papal Bull), Hardwicke Stakes (1986 Dihistan, 1991 & 1992 Rock Hopper, 2006 & 2007 Maraahel), King George V Handicap (2008 Colony) Other details: Champion trainer in Britain 8 times (1981, 1986, 1989, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005) Trains at Freemason Lodge, Newmarket. Wins in 2008: 65
Winning jockey:-Name: Dettori, Lanfranco Born: 15/12/70 in Milan, Italy Background: Son of dual English 2000 Guineas winning jockey Gianfranco, “Frankie” also came to Britain early in his career to become apprentice for Luca Cumani in July 1985. In 1990, he became the first teenager to ride 100 winners since Lester Piggott. Appointed number one jockey for brand new Godolphin stable in the winter of 1993/94. Champion jockey for the first time in 1994 with 223 winners, retaining his title the following year with 216 victories. Became the first jockey to win all seven races on a card on September 28, 1996, at Ascot. Narrowly escaped death when his plane crashed shortly after take off at Newmarket racecourse in June 2000. He received an honorary MBE on December 29, 2000, and became champion jockey for a third time in 2004 with 195 victories. First winner: Rif (Turin, Italy, November 16, 1986), First British winner: Lizzy Hare (Goodwood June 9, 1987) Other Achievements: Received Bill Shoemaker Award for outstanding performance by a jockey at 2006 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs British Classic wins; (13) Vodafone Derby (2007 Authorized), Vodafone Oaks (1994 Balanchine, 1995 Moonshell, 2002 Kazzia); St Leger (1995 Classic Cliche, 1996 Shantou, 2005 Scorpion, 2006 Sixties Icon, 2008 Conduit), 2000 Guineas (1996 Mark of Esteem, 1999 Island Sands), 1000 Guineas (1998 Cape Verdi, 2002 Kazzia) Irish Classic wins: Irish Oaks (2001 Lailani, 2003 Vintage Tipple), Irish Derby (1994 Balanchine), Irish 2000 Guineas (2000 Bachir, 2005 Dubawi), Irish St Leger (1999 Kayf Tara) French Classic wins: Prix du Jockey-Club (1992 Polytain, 2005 Shamardal, 2007 Lawman), Poule d’Essai des Poulains (1995 Vettori, 2000 Bachir, 2005 Shamardal), Prix Diane Hermes (2007 West Wind) Other major wins include: Cheveley Park Stakes (2000 Regal Rose, 2003 Carry On Katie), Coral-Eclipse Stakes (1998 Daylami; 2004 Refuse To Bend), GNER Doncaster Cup (2006 Sergeant Cecil), UAE Hydra Properties Falmouth Stakes (2008 Nahoodh), Fillies’ Mile (1990 Shamshir, 1999 Teggiano, 2000 Crystal Music), Haydock Sprint Cup (1999 Diktat); Juddmonte International (1996 Halling, 1997 Singspiel, 2001 Sakhee, 2007 Authorized), King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (1995 Lammtarra, 1998 Swain,1999 Daylami, 2004 Doyen), Lockinge Stakes (2000 Aljabr, 2008 Literato), Middle Park Stakes (1996 Bahamian Bounty, 1998 Lujain, 2006 Dutch Art), Nunthorpe Stakes (1993 Lochsong, 1995 So Factual, 1998 Lochangel), Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (1990 Markofdistinction; 1996 Mark of Esteem, 1999 Dubai Millennium), Racing Post Trophy (2006 Authorixed), Sussex Stakes (1991 Second Set, 1999 Aljabr, 2001 Noverre, 2007 Ramonti); Vodafone Coronation Cup (1996 Swain, 1997 Singspiel, 1999 Daylami, 2001 Mutafaweq), Yorkshire Oaks (1994 Only Royale), Vodafone Nassau Stakes (2001 Lailani, 2006 Ouija Board) Dubai: Dubai World Cup (2000 Dubai Millennium, 2003 Moon Ballad, 2006 Electrocutionist) France: Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (2005 Alkaased), Prix Vermeille (2003 Mezzo Soprano), Prix de l’Abbaye (1993, 1994 Lochsong, 2004 Var), Prix d’Ispahan (1996 Halling, 2002 Best Of The Bests), Prix Jacques le Marois (1999 Dubai Millennium, 2000 Muhtathir, 2006 Librettist), Prix de la Foret (2006 Caradak); Prix de la Salamandre (1998 Aljabr); Prix Maurice de Gheest (1999 Diktat); Prix Jean Prat (1995 Torrential, 1997 Starborough, 1998 Almutawakel), Prix du Cadran (2006 Sergeant Cecil), Prix Marcel Boussac (1996 Ryafan, 2001 Sulk), Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (1995 Lammtarra, 2001 Sakhee, 2002 Marienbard), Prix du Moulin (2001 Slickly, 2006 Librettist), Prix Jean Luc Lagardere (2007 Rio De La Plata) Germany: Deutsches Derby (1991 Temporal), Grosser Preis Von Baden (2002 Marienbard) Ireland: Irish Champion Stakes (1998 Swain, 1999 Daylami, 2001 Fantastic Light, 2002 Grandera) Japan: Japan Cup (1996 Singspiel, 2002 Falbrav, 2005 Alkaased) North America: Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (2006 Ouija Board), Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (2004 Wilko), Breeders’ Cup Mile (1994 Barathea), Breeders’ Cup Turf (1999 Daylami, 2006 Red Rocks), Canadian International Stakes (2000 Mutafaweq) Hong Kong: Hong Kong Cup (2000 Fantastic Light, 2003 Falbrav, 2007 Ramonti), Hong Kong Mile (2004 Firebreak), Hong Kong Vase (1996 Luso), Centenary Sprint Cup (2002 Firebolt), Queen Elizabeth II Cup (1996 Overbury) Major Royal Ascot wins: Gold Cup (1992 & 93 Drum Taps, 1998 Kayf Tara, 2004 Papineau), St James’s Palace (1997 Starborough), King’s Stand Stakes (1994 Lochsong), Prince of Wales’s Stakes (2001 Fantastic Light, 2002 Grandera), Golden Jubilee Stakes (1995 So Factual), Queen Anne Stakes (1990 Markofdistinction, 1997 Allied Forces, 1998 Inktikhab, 2003 Dubai Destination, 2004 Refuse To Bend, 2007 Ramonti) Wins (1987-2007): 8, 22, 75^, 141, 94, 101, 149, 233*, 216*, 123, 176, 132, 132, 47, 94, 69, 101, 195*, 87, 131, 77 ^Champion apprentice *Champion jockey Wins in 2008: 48
ST LEGER FACTS & FIGURES (before this year’s race)
• Aidan O’Brien, who saddles five, his highest number of runners in the race having previously had four in 2001 and 2007, is going for his fourth Ladbrokes St Leger victory.
• In post-war times, only one trainer - Dick Perryman - has saddled a one-two in the St Leger, back in 1946.
• Frankie Dettori, rider of Conduit, is the most successful current rider with four wins from 12 rides.
• Johnny Murtagh, rider of favourite Frozen Fire, has failed to win the St Leger from four rides.
• Sir Michael Stoute, who sends out Conduit, Doctor Fremantle and Warringah, has yet to win the oldest Classic, though he has sent out the runner-up on five occasions from 25 runners.
• A total of 41 fillies have been successful in the St Leger, though only six since the Second World War. Both Look Here and Unsung Heroine will bid to increase that figure today.
• Look Here is bidding to become the ninth filly to complete the Oaks/St Leger double and the first since User Friendly landed both Classics in 1992.
• Last year’s victory was jockey Jimmy Fortune’s first Classic win. This year, six of the 14 riders - Ryan Moore, David McCabe, Daniel Tudhope, Richard Mullen, Eddie Ahern and Wayne Lordan - are chasing their first Classic wins.
• Only three of today’s Ladbrokes St Leger riders have won the race in the past - Jamie Spencer (Brian Boru, 2003), Jimmy Fortune (Lucarno, 2007) and four-time winner Frankie Dettori (Classic Cliche, 1995; Shantou, 1996; Scorpion, 2005; Sixties Icon, 2006).
• Since 1946, the St Leger has been won back-to-back by the rider on eight occasions, including when Lester Piggott won it three times from 1970 to 1972. Jimmy Fortune is bidding to add his name to that list today.
• At 22, Daniel Tudhope, rider of rank outside Maidstone Mixture, is the youngest rider in the field, while at 40 years of age, Gerald Mosse, rider of Whistledownwind, is the oldest.
• Sue Magnier, part-owner of all five of Aidan O’Brien’s runners, is the most successful owner with a runner today, having owned Brian Boru (2003) outright and both Milan (2001) and Scorpion (2005) in partnership with Michael Tabor.
• Four of today’s trainers are saddling their first St Leger runners, namely William Muir, Paul Murphy, Ralph Beckett and Tommy Stack.
• Jeremy Noseda, trainer of Whistledownwind, has a 100% strike rate in the St Leger, winning with his only previous runner, Sixties Icon in 2006.
• Since 1946, 25 favourites or joint-favourites have been successful in the St Leger.
• Washington Irving is bidding to become the first maiden to win the Ladbrokes St Leger since Snurge in 1990. He became the first maiden to win in 77 years but had been first past the post in the Group One Criterium de Saint-Cloud the previous year only to be controversially disqualified for causing interference.
• Today’s field, at 14, is the largest since Touching Wood defeated 14 rivals in 1982.
• The Aidan O’Brien-trained Frozen Fire is bidding to become the first horse since Nijinsky in 1970 to complete the Irish Derby/St Leger double.