The 7/2 favourite was always handy and picked up well off a slow pace when the tempo began to quicken three furlongs from home. He put daylight between himself and the field with a couple of furlongs to go and fought off the late challenge of runner-up Talent to record a length and a quarter success.
John Magnier, whose wife Sue owns the three-year-old in partnership with Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor, hinted that the St Leger winner could be heading to Paris for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp at the beginning of October.
“We thought he had a good chance in the race but you can’t be confident about winning a Classic,” said John Magnier.
“However, we do hold him in high regard and even this morning, Aidan (O’Brien) was talking about possibly going to the Arc with him. He’s not in the race at the moment so we’d have to supplement him.
“The sole reason he ran in the Queen’s Vase (at Royal Ascot) was that we had so many horses with a lot of options so we had to shuffle the pack. It just so happened that he ended up there but he’s a classy horse.
“The St Leger is one of the great races and, for me, my ultimate racing dream would be to win the Triple Crown. It was a shame that Camelot couldn’t manage it last year as everyone wanted him to win. We got a great reception from the crowd both before and after the race and the rest is history.”
Ladbrokes St Leger Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) £600,000 added, 3yo only, 1m 6f 132y, Class 1 11 ran
Going: Good to Soft, Soft in places
Talent, the only filly in the Ladbrokes St Leger line-up, bounced back to something like her best with a fast-finishing second to Leading Light, beaten a length and quarter.
The daughter of New Approach led home a one-two for her trainer Ralph Beckett in the Investec Oaks at Epsom Downs in June, but finished last of seven behind Chicquita in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh on July 20.
Beckett said: “It’s great to get her back after such a poor run in Ireland.
“She got tight for room at a crucial stage and probably lost a bit of momentum but the winner has won well. We would have loved to have had a clearer run, but it was a great run.
“I am thrilled to bits with her and I feel like I have won because her run in Ireland was so bad and I still don’t really have a reason for it, except the ground.
“We will look at the fillies and mares race on Champions Day, providing the ground is on the soft side.”
Trainer David Wachman only decided at around 6am today to run Galileo Rock in the Ladbrokes St Leger and the consistent three-year-old Galileo colt was placed in a third successive Classic when third to Leading Light, beaten two lengths.
Galileo Rock was third in the Investec Derby at Epsom Downs in early June and then came second in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.
Wachman said: “He has run really well on ground he cannot really handle but it was probably the right decision to run. The winner ran very well so no excuses.
“Obviously, we would have liked a sounder surface but I am very happy as he ran a good, honest race. It is more than satisfactory and I am happy we came.
“We might travel with him at the end of the year but we will see how he is and talk to the owners.”
Libertarian ran best of the three Godolphin runners, finishing fourth, half a length in arrears of Galileo Rock. He kept on without really threatening.
Trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by William Buick, he finished two places ahead of Secret Number (Saeed bin Suroor/Silvestre de Sousa), while the final Godolphin challenger, Cap O’Rushes (Charlie Appleby/Mickael Barzalona), dropped out of contention in the final furlong and a half after leading and was eased down to finish 11th and last.
Appleby said: “I was very pleased with Libertarian. William was delighted that he travelled very well throughout the race. He just said the conditions were a bit too easy for the horse. He is a better horse on good ground. We have something to take away and can work from here.”
Simon Crisford, the Godolphin racing manager, added: “We were very pleased with Libertarian. Secret Number may not have got the trip while Cap O’Rushes appeared to be outclassed.”
LADBROKES ST LEGER ROLL OF HONOUR (1946-2012) Year Horse Trainer Jockey Owner SP Ran
2012 ENCKE Mahmood Al Zarooni Mickael Barzalona Godolphin 25/1 9 2011 MASKED MARVEL John Gosden William Buick Bjorn Nielsen 15/2 9 2010 ARCTIC COSMOS John Gosden William Buick Rachel Hood & Robin Geffen 12/1 10 2009 MASTERY Saeed bin Suroor Ted Durcan Godolphin 14/1 8 2008 CONDUIT Sir Michael Stoute Frankie Dettori Ballymacoll Stud 8/1 14 2007 LUCARNO John Gosden Jimmy Fortune George Strawbridge 7/2 10 2006** SIXTIES ICON Jeremy Noseda Frankie Dettori Susan Roy 11/8F 11
2005 SCORPION Aidan O’Brien IRE Frankie Dettori Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor 10/11F 6
2004 RULE OF LAW Saeed bin Suroor Kerrin McEvoy Godolphin 3/1JF 9
2003 BRIAN BORU Aidan O’Brien IRE Jamie Spencer Sue Magnier 5/4F 12
2002 BOLLIN ERIC Tim Easterby Kevin Darley Sir Neil & Lady Westbrook 7/1 8
2001 MILAN Aidan O’Brien IRE Michael Kinane Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier 13/8F 10
2000 MILLENARY John Dunlop Richard Quinn Neil Jones 11/4F 11
1999 MUTAFAWEQ Saeed bin Suroor Richard Hills Godolphin 11/2 9
1998 NEDAWI Saeed bin Suroor John Reid Godolphin 5/2F 9
1997 SILVER PATRIARCH John Dunlop Pat Eddery Peter Winfield 5/4F 10
1996 SHANTOU John Gosden Frankie Dettori Sheikh Mohammed 8/1 11
1995 CLASSIC CLICHE Saeed bin Suroor Frankie Dettori Godolphin 100/30F 10
1994 MOONAX Barry Hills Pat Eddery Sheikh Mohammed 40/1 8
1993 BOB'S RETURN Mark Tompkins Philip Robinson Jackie Smith 3/1F 9
1992 USER FRIENDLY Clive Brittain George Duffield Bill Gredley 7/4F 7
1991 TOULON Andre Fabre FR Pat Eddery Khalid Abdullah 5/2F 10
1990 SNURGE Paul Cole Richard Quinn Martyn Arbib 7/2 8
1989* MICHELOZZO Henry Cecil Steve Cauthen Charles St George 6/4F 8
1988 MINSTER SON Neil Graham Willie Carson Lady Beaverbrook 15/2 6
1987 REFERENCE POINT Henry Cecil Steve Cauthen Louis Freedman 4/11F 7
1986 MOON MADNESS John Dunlop Pat Eddery Duchess of Norfolk 9/2 8
1985 OH SO SHARP Henry Cecil Steve Cauthen Sheikh Mohammed 8/11F 6
1984 COMMANCHE RUN Luca Cumani Lester Piggott Ivan Allan 7/4F 11
1983 SUN PRINCESS Dick Hern Willie Carson Sir Michael Sobell 11/8F 10
1982 TOUCHING WOOD Tom Jones Paul Cook Maktoum Al Maktoum 7/1 15
1981 CUT ABOVE Dick Hern Joe Mercer Sir John Astor 28/1 7
1980 LIGHT CAVALRY Henry Cecil Joe Mercer Jim Joel 3/1 7
1979 SON OF LOVE Robert Collet FR Alain Lequeux A Rolland 20/1 17
1978 JULIO MARINER Clive Brittain Edward Hide Marcos Lemos 28/1 14
1977 DUNFERMLINE Dick Hern Willie Carson The Queen 10/1 13
1976 CROW Angel Penna FR Yves Saint-Martin Daniel Wildenstein 6/1CF 15
1975 BRUNI Ryan Price Tony Murray Charles St George 9/1 12
1974 BUSTINO Dick Hern Joe Mercer Lady Beaverbrook 11/10F 10
1973 PELEID Bill Elsey Frankie Durr Bill Behrens 28/1 13
1972 BOUCHER Vincent O'Brien IRE Lester Piggott Ogden Phipps 3/1 7
1971 ATHENS WOOD Tom Jones Lester Piggott Mrs John Rogerson 5/2 8
1970 NIJINSKY Vincent O'Brien IRE Lester Piggott Charles Engelhard 2/7F 9
1969 INTERMEZZO Harry Wragg Ron Hutchinson Gerry Oldham 7/1 11
1968 RIBERO Fulke Johnson Houghton Lester Piggott Charles Engelhard 100/30 8
1967 RIBOCCO Fulke Johnson Houghton Lester Piggott Charles Engelhard 7/2 9
1966 SODIUM George Todd Frankie Durr R J Sigita 7/1 9
1965 PROVOKE Dick Hern Joe Mercer John Astor 28/1 11
1964 INDIANA Jack Watts Jimmy Lindley Charles Engelhard 100/7 15
1963 RAGUSA Paddy Prendergast IRE Garnet Bougoure Jim Mullion 2/5F 7
1962 HETHERSETT Dick Hern Harry Carr Major Lionel Holliday 100/8 15
1961 AURELIUS Noel Murless Lester Piggott Mrs V Lilley 9/2 13
1960 ST PADDY Noel Murless Lester Piggott Sir Victor Sassoon 4/6F 9
1959 CANTELO Charles Elsey Edward Hide William Hill 100/7 11
1958 ALCIDE Cecil Boyd-Rochfort Harry Carr Sir Humphrey de Trafford 4/9F 8
1957 BALLYMOSS Vincent O’Brien IRE T P Burns Jock McShain 8/1 16
1956 CAMBREMER George Bridgland FR Freddie Palmer R B Strassburger 8/1 13
1955 MELD Cecil Boyd-Rochfort Harry Carr Lady Zia Wernher 10/11F 8
1954 NEVER SAY DIE Joe Lawson Charlie Smirke Robert Sterling Clark 100/30 16
1953 PREMONITION Cecil Boyd-Rochfort Eph Smith W P Wyatt 10/1 11
1952 TULYAR Marcus Marsh Charlie Smirke H H Aga Khan III 10/11F 12
1951 TALMA II Charles Semblat FR Rae Johnstone Marcel Boussac 7/1 18
1950 SCRATCH II Charles Semblat FR Rae Johnstone Marcel Boussac 9/2 15
1949 RIDGE WOOD Noel Murless Michael Beary G R H Smith 100/7 16
1948 BLACK TARQUIN Cecil Boyd-Rochfort Edgar Britt W Woodward 15/2 14
1947 SAYAJIRAO Fred Armstrong Edgar Britt Maharaja Of Baroda 9/2 11
1946 AIRBOURNE Dick Perryman Tommy Lowrey Jock Ferguson 3/1 11
* Run at Ayr
** Run at York