|Group 2, Doncaster 15:35
2m 2f, Class 1
|Friday 15th September 2017|
1 Desert Skyline 2/1F
2 Thomas Hobson 4/1
3 Sheikhzayedroad 5/1
9 ran Distances: 1½l, hd, ½l
Time: 3m 51.88s (slow by 1.88s)
Youth overcame experience as David Elsworth's Desert Skyline saw off Royal Ascot winner Thomas Hobson.
As he has already been gelded, the Leger was never an option for Desert Skyline but he was finally rewarded for a string of consistent efforts, including at Goodwood, where he was third.
High Jinx and the giant Pallasator led the nine-strong field into the straight, but both eventually faltered.
Last year's winner Sheikhzayedroad hit the front with two furlongs to run, but was soon followed through by Willie Mullins-trained Irish challenger Thomas Hobson and the nine-year-old veteran Clever Cookie.
However, none of that trio had any answers when Desert Skyline arrived on the scene late in the day and he powered clear to score by a length and a half under Silvestre de Sousa.
Thomas Hobson beat Sheikhzayedroad to the runner-up spot by a head, with Clever Cookie clear of the rest in fourth.
Elsworth, who won the Doncaster Cup with the hugely popular Persian Punch in 2003, said: "I was pleased with him, of course, as he's only a three-year-old. He had a weight-for-age concession, but it's tough out there.
"It's not like driving a car around the M25 and you just pull out and go! It looked like that, but they've got to dig deep and work hard.
"There's not a lot of him and it's quite a big call to run a three-year-old over two and a quarter miles, but he's tough.
"He's run consistently well at a high level and you'll hear more of him next year."
On the ruling that prevents geldings from running in Classics, the trainer added: "I don't know why geldings can't run in the Derby. Basically we want to know what the best three-year-old is and if he happens to be a gelding, then he's the best.
"I realise the breeding implications. You want the Derby winner to reproduce, but that's not the point. If he isn't the best three-year-old he isn't the best three-year-old. I'm not going to change the rules, but it's a thought, I suppose.
"I had no idea he was going to be a stayer. As a two-year-old he was naughty so he needed cutting (gelding), I'm sure he wouldn't be as good if we hadn't."
Elsworth suggested a trip to Australia could be in the offing in the future.
"I didn't enter him for Melbourne this year but one day maybe. There has been interest from the southern hemisphere," said the Newmarket handler.
Thomas Hobson has been talked up as a possible contender for this year's Melbourne Cup, but owner Rich Ricci is not committing to a trip to Australia just yet.
He said: "He ran very well. It was always going to be tough giving Desert Skyline 12lb, but it was a good run. He certainly ran better than the last day, which is good.
"I don't know about Melbourne, I'll talk to Ryan and Willie. He qualifies now, he's in the ballot proper. We'd have to see, we'll have Max Dynamite (2015 Melbourne Cup runner-up) come out (in a Listed race at Naas on Sunday week).
"It's a big punt, Melbourne, because, rightly so, there's no help with the Melbourne Cup. It's all self-funded and it's expensive, so you want to make sure you go there with a fighting chance.
"There's plenty of stuff for him at home as well but we'll have to see, he's in the mix for Melbourne anyway."
(British Champions Series) (Group 2)
£100,000 added, 3yo plus, 2m 2f, Class 1
Going: Good to Soft
|Pos||Dr||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||(6)||Desert Skyline (IRE) 2/1f||S De Sousa
|D R C Elsworth||3|
|2nd||(5)||1½||Thomas Hobson 4/1||R L Moore
|W P Mullins||7|
|3rd||(7)||hd||Sheikhzayedroad 5/1||M Harley
|D M Simcock||8|
|4th||(3)||½||Clever Cookie 33/1||G Lee
|P D Niven||9|
|5th||(8)||8||High Jinx (IRE) 20/1||D Allan
|T D Easterby||9|
|6th||(9)||1¾||Montaly 15/2||Oisin Murphy
|A M Balding||6|
|7th||(1)||6||She Is No Lady 7/1||James Doyle
|R M Beckett||5|
|8th||(4)||20||Pallasator 16/1||Rosie Jessop
|Sir Mark Prescott||8|
|9th||(2)||12||Fun Mac (GER) 22/1||A Kirby
Year Horse Trainer Jockey Owner SP
2016 Sheikhzayedroad D M Simcock Martin Harley Mohammed Jaber 10/3
2014 Estimate Sir Michael Stoute Ryan Moore The Queen 11/8 fav
2013 Times Up Ed Dunlop Ryan Moore Mrs I Stewart & M Meacock 3/1
2012 Times Up John Dunlop Eddie Ahern Mrs I Stewart & M Meacock 5/1
2011 Saddler’s Rock John Oxx IRE Niall McCullagh Michael O’Flynn 11/2
2010 Samuel John Gosden William Buick Normandie Stud Ltd 5/1
2009 Askar Tau Marcus Tregoning Ryan Moore Nurlan Bizakov 5/2
2008 Honolulu Aidan O’Brien IRE Johnny Murtagh Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor 15/8 fav
2007 Septimus Aidan O'Brien IRE Johnny Murtagh Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor 11/10 fav
2006 Sergeant Cecil Rod Millman Frankie Dettori Terry Cooper Evens fav
2005 Millenary John Dunlop Richard Quinn Neil Jones 11/4
2004 DH Kasthari Howard Johnson Johnny Murtagh Elliott Bros 14/1
DH Millenary John Dunlop Richard Quinn Neil Jones 7/1
2003 Persian Punch David Elsworth Martin Dwyer Jeff Smith 3/1
2002 Boreas Luca Cumani Jamie Spencer Aston House Stud 7/2
2001 Alleluia Sir Mark Prescott Jamie Mackay Sonia Rogers 14/1
2000 Enzeli John Oxx IRE Johnny Murtagh H H Aga Khan 15/2
1999 Far Cry Martin Pipe Kevin Darley Nicky Chambers 6/1