Varian lands first Irish St Leger with Eldar Eldarov

The four year old added to his 2022 English St Leger

Sunday, 10 September 2023
Varian lands first Irish St Leger with Eldar Eldarov

David Egan celebrates aboard Eldar Eldarov at The Curragh

Roger Varian landed his first Irish St Leger triumph as Eldar Eldarov added to last year’s English equivalent to end a below-par season on a high, writes Tom Masters. 

The four-year-old put an end to his struggles with an emphatic three-length victory over pre-race favourite Kyprios, spoiling Aidan O’Brien’s party after he sealed his 4,000th career win earlier in the day.

Eldar Eldarov travelled strongly throughout, guided by jockey David Egan, and quickly got himself into second in a field of just four.

He took the lead at two furlongs out and extended his advantage with neither Kyprios, nor Joseph O’Brien’s Dawn Rising, able to close.

The four-year-old was winless this year arriving at The Curragh having failed to kick-on from his St Leger victory in Doncaster last year but there were no mistakes this time around.

Jockey Egan said: “Eldar Eldarov is a horse that means so much to me, he was obviously my first Classic winner last year.

“It was a very smooth race, he’s a horse who had been missing the break on his last couple of runs, so we did a little bit of gate work with him.  

“We realised putting the blind on him and taking it off as the gates open was getting him to jump a lot sharper.  

"It was pivotal getting that position that I wanted in second place, to take the race and go when I felt it was necessary. 

“I had a lot of faith in my horse, he’s a Classic winner already and Royal Ascot winner.  

“He hasn’t really got the rub of the green this year. I think this is his optimum trip.” 

Kyprios’ failure to defend his crown continued a mixed day for O’Brien, who also saw favourite Ylang Ylang fail to deliver in the Moyglare Stud Stakes. 

The Master of Ballydoyle will not have minded too much, though, as he sealed his 4,000th career triumph in the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stud Stakes. 

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