Eldar Eldarov wins St Leger as English racing honours late Queen

Published: 09:12 PM, 11 Sep, 2022
Eldar Eldarov wins St Leger as English racing honours late Queen
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Eldar Eldarov gave trainer Roger Varian his second win in England's oldest classic St Leger on Sunday which had been postponed for a day as racing paid its respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Britain's longest-serving monarch -- who died aged 96 on Thursday -- won the St Leger in 1977 with her filly Dunfermline.

Racing was the sport she was most closely associated with and the authorities had halted race meetings on Thursday and held none on either Friday or Saturday.

There was a two-minute silence prior to racing beginning at Doncaster with jockeys and trainers bowing their heads before a rendition of the national anthem.

"There is an emptiness as we lost a great friend and ambassador in the Queen," said jockey Frankie Dettori, who rode for her on many occasions.

The exuberant Italian was not to taste success in the St Leger, indeed although he finished second he was subsequently disqualified and placed fourth.

It was David Egan, who took the jockey honours in a convincing win for the Bahrain-owned Eldar Eldarov, who is named after an MMA fighter.

Egan -- sporting like the other jockeys black armbands -- rose from his saddle as he passed the winning post waving his whip wildly in the air in celebration.

Varian -- who won the 2014 St Leger with Kingston Hill -- was keener to praise horse and jockey than take the plaudits himself.

"David is one of the nicest guys you'd wish to meet. He takes defeat in good grace and is sensible in his victories," said Varian.

"He's (Eldar Eldarov) very tough and has great stamina, he needed all that today. He's impossible not to like and he's got a big heart.

"I think we have to recognise him for what he is and that he's a stayer. I think he's an exciting horse for the future over staying distances."

To that note his future plans could include the Melbourne Cup in November with one bookmaker slashing his odds from 33/1 to 16/1.

Doncaster was not the only race meeting to go ahead on Sunday as Chepstow also raced, while Musselburgh was called off with the Queen lying in state in nearby Edinburgh.

No meetings will take place on the day of the Queen's funeral, on Monday, September 19.

Categories : World

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