Irish Derby hero Latrobe set to take Leger option for next outing
Joseph O’Brien’s star as low as 10-1 for world’s oldest classic at Doncaster
Latrobe. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
A drop-in trip didn’t work out for Latrobe at York last week so Joseph O’Brien’s Irish Derby hero is set to stretch out in distance for his next start in either the English or Irish Leger.
O’Brien’s first classic winner as a trainer beat only one home behind Roaring Lion in the Juddmonte International over a mile and a quarter last week.
The son of Camelot enjoyed his finest hour over a mile and a half in June just three weeks after winning his maiden over the same course and distance at the Curragh.
Now O’Brien is looking to put the emphasis on stamina with another classic attempt by the Lloyd Williams-owned star.
“The options are either the English Leger or the Irish Leger for his next start. I suppose the English Leger is probably more likely but we’ll keep our options open.
“Even though it [Doncaster] is against his own age, it depends on what lines up in the Irish Leger, too. Obviously Order of St George looks like he’d be hard to beat. But then look at last year’s English Leger and how well it has worked out,” O’Brien said on Monday.
O’Brien saddled Rekindling to finish fourth in the 2017 Doncaster Leger behind the trio of Capri, Crystal Ocean and Stradivarius. Less than two months later, Rekindling memorably landed the Melbourne Cup.
Latrobe holds a number of high-profile Australian entries himself later in the year, but his immediate target looks like being an attempt to give O’Brien a first English classic as a trainer on September 15th.
The 25-year-old had four English classic wins during a short but hugely successful riding career including Leading Light’s Leger success in 2013.
O’Brien rode six Irish classic winners, including Order of St George, in the 2015 Curragh Leger. That takes place this year a day after Doncaster as the centrepiece of the second day of Irish Champions Weekend.
Latrobe is currently as low as 10-1 in some betting lists for the world’s oldest classic at Doncaster.
The trainer’s top-flight focus will be on Haydock before that, as this month’s Curragh Group Three winner Speak in Colours has been confirmed for Saturday week’s 32Red Sprint Cup.
His short-term focus, though, will be on four starters at Ballinrobe’s National Hunt fixture on Tuesday evening.
O’Brien runs three in a Beginners’ Chase, including Imperial Way, one of two in the race carrying the colours of Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown Stud.
Jockey Robbie Colgan is booked for five rides over jumps just a couple of days after guiding Sheila Lavery’s impressive juvenile newcomer Breaking Story to a 33-1 success at the Curragh on Sunday.
Colgan is on the bottom-rated Guido Reni in one of the handicap hurdles, for which Karl Thornton’s other hope, Duke Cass, is topweight.
Guido Reni was raised 3lb for finishing runner-up at Sligo last time, behind Arctic Light, and could maintain sufficient progress to add to a Tipperary win in May off a stone higher mark.