Eldar Eldarov sees off returning Kyprios to complete St Leger double

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Eldar Eldarov (16/5) beat Kyprios, Dawn Rising and Yashin to win Group One Comer Group International Irish St. Leger at the Curragh; winner cut to 7/1 from 14s for Long Distance cup at Ascot on Qipco British Champion Day, live on Sky Sports Racing

Sunday 10 September 2023 17:11, UK

David Egan kisses his Irish St Leger hero Eldar Eldarov

Image: David Egan kisses his Irish St Leger hero Eldar Eldarov

Eldar Eldarov made a successful raid on the Comer Group International Irish St Leger at the Curragh, as Kyprios finished a brave second in his eagerly-awaited return to the track.

Aidan O’Brien’s five-year-old dominated the staying scene last season, but had been off since his staggering 20-length success in last year’s Prix du Cadran.

But despite Kyprios being sent off the 4/6 favourite in his quest for back-to-back Irish St Leger victories, the afternoon belonged to Eldar Eldarov as Roger Varian’s charge served a reminder of his own class.

David Egan’s mount was bidding to add the Irish equivalent to the Doncaster Classic he secured 12 months ago and having travelled powerfully throughout, he ran on strongly for a three-and-a-half-length triumph.

It was a welcome upturn in fortunes for Varian who saddled King Of Steel to finish fourth in Saturday’s Irish Champion Stakes, while Eldar Eldarov was back in front for the first time since his finest hour on Town Moor.

Betfair shortened Eldar Eldarov to 7/1 from 14s for the Long Distance Cup on Qipco British Champions Day, with Kyprios unchanged at 6/1.

Varian said: “It’s a big thrill to win a race like the Irish St Leger and I’m delighted to get Eldar Eldarov winning again. He’s run some great races in defeat this year and it’s nice to win two Legers.

“He’s entered up in France on Arc weekend and there is the two-mile race at Ascot. We might consider Ascot.

“He seems to be really best at a mile and six furlongs, but there aren’t too many of those races around. He deserves to run one more time this year and it’s most likely Ascot.”

He added of the winning rider: “David has been with us since he was 15 or 16 and he’s done really well. He’s come up through the ranks and he’s taken his opportunities. I’m delighted for him and he gave him a very straightforward, uncomplicated ride today.”

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