Staying King of Kyprios lifts korag gloom with brave Irish success St Leger | horse racing news

Alan Crowhurst

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Ryan Moore and Kyprius stopped Hamish to land St Leger in Ireland

Alan Crowhurst

By Richard Forrestal, Editor-in-Chief of Ireland

Sunday: Comer Group International Irish St. Leger

On a gloomy autumn afternoon shrouded in high winds and torrential rains, kyprios Lifting the gloom with a distinctive fusion of class and the courage to add Irish St Leger to his increasingly impressive portfolio.

The vast expanses of Curragh on a day like this offer a somewhat different environment than the sunny backdrop that saw Aidan O’Brien’s Galileo win his first two Group 1 wins at the Gold Cup at Ascot, then the Goodwood edition.

It was a glittering summer that saw him twice put Stradivarius in place, but the four-year-old chestnut entered the €500,000 advantage after a short break after his valiant effort to relegate Sussex.

Although the elements had receded by the time the gates opened for the one-mile-six-furlong event, the continued rainfall during the day made conditions more urgent than those he encountered during the height of summer.

The ground on the round was officially awarded as a mere surrender, but an eastern storm blew across the path to exacerbate the task at hand.

However, flexibility is the hallmark of Cyprius. After swinging off the Three-Furlong Pole with his full six-year-old sister Search For A Song, the siblings comforted Jason the Millitant from the lead in strides.

Then the guys in Kyprios’ legs immediately put down Search For A Song’s quest for a third victory in the race. When Hamish appeared between them traveling aggressively under Richard Kingscott, his 8-11 favorite suddenly looked weak.

It turns out that appearances can be deceiving. A short distance from home, Moore flew Kyprios and grabbed most of the length from Hamish, a gap that Kingscote couldn’t reduce as he got serious.

There was three-quarters of the length in him on the line, but the suspicion was that Kyprius was only doing what he had to do despite the flight’s low.

“This horse is a talented race horse and a pleasure to ride,” Moore said after his third Irish success at St Leger.

“He’s a little lazy but there is so much more. Every time you ask him he will find more for you. He is a very special resident.”

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

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Kyprios: “He’s a unique horse”

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

As his mountain was first emerging from the stalls, Moore then had to chase after him to take an early position behind Jason the Millitant. Once in the captain’s berth, he settled into a comfortable rhythm.

“He broke really well and then wanted to follow him a bit,” Moore explained. “The speed was good and even and I was happy where I was. He started taking me down the hill and was always going to keep finding him back then.”

It was O’Brien’s sixth win in the race, 15 years after the mighty Yates had landed in pole position. It’s obviously premature to talk about emulating Ascot Leights’ legacy, but O’Brien will surely enjoy the opportunity to at least replicate his longevity.

When asked if the inclination at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe might be on the agenda, O’Brien, who now has a renewed Luxembourgish at Longchamp, seemed half-hearted to the suggestion, with The Ascot Long Distance Cup is also in the equation.

“We’ll see what happens and see what everyone thinks,” he said. “We’ll see what the Earth looks like. Kyprius is only four years old, so he’s too young for a judge.

“He was pretty lazy today. Maybe the soft floor makes him a little more effortless. He can go back a mile and a half but obviously we would love to have him with us at the Gold Cup for the years to come, because he is a unique horse.”

Hamish came second on his first start since landing the Ormonde Stakes on May 5, and so did Search For A Song, which went on to finish third.

Like Search For A Song, Kyprios practices the colors of its Moyglare Stud Farm breeders. His win was touching for company owner Eva Maria Bucher-Hefner, who was in attendance to celebrate the 60th anniversary of her father Walter’s prominent domestic business.

“It was great that Eva was here to see him today,” O’Brien said. “He’s obviously a horse that gets a ride but he has a lot of sophistication. He’s very easy to handle, so it leaves him with a lot of options.”


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First published at 4:22 PM on September 11, 2022