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Harley hails his Sheikh as Idaho tipped for Leger glory

By Keith Hamer

Published 10/09/2016

Whip hand: Ulster jockey Martin Harley powers Sheikhzayedroad to victory in yesterday’s 250th Doncaster Cup
Whip hand: Ulster jockey Martin Harley powers Sheikhzayedroad to victory in yesterday’s 250th Doncaster Cup

Ulster jockey Martin Harley praised the bravery of Sheikhzayedroad after claiming a last-gasp victory in the 250th Doncaster Cup, yesterday’s feature ahead of today’s final British Classic of the year, the St Leger.

Quest For More refused to go down without a fight once push came to shove and the pair dived for the line almost as one, but the judge called the David Simcock-trained Sheikhzayedroad the narrow winner.

Harley (right) said: “He’s run some very good races this year and got a nice, even gallop there all the way.

“Fair play to the old boy, he’s been around and he keeps producing the goods — him and David!

“I didn’t want to hit the front three (furlongs) down as he is a little bit quirky, but he’s tough and he put his head down in the right place at the right time.”

Idaho can kick off a weekend to remember for Aidan O’Brien by triumphing in the St Leger.

Third in the Derby at Epsom behind Harzand, Idaho got even closer to Dermot Weld’s star in the Irish version, when, if anything, he was outstayed.

However, such is his class edge over his rivals he might not truly need to see out the extended mile and three-quarters to claim the final Classic.

According to the bookmakers his chief danger is John Gosden’s Muntahaa.

But it looks to be Idaho’s to lose, with stablemates Housesofparliament and Sword Fighter looking the main threats, so an O’Brien clean sweep is not out of the question.

In Ireland, the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown is undoubtedly the race of the season with O’Brien’s Minding taken to have too much speed for Derby winner Harzand.

BATH: 2.10 Secret Witness, 2.45 Beau Mistral, 3.20 Aventus, 3.50 Good Omen, 4.25 Lady Hare, 4.55 Peak Storm, 5.30 Fanci That, 6.05 Cersei.

CHESTER: 1.40 Kiribati, 2.15 Alejandro, 2.50 Mountain Bell, 3.25 Harome, 3.55 De Veer Cliffs, 4.30 Casterbridge, 5.00 Hereawi.

DONCASTER: 2.00 Rivet, 2.35 Judicial, 3.10 Buckstay, 3.45 IDAHO (NAP), 4.20 Harbour Master, 4.50 Third Time Lucky, 5.25 Missed Call, 6.00 Argus.

LEOPARDSTOWN: 3.30 Tradfest, 4.00 Douglas Macarthur, 4.35 Pyromaniac, 5.05 Stellar Mass, 5.35 Qemah, 6.10 Hit It A Bomb, 6.45 Minding, 7.20 Kelinni.

LINGFIELD: 1.50 Lady Blanco, 2.25 Fast Play, 3.00 Unforgettable Filly, 3.35 Art Echo, 4.10 Salateen, 4.40 Gale Song, 5.15 Sweet Dragon Fly.

MUSSELBURGH: 4.15 Horsforth, 4.45 Marsh Pride, 5.20 Sky Gypsy, 5.55 La Contessa, 6.30 Novalina, 7.00 Gabrial The Terror, 7.30 Dark Command.

BATH (Tomorrow): 2.05 Tahiti One, 2.40 Le Rock, 3.15 BABYFACT (NAP), 3.45 Celestial Path, 4.20 Panko, 4.55 Count Calabash, 5.30 Tasty Ginger.

CURRAGH (Tomorrow): 2.00 Naggers, 2.35 Planchart, 3.10 Cotai Glory, 3.40 Promise To Be True, 4.15 Churchill, 4.50 Order Of St George, 5.25 Humbert, 5.55 Elusive Heights.

CHELMSFORD (Tomorrow): 1.45 Qatar Man, 2.20 Marzouq, 2.50 Press Gang, 3.25 Hakam, 4.00 Huntlaw, 4.35 Onesie, 5.10 Regal Miss.

FFOS LAS (Tomorrow): 1.55 Subjective, 2.30 Defoe, 3.00 Mia Cara, 3.35 The Begum, 4.10 Man Look, 4.45 Rayaa, 5.20 Diminutive.

LISTOWEL (Tomorrow): 2.10 Father Mattie, 2.45 Water Sprite, 3.20 Small World, 3.50 Brogine, 4.25 Westerner Lady, 5.00 Rightville Boy, 5.35 Fonder Brook.

Belfast Telegraph

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