Kinane shows he’s still a legend
Doncaster's third running of the Clipper Logistics Leger Legends Classified Stakes was once again won by a jockey worthy of the title as Mick Kinane and Patriotic held on in a tight finish.
A field of 16 ex-jockeys, some better known than others, had gathered for the only charity race held in Britain under the Rules of Racing and the man who came home in front was perhaps the most accomplished of them all.
Not that it was easy, as George Duffield and Elijah Pepper closed to within a nose of the Kinane-ridden 5-1 favourite.
Julie Krone made a bold bid to repeat last year's victory by leading on Sunnyside Tom for most of the mile, but Kinane delivered the Chris Dwyer-trained Patriotic with a smooth run to lead with just over a furlong remaining.
But he had to push as if his life depended on it to keep Duffield at bay.
Kinane (53), who also won a charity race at Aintree's Grand National meeting in April, retired as a professional after a glittering career at the end of the 2009 season in which he enjoyed tremendous success on the champion colt Sea The Stars.
He said: “I'm glad it wasn't two miles. George just wouldn't go away at the end. He was trying to sneak up on me, the old fox.
“My horse travelled so well and I thought I went a bit soon on him really as we were treading water at the end.
“I still ride out twice a week for John Oxx. I like to keep fit and there is no better workout than riding a horse.
“Today has been good fun, it's for a great cause but I might retire again now.”
Kinane had ridden for Dwyer once before, in a handicap on the same day as he won the Derby on Galileo in 2001.
“He rode to instructions and I might ask him again,” Dwyer said with a smile.
“But I thought George had got it.”
Duffield was actually given a ban for using the whip under the permitted level, with the £300 fine for the 65-year-old former Leger winner given to the charities — the Injured Jockeys Fund's building of a rehabilitation centre in Malton, and for the redevelopment of the Northern Racing College.
Duffield said: “I thought at one stage the winner was going to beat me fair and square and I was just riding for second.
“I kept him going just in case he faltered which he did, but I caught him after the line and not before.”
Four and a half lengths away in third were Handheld and Tony Clark, who won the 1989 International Stakes on Ile De Chypre.
“It couldn't have gone better and I'd like to thank trainer Ed de Giles for giving me the ride,” Clark said.
“I thought I was going to win but just got a little tired at the end. Horse and rider.”