Eldar Eldarov (5/1 to win British Champions Long Distance Cup) won the St Leger at Doncaster on Sunday as horse racing returned following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
There was a two-minute silence before racing commenced with a rendition of the national anthem on what was an emotionally-charged day of action.
The main feature race was pushed back 4 hours from its proposed start time and Eldar Eldarov was the winner of the oldest Classic.
Trained by Roger Varian, the three-year-old made a late charge in the mile-and-a-half race with ante-post favourite New London finishing second and Giavellotto third, after Haskoy was demoted to fourth for interference having been second past the post.
It was only the fifth race for the grandson of Sea The Stars, who won the Group Two Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot in June.
Now, he has won at the highest level and Varian was naturally thrilled with his performance.
“I quietly thought he had a real big shout today,” he said after the race.
“Not everybody was wowed by his run in France last time out, but the winner (Onesto) went and pushed Luxembourg all the way in the Irish Champion Stakes.
“He had a tough race that day which is why he didn’t run again and he was only just getting going at the line in France. His run at Royal Ascot showed he had stamina in abundance and that race is proving a good trial for the Leger.”
There were plenty of Group Two races in a busy nine-race card at Doncaster on Sunday.
Coltrane (7/1 to win British Champions Long Distance Cup) claimed victory in the Doncaster Cup Stakes, which is part of the British Champions’ Series.
He narrowly came over the line to beat former Goodwood Cup winner Trueshan (3/1) by a neck.
Kinross (6/1 to win British Champions Sprint Stakes) won the Park Stakes, following on from victory at York in the City of York Stakes last month, while Trillium, a success at Glorious Goodwood, was the winner of the Flying Childers’ Stakes.