Seamie Heffernan: Keeps the ride on St Leger favourite
PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
By Tony O’Hehir 6:31PM 7 SEP 2016
RYAN MOORE will ride only at Leopardstown on Saturday with Seamie Heffernan going to Doncaster to ride Idaho, the odds-on favourite, in the Ladbrokes St Leger.
Not for the first time the clash between Irish Champions day at Leopardstown and the final Classic of the British season has presented problems for jockeys hoping to ride at both meetings and speaking on Wednesday Aidan O’Brien said: “It has been decided that Ryan will concentrate on Leopardstown on Saturday and that Seamus will ride Idaho at Doncaster.”
O’Brien also ruled Somehow, an impressive winner at the Curragh on her most recent start, out of the Group 1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown. He said: “Somehow has tweaked a muscle and won’t be running in the Matron. Ryan will ride Alice Springs in the race.”
Idaho could be joined by stablemates
On his jockey plans for Saturday, O’Brien added:”If Ryan was to ride Idaho in the St Leger he wouldn’t make it back to Leopardstown in time for the Matron Stakes. We discussed the situation and it was agreed to have Ryan at Leopardstown and that Seamus would ride Idaho.
“In addition to riding Minding and Alice Springs Ryan’s other rides will include Douglas Macarthur in the Group 3 Willis Towers Watson Champions Juvenile Stakes and US Army Ranger in the Group 3 KPMG Enterprise Stakes.”
Heffernan rode Idaho to win the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York last month and also partnered the colt to finish third in the Investec Derby.
O’Brien said: “We’ll decide in the morning how many we’ll declare for the St Leger. Seamus, Colm (O’Donoghue) and Donnacha (O’Brien) will be involved at Doncaster and will make it back in time for the later races at Leopardstown including the Champion Stakes.”
‘Significant’ rain possible on Saturday
With the surface drying out clerk of the course Roderick Duncan will walk the course Thursday morning, with the prospect of a further adjustment to the going description that is currently good to soft, good in places.
Although forecasted to be dry until Friday, Duncan has also reported the possibility of ‘a significant amount of rain’ on Saturday morning, before the St Leger gets under way at 3.45.
He said: “I think the ground has started to dry a little bit this afternoon but we’ll wait and see what it walks like tomorrow morning. I’m not anxious to change the description at the moment and I will head out to walk the course around 5.45 tomorrow morning.
“It is forecast to be dry right through now until late Friday afternoon when there is a chance of showers.
“There is a bigger risk of rain on Saturday morning. At the moment, there is due to be rain at around 7am on Saturday and we could have a significant amount of rain. We’ll keep an eye on that forecast and see how it develops.”