Laura Mongan and Harbour Law create history with thrilling English St Leger victory

Laura Mongan became the first woman to win the English St Leger when Harbour Law won a gripping contest that saw favourite Idaho fall midway through the final British Classic.
Harbour Law ridden by George Baker, left, beats Ventura Storm ridden by Silvestre De Sousa, right, to win the St Leger Stakes. Anna Gowthorpe / PA
Harbour Law ridden by George Baker, left, beats Ventura Storm ridden by Silvestre De Sousa, right, to win the St Leger Stakes. Anna Gowthorpe / PA

DONCASTER // Laura Mongan became the first woman to win the English St Leger when Harbour Law won a gripping contest that saw hot-favourite Idaho fall midway through the final British Classic.

Jockey George Baker and Harbour Law took full advantage when Idaho and Seamie Heffernan lost balance with 800 metres to go.

Baker guided his mount around the unfortunate duo and had to set sail to catch Housesofparliament, Idaho’s Ballydoyle stablemate, and Ventura Storm who had built up a lead.

Harbour Law stayed on gamely for all of Baker’s pressure and he reeled in the two leaders to pip Ventura Storm by three-quarters of a length at the line.

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Mongan has only 20 horses in her yard in Epsom, a fading training centre outside London that had not provided the winner of the 240-year-old event for over 100 years.

Harbour Law was Mongan’s first runner at Group 1 level and Baker’s first ride in the St Leger.

“It was brilliant,” she said.

“He is a classy horse. I’m still shocked but that was good. He proved to everyone that he could do it.

“It’s a bit surreal at the moment. We have a great team at home and it proves that we can do it with the right ammunition and it proves that Epsom can do it. We do very well with what we have got at home. It’s just great to have a horse like him.

Harbour Law was bought at the Goffs London Sale for just £30,000 (Dh146,190), so the return of £396,970 was a huge credit to Mongan and her husband Ian, a former jockey who guided Dubai World Cup runner Twice Over to win the International Stakes for The late Sir Henry Cecil in 2011.

“We’ve had a lot of faith in this horse but did we think he would win the St Leger? Maybe,” he said.

“He has come up against the best of the best. From a little yard in Epsom, we are taking on the mighty power of Coolmore and all the other trainers.”

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Published: September 10, 2016 04:00 AM

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