Jockey Joseph O’Brien showed his fellow Leger Legends a clean pair of heels by steering 7/1 shot Phosphoresence to a pillar to post victory in the Clipper Logistics Leger Legends Classified Race over a mile at Doncaster on Friday.
The 23-year-old retired at the end of last season to concentrate on his fledgling training career but decided to make a return to the saddle for this particular race and it proved to be an inspired move as the George Scott-trained six-year-old, who had not run for 427 days, ran on strongly to record a one and a quarter length victory.
The Clipper Logistics Leger Legends Classified Race has been run for the past seven years to raise money for racing charities and took place this year to support Jack Berry House and Northern Racing College. The event has raised over £750,000 for the charities.
O’Brien was coy about the chances of making a return to race-riding once more in this race next year following this year’s running but was delighted to be a part of the deserving cause.
“He took a nice pull the whole way and tested my fitness a little bit but he tried when it mattered,” said O’Brien.
“In fairness to George (Scott – trainer), he said that, if the horse runs like he works then he has a good chance and he was right. He jumped and travelled well for me.”
“George just told me to keep it simple and there’s no simpler way to win than from the front. It’s all good fun and I’m delighted to have taken part in a race which raises so much money for good causes.”
“It was a great buzz and it’s nice to ride a winner. I have to say thanks to George and everyone for giving me the ride. It’s nice to have a winner here.”
“I tell you now though if I can get back to the weighing room now though after that, I’ve done well. I’m blowing quite a bit! I don’t ride out too much at home now as we’ve got quite a big string of horses and you can’t see them all if you’re riding out.”
“I’m not too sure about next year – they always say you should finish on a high note!”
Idaho looks the class act in the St Leger on Saturday.
Yours In Sport!