Ruby Walsh: If Lah Ti Dar stays the English St Leger trip she’ll win

It may be the biggest weekend in the Irish Flat racing calendar but top jump jockey Ruby Walsh took time out to give us his opinion...


English St Leger, Doncaster 3.35pm

I thought Lah Ti Dar was amazing at York. The way she opened up and went away from the field was electrifying. However, having to race an extra two furlongs over 1m 6f for a three-year-old filly, is another story. Aidan O’Brien’s Kew Gardens is a big, powerful, galloper who looks certain to stay and he’ll be running all the way to the line.

You need a bit of class to see out the last couple of furlongs in the St Leger. Capri look beaten there last year but rallied well to beat Crystal Ocean. Camelot looked a certainty to do the Triple Crown of 2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and St Leger in 2012 but was beaten by Encke.

It’s not easy. I expect to see Lah Ti Dar to be a short price in running two furlongs out at Doncaster. Whether she gets home from there is the question.

Lah Ti Dar definitely has the class and if she stays the St Leger trip – she’ll win in my opinion.

Leopardstown 15.50

Willie Mullins won this valuable handicap last year with Laws of Spin and throws five darts at the board this year to try to go back-to-back.

Lagostovegas has top weight and a tough draw to overcome (stall 18) but was a great winner for us at Royal Ascot during the summer.

Limini is drawn in the middle of the field here in stall 14. She probably bounced at Galway after running a great race in the amateurs race on the Tuesday, but then ran a little below par on the Saturday. She carries a penalty here and Oisin Murphy has been booked to rode. He’s in great form in the UK.

Sharjah won the Galway Hurdle under Patrick Mullins and looks the most unexposed of ours as it’s his first run on the Flat in Ireland but did win on the level in France. Irish Champion jockey Colin Keane is booked to ride.

Law Girl has proved a little frustrating since winning at Gowran Park, but the better the ground, the better her chance. She may have to go up in trip to win again though.

We were a little disappointed with Legal Spin at Killarney when he was third to Falcon Eight.

We think he’s better than that and it wouldn’t surprise me if he out-ran his odds on Saturday.

Alpha Centauri, Matron Stakes, 17.25

It’ll be great to see Alpha Centurai back on home soil again. She’s conquered all before her since winning the Irish 1,000 Guineas, so it’ll be great to see her back in Leopardstown. She’s sure to put people on the gate. She’s a high-class filly and seems to be getting better.

Everyone likes a star, a champion, and she is that. Irish race-goers will definitely want to go and see her.

Irish Champion Stakes 18.35 

Aidan O’Brien has given plenty of reasons for Saxon Warrior’s last couple of defeats and maintains he’s coming back to form now. Maybe the fact that Saxon Warrior did chin Roaring Lion in the Racing Post Trophy last year and the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket is a cause for optimism but I thought Roaring Lion looked outstanding when winning at the Juddmonte International at York last time.

The pair were only separated by a neck in the Coral Eclipse over 10f at Sandown where Roaring Lion overcame a bad draw to win.

A bit like Alpha Centauri, you’d be brave to oppose Roaring Lion in the Irish Champion Stakes.

Irish St Leger, Curragh, Sunday  15.50pm 

A small but select field, where Aidan and Joseph O’Brien have the two at the top of the market, in Flag of Honour and Irish Derby winner Latrobe. Flag of Honour comes here after winning the St Leger Trial over course and distance on his last start and Ryan Moore rides him ahead of Idaho and Cypress Creek and looks the stable’s main hope. Latrobe steps up in trip again after disappointing in York over 10f.

The 1m 6f distance should be more up his street and it looks a fascinating contest between the pair.

Gallop over to now for all the latest weekend racing odds

What do you think?