Racing: Rule Of Law applies the finishing touch

St Leger: McEvoy's magnificent ride keeps Godolphin colt going long enough to deny Fallon's filly in home straight

One of the factors that the decriers of the St Leger often forget is that an integral part of this sport is the spectacle that it provides. And the throng that flocked here yesterday to see the 228th running of the world's oldest, longest and toughest Classic would have to go a long way before they saw a better exposition of that aspect.

One of the factors that the decriers of the St Leger often forget is that an integral part of this sport is the spectacle that it provides. And the throng that flocked here yesterday to see the 228th running of the world's oldest, longest and toughest Classic would have to go a long way before they saw a better exposition of that aspect.

Kerrin McEvoy's front-running ride to win on Rule Of Law was, simply, a masterclass and the colt's determination under fire to repel Quiff by a head a testament to the courage and competitive spirit of the thoroughbred.

The Town Moor straight, more than half a mile long, is no place for the faint-hearted, especially in front, especially with a blustery headwind. Rule Of Law, runner-up in The Derby, was into unknown territory as far as distance was concerned once he hit the mile-and-a-half point. He was being harried by Mikado, Maraahel was drawing closer with giant strides and any weakness of stamina or resolution would have been ruthlessly exposed.

But McEvoy knew what reserves were left, and that they were enough, just, to last the mile-and-three-quarters. He kept asking, Rule Of Law kept answering. Kieren Fallon had, on Quiff, cunningly used the leaders as a windbreak and, once pulled out and released going to the final furlong, the daughter of Sadler's Wells proved nearly good enough to become the 42nd distaffer to take this prize.

But only nearly, for the little bay colt, though dwarfed by the tall, white-faced presence alongside, was always her master and once again, after 19 attempts, the St Leger eluded the filly's trainer Sir Michael Stoute. The best of the Ballydoyle trio was Tycoon, who finished strongly but too late under Darryll Holland to claim third, a length and a half adrift, followed by Maraahel, Mikado and Darsalam an honourable sixth.

Rule Of Law provided Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin team with their fourth St Leger, after Classic Cliche, Nedawi and Mutafaweq. McEvoy, 23, was head-hunted by the Dubai-based blues as No 2 to Frankie Dettori at the start of the year after a meteoric career in his native Australia, which included him being one of the youngest riders ever to take the Melbourne Cup when he did so on Brew four years ago.

McEvoy's record in British Classics now reads rather well: a win and two seconds (he was on Rule Of Law at Epsom and Sundrop in the 1,000 Guineas) from four goes. "This is heaven," he declared with a broad smile as he donned the famous oversized St Leger cap that the winning rider traditionally wears post-victory. "I hadn't really wanted to make the running as it was so windy out there, but they left me in front, so I decided it would be best to get him settled and into a rhythm. I began to quicken up the tempo in the straight and two furlongs out my horse just put his head down and fought. The winning post seemed a long way away and I was running out of petrol but Rule Of Law was not going to let them past."

The Kingmambo colt has now earned a rest until next season, when he will be campaigned over middle, rather than extreme, distances.

His Godolphin stablemate Doyen remains favourite for next month's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe despite his defeat in yesterday's Irish Champion Stakes under Dettori. The four-year-old beat only his pacemaker, Millstreet, as Azamour mugged Norse Dancer close to home to take the Leopardstown 10-furlong contest by half a length, with Powerscourt third and Grey Swallow fourth. "That was disappointing," admitted Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford. "I don't think it was the drop back in distance. He ran very flat."

In the day's third top-level event, the following Matron Stakes, the James Fanshawe-trained Soviet Song, with Johnny Murtagh in the saddle, confirmed her superiority over Attraction by half a length, with Phantom Wind's third place making it a clean sweep for the British raiders.

Notwithstanding yesterday's events in Ireland, history and the formbooks say that the winner of the Arc will be giving the turf a test-run this afternoon at Longchamp, where three trials for assorted ages and sexes take place over the full distance of next month's extravaganza. By far the most informative has been the Prix Niel for three-year-old males, which has spotlighted eight of the past 10 Arc winners; in today's renewal, Bagotakes on seven rivals, including the first three in the French Derby; Blue Canari, Prospect Park and Valixir.

The equivalent filly race, the Prix Vermeille, a Group One prize in is own right, features the brilliant French Oaks heroine Latice, four from four over shorter distances with proven stayer Lune d'Or, going for a four-timer, perceived as the chief threat among the 13 runners.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent