Krone proves lasting quality on Hero among cast of legends

 

Town Moor

Very few people in its history could have received a trophy from Lester Piggott here yesterday and credibly compared the ground each had broken on the Turf. But then nor can many horses have won over this storied track under a saddle containing over 60lbs of lead. Such, however, were the curiosities savoured by those privileged to witness a nostalgic turn by Julie Krone, the tiny Titan of American sport.

That there were so few reflected culpably on the way even the Ladbrokes St Leger meeting must be conducted in such meek conformity to the whims of television. At 4ft 10in, the most successful female jockey of all time has long been accustomed to punching above her weight, and duly redressed a lamentable lack of theatre to its opening day. The only woman to have ridden the winner of a Triple Crown race, and the only one to win at the Breeders' Cup, Krone ensured that a race of no inherent consequence – a classified stakes for retired jockeys, on horses rated 0-70 – obtained a genuine tint of history.

At 48, eight years after her second retirement, Krone still talks and thinks faster than most of the male rivals who for so long embodied the barriers of convention. To 3,704 career winners back home, and three ridden on one rainy evening at Redcar back in 1992, she can now add the name of Invincible Hero, who easily saw off the mounts of Charlie Swan and 64-year-old George Duffield.

Afterwards Krone hooked her arms over the parade ring rail and panted comically, before hoisting aloft her five-year-old daughter. "Let's be clear about one thing first," she said. "We all know I was on the best horse. I can tell you that because, with my fitness level, he only had half a rider today. When I saw the eighth pole I just gave him a couple of token swats, to say please keep going, and tried not to bounce around too much."

Be that as it may, she plainly retains sufficient vestiges of the old flair to deal with a straight green mile after turning left on dirt tracks for so many years. And while she emerged from the weighing room at a limping trot, otherwise she has plainly not permitted the slightest diminution in her exuberance.

"I feel so honoured by the whole experience, and am so grateful to so many people," she enthused. "I rode out 40 days in a row at home, for Eoin Harty and Richard Mandella. The collective experience of that group of riders out there was mind-boggling, but I've never had so many congratulations pulling up. And it's all been about two amazing causes: the work done by Jack Berry and the Injured Jockeys' Fund is wonderful, and I've fallen in love with everyone at the Northern Racing College. It was just so cool to see the passion and desire of the students there."

She had walked the track earlier with Michael Dickinson, whose own achievements either side of the Atlantic – as a trainer of both Cheltenham and Breeders' Cup winners – balance out rather more evenly. "Julie is a great rider and person, but very modest," he said. "She rode quite a few winners for me in America. She's just a natural, has really good hands, and often earned the riding fee before she got out of the paddock because she got horses so relaxed."

Proceedings will not be so enlivened every year, of course, and it seems a pity that the curtain cannot instead be raised more reliably by something like the Champagne Stakes – nowadays overshadowed on the Saturday card by the Leger itself. As it was, Humidor was artfully sheltered from the headwind before being produced to win a listed sprint under Frankie Dettori, while Richard Hughes twice showed that it remained possible to conserve energy in the lead with two beautifully judged rides on Eureka and Cai Shen. Sahara Sun, the South American import making his debut for Luca Cumani, finished only sixth of eight behind the latter – but could hardly have shaped better in beating so few. Weak in the market, he looked rusty but was gathering momentum late and connections may yet be justified in his Melbourne Cup entry.

Things pick up a little today, however, with Channel 4 deigning to take an interest. Chachamaidee looks equal to her status as Sir Henry Cecil's only significant runner of the meeting, in the JRA Sceptre Stakes, but she could be on new ground judged from an overnight forecast for rain. In the other Group race, Set To Music is entitled to maintain her astounding recent improvement but again testing ground would complicate matters, with her stamina to prove over this longer trip.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Burj Nahar (4.40 Doncaster) Must be pardoned a shocker at Haydock last time but a tongue-tie today hints at what went wrong that day, and this beautifully bred colt had looked better than a handicapper on his previous start at this trip.

Next best

Dimension (4.10 Doncaster) Has repeatedly suggested himself better than this sort of rating, and the drop in distance looks the prompt for him to do so, after again travelling brightly last time.

One to watch

Valencha (Hughie Morrison) Continues to thrive, seeing off all bar a flourishing rival at Ascot on Saturday having travelled best for longest, and looking more than ready for a drop back to 7f.

Where the money's going

Paddy Power laid Fame And Glory from 11-10 to 10-11 for the Irish Field St Leger on Saturday while his stablemate, Seville, is 7-1 from 9-1 for the Doncaster original the same afternoon.

Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker