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Wiliam Hill St Leger - Perry Barr 710m - £25,000

 

AIRMOUNT TESS (pictured), trained in Co. Waterford by Ger Kiely, will aim to become the first Irish winner of the William Hill St Leger after clocking the fastest time in Saturday’s second semi-final of the stayers’ Classic - which has a new home at Perry Barr, Birmingham, and a new distance of 710m.

 

The dual Corn Cuchulainn winner, always handy behind Charlie Lister’s fast-starting Keplar Nine, produced a storming run from the three-quarters pole to close and then pass the leader, and hold the rallying Bubbly McCoy in 42.98sec, winning by one and three-quarter lengths.

 

It was another strong-running effort from the Irish bitch and impressed Perry Barr racing manager Martin Seal, who said: “I thought she showed great determination to win, especially to force herself to the front on the run for home, but fair play to Bubbly Mccoy who ran on well, and Keplar Nine really put them under pressure.”

 

The first semi also saw the lead change hands late on as Goldies Hotspur (43.05sec), trained by Patrick Janssens, swooped on the run for home to catch longtime leader Jetstream Lynx, who eventually managed only fourth as Rubys Rascal and Slippy Maska came from way back to qualify.

 

“I suppose on the Saturday before bonfire night, we were always going to get fireworks - and the first semi-final certainly gave us that. It was a race that really changed complexion, and right from the start when Slippy Maska trapped in front we were in for an exciting race.

 

“She dropped back and was crowded, and Shaneboy Bowie and Jetstream Lynx were soon battling it out up front and seemed to have the race between them. The rest seemed to have a mountain to climb just to qualify, but both Rubys Rascal and Slippy Maska showed real class to get back on terms.

 

“They had plenty to do down the back, but you sensed the pressure was beginning to tell for the leaders rounding the last two bends, and when they crowded Goldies Hotspur took his chance well. Rubys Rascal and Slippy Maska performed miracles to drag themselves back into the contest and qualify.

 

“The whole field were covered by less than three lengths at the line, and with a close-run thing in the other semi, we’re set for a fantastic William Hill St Leger final. It’s a tough competition and really is a true test of speed and stamina - and we have got plenty of that on show on Wednesday.”

 

Overall, Seal is delighted with the final and the supporting card, live on Sky Sports on Wednesday. “We were delighted to get over 120 entries for the supporting races, and obviously apologise to those connections who missed out. It was also disappointing not to fill the marathon with just Roxholme Magic in,” he said.

 

“Nevertheless the final is a real showpiece and we’re set for some mouthwatering action set to be served up. The 2017 William Hill St Leger final has been as good a contest as I can remember and hopefully the final will be the cherry on the cake. We are proud as a track to host it.”

 

William Hill St Leger final draw and form: www.bagsracing.com/assets/8-november---perry-barr-adv1.pdf