Drakenstein Stud’s outstanding new sire Duke Of Marmalade was represented by his fourth individual European classic winner in 2015 when his daughter Simple Verse finished first past the post in Saturday’s G1 Ladbrokes St Leger.
Sadly, the gutsy filly was demoted to second, following a stewards inquiry, and Bondi Beach was promoted to first. The Ralph Beckett trained Simple Verse, bidding to become the first of the fairer sex since User Friendly in 1992 to win the St Leger, was thus placed second.
It was another one and three quarter lengths back to third place finisher Fields Of Athenry with G2 Great Voltigeur Stakes hero Storm The Stars back in fourth place.
Trainer Ralph Beckett plans to appeal the decision, after a fiercely fought finish in which both Bondi Beach and Simple Verse appeared to lean on each other. He said post-race, “”I’m astonished apart from anything else. There is no consistency in the rules. Whatever way you look at it, both horses leaned on each other. Are you really saying that it was our horse’s fault? Are you really saying that? I don’t think I can say that.
The filly, who had won three of her four previous outings, put up a bold showing nonetheless, despite pulling hard early on and suffering notable interference from the eventual “winner” in the closing stages of the St Leger.
Simple Verse, who is out of the Sadler’s Wells mare Guantamera, had won the G3 Lillie Langtry Stakes at her previous outing for owner Qatar Racing.
Clearly a top notch filly, Simple Verse confirmed her status as arguably the leading staying filly of her generation with her remarkable run in Saturday’s classic, the final leg of the British Triple Crown, and further big race success should come her way before too long.
Duke Of Marmalade’s other classic winners are Star Of Seville (French Oaks), Nutan (German Derby) and Sound Of Freedom (Italian 1000 Guineas). The versatile former Cartier Champion has also been represented by group/graded winners in 2015 over trips ranging from 1000m to 3200m.