By Duane Fonseca
Trainer Dermot Weld clinched his eighth Irish St Leger title at the Curragh on Sunday after Search For A Song triumphed comfortably under Chris Hayes in the feature race of the day.
The only 3yo in the race, Galileo’s daughter proved too hot for the rest of the field in what was her fifth career start taking victory by two and a quarter lengths from Kew Gardens, trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore. A further length and half adrift in third place was another O’Brien charge in Southern France, whose reins had been held by Seamie Heffernan.
Finding the pace not as per his liking Hayes moved Search For A Song to the front halfway in the 14 furlongs event.
Fourth behind Star Catcher in her only previous Group One outing in the Irish Oaks, Search For A Song looked comfortable leading and easily put distance between her and the rest of the field, with none able to seriously challenge as she galloped past the finish to become the first 3yo to win the race since Petite Ile’s success in 1989.
Weld said: “It’s a very special win on a very special and emotional day.
“We’re having wonderful horse racing, but I’m very proud of our industry and the way we are supporting Pat Smullen and cancer research.
“This has been a very special race for me over the years and it’s the eighth time I’ve won it.
“She was running very free early on and he had a hard call to make. I was happy he made the right call because I didn’t want to see him spend the rest of the race trying to settle her.
“She was very fit and very well. And often horses that run that free will relax when they get to the front.
“Potentially she is a really high-class stayer. That was as good a St Leger as I've won when you look at the ratings of the horses in the race. The world is her oyster next year, and there is huge improvement potentially in this filly. She loves fast ground.
“She put up an excellent performance at York and has progressed throughout the year. I'd say that will be it for this year, and hopefully she will make into a lovely 4yo.”