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HRN Original Blog:
Across the Pond

Leading Light shines in Vase victory

Leading Light 615 X 400
Photo: Emma-Louise Kerwin (Goodtosoft.co.uk)
A race run in memory of Sir Henry Cecil, Lady Jane's Disclaimer could not quite last home but there was no more fitting a tribute from Aidan O'Brien to the great man after his three year old colt Leading Light shone in the Group 3 Queen's Vase.

"He was an incredible man," said O'Brien. "He always had time for everybody and never forgot anyone. If he had a horse up for sale you always knew that there was no point buying it to improve it as he would've done everything he could already."
"We will never see another man like him in my lifetime. I remember the last time I saw him when his voice was not that good - I said : "Hello Sir Henry", and I thought he didn't see me but he had a stick in his hand and as he walked by me I felt the stick on the back of my legs. He is one of those special people who comes along once in a lifetime and it was a privilege to have known him." 

Cecil had won the Queen's Vase on eight occasions during his time as trainer of Warren Place, this victory saw O'Brien win the race for the third time are previous victories by Mahler and Mikhail Glinkha. 

Challenged on his outsider the straight, Leading Light answered every call from Joseph O'Brien as the John Gosden trained Feel Like Dancing surged up to challenge with a furlong to go. A renowned battler who continues to find extra from every ounce of effort from his jockey, Feel Like Dancing had impressed when sticking to the task and winning his maiden at Newbury from a seemingly impossible position, but he would be denied on this occasion by an equally determined foe.

Bred by Montjeu out of a mare whom had won the Queen Mary Stakes at this event in the past, Leading Light does not look to be the most obvious of staying prospects on paper, but there can be no denying the colts ability over these distances after today.

The St Leger, a race in which O'Brien finished second in with Camelot last season, is run over the furlongs shorter than today's Queens Vase and is now an obvious option for an end of season target for the three year old.

Leading Light is a general 10-1 chance for the final British Classic of the season at Doncaster.


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