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News stories which have appeared on the website are available free of charge but stories which have appeared in the newspaper are only available when you join Members' Club. *NOTE: The archive runs from January 1, 2006 to present

Septimus completes O'Brien Grand Slam

AIDAN O'BRIEN completed a clean sweep of the Irish Classics as Septimus ran out a most convincing winner of the Irish Field St Leger.

The five-year-old tracked stablemates Mikhail Fokine and New Zealand from the off, but as soon as Seamie Heffernan asked the question of the 1-3 market leader, he skipped clear of his rivals to win how he liked.

New Zealand kept on to take second position under Pat Smullen at odds of 40-1, edging out the Kevin Pendergast-trained Red Moloney (25-1) and Chris Hayes for the silver medal position on the podium.

O'Brien was becoming the first man since Jack Rogers in 1935 to win all five Irish Classics, while Heffernan, the long-time understudy at O'Brien's Ballydoyle base, was riding his third Classic winner of the year, having previously been on board Halfway To Heaven in the Irish1,000 Guineas and Frozen Fire in the Irish Derby.

Speaking from Doncaster, O'Brien told said: "It's great for everybody in Coolmore and Ballydoyle, the whole team, all the different parts of it. I'm just privileged to be involvedin it."

Of Septimus, the trainer added: "The Melbourne Cup is a definite possibility. He's also in the Arc as well and we'll sit downearly next week and see where are going to go next."

Delighted winning owner Derrick Smith said: "You're always nervous when they go off at such short odds, but he did it nicely.

"There is no end to Aidan's talents and achievements and it is a terrific effort all round.

"Aidan has always had the Melbourne Cup on the agenda. There are quarantine issues to sort out a bit, but it's a possibility if he comes out of the race well."

Heffernan added: "We were just hoping he'd be fit enough as he's so genuine and he really wants to respond.

"I've been very lucky and I've had a really good year. I suppose I'm not doing badly for a second jockey."

 

 
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