Turf Legends back in the saddle at Doncaster
No doubt inspired by a golden summer of sport, 16 of horse racing’s most accomplished former jockeys will be looking to recapture their glory days by landing the Clipper Logistics Leger Legends charity race at Doncaster on Wednesday 12 September.
Like the legendary comeback kids Muhammed Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, both of whom came out of retirement in attempts to wrestle back their coveted World titles, this group of 16 battle-weary riders will be limbering up to land the knockout blow in the feature race of the first day of the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival.
Amongst them are four former winners of the St Leger including super-lightweight Mick Kinane, the 13-time Irish Champion jockey who clinched the prize in 2001, and who’ll be going toe to toe with Richard Hills, another winner of the oldest turf Classic in 1999. Also lining up for the weigh-in is Kevin Darley, former British Champion Jockey who won the prestigious race in 2002 and compatriot George Duffield who claimed the trophy a decade earlier in 1992.
Amongst the other contenders is Jamie Osborne who’s finished down and out in this race on two previous starts but who’ll be looking to counter punch his way back to the kind of form that saw him ride a treble in one day at the Cheltenham Festival in 1992.
And in a pan-Atlantic bout reminiscent of the Tyson/Bruno fight is Stateside former superstar jockey Julie Krone, the undisputed champion of last year’s race who’ll again be looking for some nifty footwork from her horse as she takes on a fellow female in the shape of Great Britain’s Gay Kelleway.
A brutal regime of calorie counting and stints in the sauna now await the Leger Legends as they bid to squeeze back into their riding breeches and win this coveted trophy. But, for the Champ, any potential pain will quickly be forgotten thanks to the sense of pride and glory they’ll feel at having beaten their old rivals.
Now in its third year this prestigious race for former professional jockeys is being run to raise funds for the Injured Jockeys Fund’s new rehabilitation centre in Yorkshire and to support the Northern Racing College. It will be preceded by a glamorous fundraising lunch attended by living legend Lester Piggott and a host of other stars of the track.
If you would like to be there at Doncaster in person to show your support for the legends on the opening day of the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival, CLICK HERE to buy tickets.
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