Owner Andrew Tinkler put his company money into sponsoring the Stobart Doncaster Cup on Friday and was rewarded with victory in another race on the card, the Group 2 Polypipe Flying Childers Stakes, with his exciting two-year-old Sir Prancealot, while a different staying contest, the Irish St Leger, came his way the following day with Royal Diamond.
Royal Diamond’s win was a notable first Classic success for trainer Tommy Carmody, the former champion jump jockey, who also sent out Galileo colt Ursa Major to run fourth in the St Leger at Doncaster for Tinkler.
A six-year-old son of King’s Best, Royal Diamond was bought as a yearling by Sir Mark Prescott for €70,000 and subsequently resold at three for 400,000gns after notching a quartet of consecutive victories which saw his rating rise to 99. He failed to prosper in his next two seasons, obtaining only one place in ten starts, including three over hurdles when switched from Michael Dods to Jonjo O’Neill.
Royal Diamond has clearly enjoyed the return to the country of his birth, however, as he has run six times for Carmody, never finishing out of the first three and is now a Classic winner on his first attempt in Group company.
He landed the Irish St Leger by a head from the Aga Khan’s Massiyn, who was a further short-head in front of Michael Owen’s homebred Brown Panther. Just last month Johnny Murtagh, who owns Pollardstown Stables where Carmody trains and is closely allied to the operation, lost his role as retained rider for the Aga Khan. It is the second time in recent weeks that the stable has relegated an Aga Khan runner to second place after Ursa Major beat Hartani in the Group 3 Irish St Leger Trial at the Curragh on August 25.