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Magic Merlin and Ignacius Reilly: The stars of the main races

On Sunday, September 3, the second half of this year's metropolitan racing season started in Chuchle Arena Prague. The highlights of the program were the last classic test of the year 78th PP Asset Management St Leger (Class A, 1 3/4m, 3yo c+f, 550 ths CZK) and the most important comparative test of three-year-old and older milers 45th CK Martin Tour Prague Stakes (Class A, 1m, 3yo+, 550 ths. CZK).

merlin doběh.jpgIn the end of the final and longest of the five classic races, the 78th PP Asset Management St Leger, two actors who failed in the Czech Derby, but compensated in the Slovak one, fought a duel. The fourth from Bratislava Magic Merlin (j. Laube, tr. Urbánek, own. Lokotrans) broke away in the last meters from the favorite Jardin Michelet, who dominated in Slovakia in mid-July, and won by a length and a quarter in a fast time of 2:56,50 (only 0,2 s. behind the course and race record). Only two fillies in the field Carrera and Garmona placed third and fourth, six lenghts away, Norton, who started for the first time in Prague, finished fifth.

Magic Merlin recorded his second career win, jockey Martin Laube claimed his seventh classic win, but the first one in the Czech Republic. For trainer Luboš Urbanek, this is the eighth classic win (third one in Czechia), the Lokotrans stable has its eleventh classic win (fifth one in Czechia).

ignacius.jpgIn the 45th CK Martin Tour Prague Stakes, the first seven horses finished only in three and a half length range. The seven-year-old gelding Ignacius Reilly (j. Chaloupka, tr. Záhorová, own. Syndikát V3J) won by a length and a quarter in his jubilee twentieth career start, followed by the three-year-old (winner of the Tattersalls Mile in June) Shabandar, who beat by two short heads the favored Partenit and Zariyannka, who for the third year in a row reached the prize-money position in this race. The fifth place was taken by last year's two-year-old champion Devil In Pink.

Ignacius Reilly reached the eighth lifetime win, all of them he achieved on the Class A level and, with one exception, it was always in Prague. The winner of the Czech 2000 Guineas 2019, two-time winner of the Tattersalls Mile and the May Stakes, the April Stakes and in Bratislava Scottish Rifle Stakes, the Best mile horse of the year 2020, won this race for the first time, as trainer Eva Záhorová and the Syndikat V3J stable. Jockey Jiří Chaloupka won The Prague Stakes for the third time (previously in 2005 with Torlus and 2008 with Blue Coral).

Jockey Petr Foret, trainer Miroslav Nieslanik and owner MUDr. Eva Nieslaniková achieved two wins in the other races of the day (for Foret it was 48th career double).


Photo: Bohumil Křižan