Harzand could contest St Leger

Harzand, centre, ridden by jockey Pat Smullen, wins the Investec Derby (Picture: David Davies/PA Wire).
Harzand, centre, ridden by jockey Pat Smullen, wins the Investec Derby (Picture: David Davies/PA Wire).
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EPSOM Derby winner Harzand could end up running in the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster in the autumn.

Trainer Dermot Weld is considering a tilt at the historic Classic on September 10 after the son of Sea The Stars denied US Army Ranger in a thrilling finish to the Flat’s showpiece race..

Harzand’s next assignment is likely to be at the Curragh for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby on June 25, but Weld, typically, is already playing the long game.

He said: “Time will reveal all. He’s a lovely colt and he could be an ideal English Leger horse or, indeed, if it was a wet autumn a lovely horse for the Arc.”

The Rosewell House admitted he needed to add a Derby winner to his glittering CV.

Weld has broken down barriers across the world with landmark victories in Australia and America, but the Derby had always eluded the successful Irish trainer.

“Life is an amazing thing,” said Weld. “Every day you value it you live, but we had a very stressful, very exciting day.

“It all started when he pulled his shoe off at Dublin airport. I told Pat (Smullen, jockey) at the start if he wasn’t happy to say so, it didn’t matter to me if it was a maiden or a Derby.

“It was a long old day, with four hours of ice, but with the help of colleagues we saved the day. I think I had to put the Derby on my CV.”

Weld was quick to highlight Harzand’s appetite for a battle en route to claiming the richest race that has been staged in Britain.

“He’s a lovely, improving colt and I think the quality and courage came out,” he added. “He’s a very tough horse. When the challenge went down and the die was cast, that (toughness) is what won the day.”

Paul Midgley is struggling to work out why Ninjago is such a big price for the Wokingham sprint handicap at Royal Ascot on Saturday week.

Formerly with Richard Hannon, the six-year-old shaped with some promise on his first start for new connections at York.

Midgley, who excels with sprinters, expects him to improve for that run.

“Ninjago had a tough winter, but he must have an unbelievable constitution,” said the North Yorkshire handler.

“He ran an excellent race at York on his first run for us and we found out more by running him than we could ever do at home.

“He’s a grand horse, nice to have around and a total gent. I’m also struggling to see why he’s 33-1 for the Wokingham. He should step forward from York and I can’t wait to run him, he just wouldn’t want firm ground.”

Ortensia, the Australian-trained winner of the 2012 Nunthorpe Stakes at York, has died.

The Testa Rossa mare was handled by Paul Messara during her landmark 2011-12 season, when she won the Winterbottom Stakes in Australia before adding the Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai and King George Stakes at Goodwood as well as her triumph on Knavesmire when she came from second last to first under William Buick with a late run.

Messara’s forewoman Leah Gavranich tweeted: “I will miss you my girl, forever in awe of your achievements – three Group Ones, three countries, nine months. Until we meet again.”

Ortensia was euthanised after developing a tumour in one of her lungs.

Joseph O’Brien enjoyed a dream start to his training career with a four-timer at Gowran Park and Listowel.

The former Derby-winning jockey, son of Ballydoyle trainer Aidan, gave up riding because he could no longer ride on the Flat due to his weight.