Barry Silah @obel_barry
Leslie Sercombe powered Free Wheeler to her ninth consecutive win in the highlight 2,800m Kenya St Leger the Royal Artillery Cup at Ngong Racecourse on Sunday.
The distance meet, run in a time of 3:12:07, saw five top runners involved but the best was saved for last as Free Wheeler beat stable-mate Clothes Horse by a mere one-and-a-quarter length at close.
Once again, Sercombe stable got the better of Onesmus Mutua whose two fillies on duty; Winter Comet and Bulawayo finished a disappointing fourth and fifth respectively.
Experienced Sercombe had to wade off threats from the rear in the form of Kibet who was ambitious in attack straight from the final 800m bend. His running atop this year’s Kenya Derby winner was commendable as it led at some point before being overtaken at the 400m point. Such was the pace and power of the 11/10 odds Free Wheeler, that the tactic of Patrick Mungai’s Omaha Beach from Stewart Mc Cann’s stable to take the wide lane failed to yield much.
“We had a good race today and I am happy my horse responded well. Kibet was a great competitor out there but it was always going to be tough given the form of Free Wheeler. Our tactics worked just fine,” said Sercombe.
Meanwhile, there was high level drama in the 1,600m Legibra Maiden when stewards called a photo finish between Galileo Star and Stormchild at close.
The middle distance meet excited the sparse crowd at the stands from the start as three runners began with a bang. However, jockeys Henry Muya and Patrick Mungai, who were neck-and-neck pushed each other to the very end in a race timed at 1:41:00, thus a dead heat being called eventually.