Gosden Can Learn Lessons from Peirce’s Barbados Gold Cup Success
The flat season of racing in the United Kingdom is drawing to close, although one of the main races of the campaign remains on the schedule. The St Leger Stakes at Doncaster is on the agenda and the leading trainers will be aiming to guide their charges to success. John Gosden has enjoyed past success, but may need to follow the example of another trainer from Barbados to get back into the winners’ circle come September 15.
Masked Marvel was the last horse trained by Gosden to win the St Leger Stakes in 2011. One of the great trainers of Caribbean racing endured a similar drought at the Barbados Gold Cup. Robert Peirce made a breakthrough impact in 2006 with Sharp Impact at the event. He was able to follow that success with another victory in 2009 as Anderson Ward guided Daylight Express over the line.
However, Peirce was forced to wait another seven years before he triumphed at the race again. He was forced to watch his rival, including Michael J Maker, win the event on multiple occasions before Dorsett was able to end the drought in 2016. The quality of the horse and jockey Jalon Samuel allowed Peirce to string together back-to-back successes in 2016 and 2017, and it would be no surprise to see the trainer enjoy another triumph in 2018.
Without Parole won the St James’s Palace Stakes, but was well off the pace in his last outing at the Sussex Stakes, placing in fifth. Gosden will be hopeful that Lah Ti Da can end his drought at Doncaster in the event, although he is backed at 14/1 in the early St Leger odds.
She made her debut at the Maiden Fillies’ Stakes at Newbury earlier in the term. Although Gosden’s charge was considered the favourite for the event, she delivered on expectations with a strong performance with Frankie Dettori in the saddle. Lah Ti Dar blew away the rest of the field to win her maiden event by six lengths, using her pace down the stretch to power away from her rivals.
As a result of her dominant display Gosden next put his charge out at the Tweenhills Pretty Polly Stakes – a Class One event. However, Lah Ti Dar once again was able to canter towards a comfortable victory by three-and-a-quarter lengths. Given the talent of the bay filly, Gosden could well be looking at his first win at the St Leger Stakes since 2011 to continue his good season heeding the lessons from Peirce, overcoming the minor blip in the road that was Without Parole’s failure at the Sussex Stakes.