Tornado blows rivals away
There was delight for Paul and Susan Hennessy after the victory of What A Tornado in the final of the Kerry Agribusiness Irish St Leger at Limerick on Saturday night.
As well as training the son of Crash and Natural Energy, the Hennessys also bred the new Classic winner at their Gowran establishment.
What A Tornado gave Paul his second St Leger victory and also earned his place in the Townviewfoods.com Champion Stakes and the Ladbrokes.com Irish Derby.
A late betting flurry saw What A Tornado displace Judicial Academy as favourite to lift the €25,000 prize. Fears that Judicial Academy may encounter difficulty in clearing Varra Captain and Shelbourne Geoff to the bend were well founded and it was Shelbourne Geoff that forged ahead of Varra Captain into the back straight, with Judicial in third.
Already, though, What A Tornado was closer to the pace than normal. Having to race wide around all his rivals, What A Tornado only hit the front on the run-in for a half-length margin over local runner Varra Captain in 29.58, with Shelbourne Geoff a head back in third.
For good measure, Hennessy also won the Consolation St Leger as Tranquil Time led all to win by three lengths from Tyrur Brian in 29.65 and he had three winners at Shelbourne where Colourful Fox beat Razldazl Rioga by two lengths in 29.85 in a semi-final of the ECC Timber Open 550.
There were mechanical problems at both Limerick and Shelbourne. The sprint and 750 races could not be run at Limerick, while the 525 was not operating at Shelbourne.