JULIE KRONE, a genuine sporting superstar, proved that the best things come in extremely small packages when she brought home Invincible Hero, the 4/1 favourite, three and a half lengths clear to win the Clipper Logistics Leger Legends Classified Stakes at Doncaster yesterday.
Even Willie Carson towers over Krone (48), but the diminutive American jockey, the most successful female rider of all time, sure packs a punch, even as 'mom' to a five-year-old daughter in retirement.
Flying over from California with her family, she added a touch of stardust to an event which, in just its second year, has become the focus of the first day of the Leger meeting as well as a significant charity fund-raiser. Early calculations suggest yesterday's race raised over £100,000 for the IJF 'House That Jack Built' and a residential unit for the Northern Racing College.
Clearly thrilled to be back in the saddle and immersing herself in the spirit of the occasion, she said afterwards: "We all know I was on the best horse, let's just get that clear, and I was only able to give half as much help as I normally did.
"I gave him two token swats to keep him going to the wire and then tried not to bounce around too much."
Krone forsook an American reality show 'Survivor' for Doncaster where the boots she wore when winning the Belmont Stakes on Colonial Affair fetched £1,600 at the charity auction.
Charlie Swan, last year's winner, was second this time and George Duffield, third.
Despite carrying four stone in lead, Krone's distinctive crouching style clearly helped as the runners in all races faced a strong headwind.
Richard Hughes, who rides Census in the St Leger, proved that it was possible to make the running and still win.
In fact, he did it twice, firstly on Eureka in the Napoleons Sheffield Conditions Stakes and then on Cai Shen in the Coopers Marquees Conditions race.
•Paul Hanagan's price to retain the jockeys' championship was cut following a 160/1 four-timer at Carlisle, where he scored on Ventura Spirit, Albaspina, Smart Violetta and Smart Step.
Paddy Power now make him a 1/3 chance (from 8/15) to fend off the challenges of Kieren Fallon and Silvestre de Sousa in the race to become top jockey in the land. (© Daily Telegraph, London)