Owen’s Panther Set to Pounce in Irish St Leger

Former England football star, Michael Owen, is counting down the days to September 15 when his home bred Brown Panther will bid to land his first Group 1 success in the GAIN Irish St Leger at the Curragh.

Brown Panther has been the stable standard bearer for Owen and his trainer, Tom Dascombe, for the last three seasons, having landed a high-profile success at Royal Ascot 2011 when romping to a six-length win in the King George V Handicap.

After that victory, he was sent off favourite in the racing live betting for the Group 1 German Derby, eventually finishing just fifth after being headed a furlong from home.

Runner-up in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury on his following start, the son of Shirocco then ran the race of his life to finish second to Masked Marvel in the Group 1 Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster.

His 2012 season was basically disappointing – although he did win in listed company – but after being given plenty of time to mature over the winter, Brown Panther has returned to top form this campaign winning both starts.

After scoring in listed company at Pontefract for the second year in succession, he then stepped up in trip to two miles for the first time in his career in the Group 2 Artemis Goodwood Cup.

The decision proved inspired as he routed a good field, beating Ahzeemah – who franked the form next time out by landing the Group 2 Lonsdale Stakes at York – by an easy three-and-a-half-lengths.

The latest betting odds suggest that the Irish St Leger will be no easy task for Brown Panther with some smart opponents certain to face the starter, but the feeling seems to be that he is better now than ever before, and if he gets his preferred cut in the ground come take some stopping.