Panther Will Be Back On The Prowl Next Term

England football star Michael Owen vowed that his Brown Panther will be back bigger and better than ever after his home bred colt had run a cracker to finish a brave second to the impressive Masked Marvel in a record breaking renewal of the Group 1 Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday, writes Elliot Slater.

Those who have longed called for the final British classic of the season to be reduced in distance on the basis it is no longer a spectacle that interests the racing public, may well have revised their opinion after seeing a superb contest over the one-mile-six-furlongs-132-yard trip that resulted in a new track record, despite the fact that the field were racing into a strong headwind for the final half a mile down the home straight.

John Gosden’s Masked Marvel proved to be one of the best winners of the race in recent times, but Brown Panther also deserves tremendous credit for vindicating the faith shown in him by owner/breeder Owen and by trainer Tom Dascombe, who have both always believed that their charge was a genuine contender for the race. People who bet horse racing money should remember this. Their certainly can be no faulting the tenacity shown by the runner-up who was one of the first to come off the bridle and was being driven along by Keiren Fallon fully a mile from home.

Hard ridden on the home turn as the field turned into the teeth of the wind, the son of Shirocco, such an impressive winner at Royal Ascot in June before disappointing in the German Derby a few weeks later, dug deep and responded to his rider’s urgings, gradually picking off those in front of him, including favourite Sea Moon and Ballydoyle’s Seville, but despite keeping on bravely on ground that was probably too quick for him couldn’t peg back the very smart winner. Those looking for horseracing tips should bear in mind just what a good performance it was.

Owen was justifiably proud of his charge and assured those listening that Brown Panther will be kept in training next term and will return an even better racehorse in 2012.