Arctic Owl Wins Irish St. Leger

The Owl Society's Arctic Owl pulled away from Yavana's Pace in the final furlong to win the Jefferson Smurfit Memorial Irish St. Leger (Ire-I) by 1 1/2 lengths Saturday at the Curragh. Over good to yielding turf, the 6-year-old gelding completed the 1 3/4 miles in 3:02 1/5 under jockey David Harrison. Yavana's Pace finished second, six lengths clear of betting favorite Mutafaweq. Rostropovich was fourth, followed by Little Rock, Chimes at Midnight, Katiykha, and Lermontov.

The win was the second in succession for Arctic Owl (Most Welcome--Short Rations, by Lorenzaccio), who won a 1 1/2-mile race at Ascot in August. Arctic Owl was winless in the stakes ranks since winning the Bonusprint Henry II Stakes (Eng-III) at Sandown Park in May of 1999. He finished third in the 2000 renewal of that race before finishing seventh in the 2 1/2-mile Gold Cup (Eng-I) at Ascot in June. The win is the ninth in 21 career starts for the James Fanshawe trainee, who was bred in Great Britain by J.M. Greetham.