Last year’s impressive Gr 1 Melbourne Cup winner TWILIGHT PAYMENT (Teofilo – Dream On Buddy) has returned to racing overnight in Ireland looking better than ever.
He was dominant in comfortably beating the boom mare PRINCES ZOE (Jukebox Jury – Palace Princess) in the Gr 3 Irish St Leger Trial over 2816m under usual European rider Declan Mcdonagh at The Curragh.
The horse, and presumably rider too, are now automatically in the big Gr 1 Irish St Leger in September, a race he was 3rd in last year before heading to Australia for the Melbourne Cup.
McDonogh indicated that looked the likely path again, although stressed that things are very tricky now trying to get to Australia.
“I could feel on the way to the barriers that he was ready to run a big race,” said the rider.
“He comes right at this time of year too. Today’s race was run at a very good tempo and there was no hiding place out there.
“He is a relentless galloper.
“I think they may take the route by going through the Irish St Leger again, and although tricky to get into Melbourne this year, it is a similar race plan and I think they may go that way.”
Twilight Payment has now won $6million in prize money. The 9YO is racing with more zest this time up than he was last year.
He turned for home in front last night and he was just too strong all the way down the very long The Curragh home straight scoring by nearly 2 lengths.
“It got a bit quiet there for a while once we turned for home so I knew he must have been travelling well. Great win,” added McDonogh.
Joseph O’Brien trains the Australian-owned winner who had previously run 3rd in this race back in 2017 and was 2nd home in 2018.