Continuous added to Aidan O’Brien’s Classic haul with a clinical triumph in the Betfred St Leger at Doncaster.
On a day when a first royal Classic winner since 1977 was a real possibility, it was racing royalty that came to the fore as O’Brien won the showpiece event for the seventh time with the 3-1 second-favourite striking in the hands of Ryan Moore.
The Ballydoyle runner had marked himself out as a prime contender for the final Classic of the season with victory in the Great Voltigeur at York and franked that form in supreme style on Town Moor.
With stablemate Denmark setting the pace from Gregory, Moore was at pains to bide his time aboard Continuous alongside Desert Hero towards the rear of midfield.
But on turning for home Continuous showed his class up the long, stamina-stamina Doncaster straight, working his way to the front two furlongs from home and surging clear to register a two-and-three-quarter-length success over 11-4 favourite Arrest, who was ridden by Frankie Dettori in his final Classic.
Desert Hero ran with huge credit in third for the King and Queen, who were on course to watch the William Haggas-trained colt.
O’Brien said: “He got the distance very well in York and we were not sure about the distance but he has got it well again.
“There are a lot of possibilities and it will be down to the lads, the Arc is in two weeks and is a possibility, but we’ll talk to Ryan and see what they want to do.
“He’s a lot of class this horse this horse and he does stay and he does handle soft ground. There is every chance he could, he’s a hardy horse and he could back up in two weeks.
“The lads will decide that, but I would say there is a chance.”
He added: “It’s so special that the King and Queen were here, you could see the buzz around the parade ring and the passion from the crowd.
“Frankie is another who is special, he has been unbelievable. He’s beaten us in so many races I cannot tell you and I can’t wait until he retires! He’s the most unbelievable rider we’ve ever seen and a great fellow too, a very kind man, he always wants good for everybody, there’s no side to Frankie.
“He’s always worked very hard all his career and he always does his best. It’s not like when he retires he’s not going to go racing, but he’s always been great friends with us. He’s ridden a lot of big winners for us but he’s beaten us more than he’s won for us!
“He used to ride out at Ballydoyle and I always remember him riding Australia when he was a two-year-old and he told us in the March I think it was that he was going to be very special.”
Winning his third Leger, Moore said he was always happy with the way Continuous was travelling: “Over these trips you want the horse to be taking you and I knew a long way out he was going well.
“He showed at York he had a turn of foot and because we went steady I was always happy.
“He’s out of a Galileo mare so I was always confident he’d stay and his sire, Heart’s Cry, was the only horse who could beat Deep Impact in Japan so there was stamina there.
“He showed a really good turn of foot to put the race to bed and then just had a look around in the final furlong.
“He’s getting better and has this great will to win and a lot of guts.”