Il Campione Throws Jockey, Southern Cat Wins St. Leger
Il Campione Throws Jockey, Southern Cat Wins St. Leger: Since Wolf won the Chilean Triple Crown Champion in 1991, South American fans anxiously awaited the chance of another Triple Crown winner and had high hopes for Chilean Champion Il Campione. Il Campione was set to run in the second jewel of the Chilean Triple Crown on Saturday, December 6, 2014 in the G1 Clasico St. Leger in Chili. According to the tote-board, Il Campione was the cinch of the entire world, but this is horse racing nothing is written in stone. Immediately after the start of the 2014 St. Leger a “tragedy” occurred. Il Campione bobbled at the start and threw his jockey Hector Berrios, keeping intact the mystery of Il Campione’s ability to handle the dirt.
As expected, the tiny but brave Cumpleanos Feliz (“Happy Birthday” in English) was sent to the front pulling away several lengths in the early stages. Salto del Principe commanded second place chasing the group. Cumpleanos Feliz entered lonely in the stretch but jockey-less Il Campione bothered him a little. In addition to that trouble, Cumpleanos Feliz began to feel the initial effort and Southern Cat came from the clouds caught him and won the Clasico St. Leger G1 by a neck. Surprisingly, Salto del Principe was third and Sono Bianco Nero fourth. As usual, Il Campione crossed the wire in the first place, but this time without his jockey.
Southern Cat is a 3-year-old son of Scat Daddy – Saturnal (Chi) by Seeker’s Reward (Can) and now has a record of 3 wins in 14 starts, and 8 times hitting the board. He was ridden by Gonzalo Ulloa and trained by Juan Silva.
Southern Cat and Il Campione probably will face again in the Triple Crown third leg, the Clasico El Derby over 1 ½ m on the turf, to be contested in February 8th 2015 in Valparaiso Sporting.
Thankfully both Hector Berrios and Il Campione walked away from the St. Leger without injury.
St. Leger 2014 Replay: