Alegron proved himself as an elite staying three-year-old with a dominant last-to-first victory in Monday’s Listed VRC St Leger (2800m) at Flemington.
The James Cummings-trained galloper had previously placed behind Hitotsu in both the Victoria Derby (2500m) and Australian Derby (2400m), but he found his way into the winner’s stall under Damien Oliver.
Normally seen donning the famous Godolphin Blue, Alegron surged to victory in the commemorative ANZAC Day colours on Monday, making it three wins on the day for the special olive colours.
“Too good for them”: Classic performance from @godolphin's Alegron who captures first stakes victory in the Listed VRC St Leger over 2800m at @FlemingtonVRC. The 104th SW for Teofilo, Alegron is from multiple Group placed Alegria, a daughter of Flemington Group winner Pure Joy. pic.twitter.com/ct9UNh6iIG
— Aushorse (@Aushorse_TBA) April 25, 2022
The gelded son of Teofilo was heavily backed, firming into $1.60 prior to the running of the $300,000 event, and although mid-race moves from other horses saw the favourite shuffled back to last on the fence, he never really looked in doubt.
Given a peach of a ride by Oliver, Alegron picked the runs down the Flemington straight, putting paid to his rivals and defeating The Cunning Fox by 2.25 lengths, while Fearentless and Raging Bull made up some late headway to no avail.
Cummings believes he has a serious stayer on his hands, with the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) a nice chance to ultimately secure the galloper a spot back at Flemington on the famous first Tuesday in November.
“It’s a great honour to get up and win it (VRC St Leger) and to see this horse continue on in the sort of form he’s in in these staying races – I view it as he’s only had four starts now, and he’s got a formidable record at 2000m and above, and I think he can continue on with it,” the trainer said post-race.
“Our jock knows what he’s doing, doesn’t he? The thing is, the horse hasn’t got that much of a turn of foot so much as he’s a wonderful stayer and I think as he continues to develop … once he starts putting those things together, he’s got to be a promising stayer and he’s a St Leger winner anyway.”
With a few possibilities on the table now, Cummings will weigh up whether to go to Adelaide for the Derby, or keep the three-year-old in Melbourne for the Andrew Ramsden Stakes (2800m) on May 14 – a race he is now guaranteed a start in after his St Leger win – where a victory in the Ramsden would see him ballot exempt for the Melbourne Cup (3200m) later in the year.
Such was the dominance of his victory at headquarters on Monday, online bookmakers wound the gelding into outright favouritism for the SA Derby at $3.20, while he is a $34 hope in the Melbourne Cup – a price which would be slashed should he win the Ramsden.
“We’ll talk about that (Alegron’s plans),” Cummings said.
“The international horses that you come up against in a Ramsden, they’re pretty solid, so there’s that to worry about.
“The South Australian Derby is a Group 1 – it’s looming on the agenda for the horse and we kept him lightly raced early in his preparation for a reason and now we’re looking to capitalise on that.”