Louie De Palma ends talk of imminent retirement by winning St Leger On Sky Racing Handicap

Louie De Palma with owners Josie and Peter Ridgers and trainer Clive Cox following their success at Windsor on Saturday. Picture: Helen Edwards

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Louie De Palma won the St Leger On Sky Racing Handicap at Windsor on Saturday to end any talk of imminent retirement.

The nine-year-old, trained by Clive Cox and ridden by Hector Crouch, finished three-quarters of a length clear of his six rivals in the six-furlong contest.

It was the 12/1 chance's first win since Ascot in May 2019. Since then he has had a number of problems, keeping him off the track for two long periods each of more than 250 days and Cox gave the horse another 57-day break before his return last weekend.

Owner Peter Ridgers, an Ascot resident, revealed: "Clive and I were talking only last week about retiring him. But Old Louie must have heard us as he ran a blinder just to prove he’s not past it yet."

Cox, who earlier on Saturday had sent out winners at Goodwood and Beverley, commented: "It is an absolute joy when a nine-year-old comes back like he has. He is one hell of a horse. For Sue who looks after him and for Peter and Josie who own him, it is something really special."

Fellow trainer Tony Carroll was involved in a nasty incident before the first race at Windsor when receiving a glancing blow on his head from his runner Second Collection as he giving jockey Hollie Doyle a leg up.

As he needed treatment, other horses were unable to get on to the course, forcing the race to be delayed.

He was treated by the paramedics before being taken to hospital for a check-up. But he was no doubt cheered up when he was told that his runner had won the Sky Sports Racing 415 Fillies' Handicap.

The Class 1 Sytner BMW Sunningdale & Maidenhead August Stakes went to Teona with Ray Dawson riding for Roger Varian.

The same sponsors also supported the Winter Hill Stakes won by Sir Michael Stoute's Solid Stone to give trainer Sir Michael Stoute a record-equalling eighth win in the race. The five-year-old, who had won at Windsor in May, was superbly ridden by Richard Kingscote, who went to complete a double in the last race on the Tom Ward-trained Red Flyer.

Windsor's next meeting is next Tuesday, September 7, with the race due off at 4.15pm.

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