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Simple Verse Reinstated As St Leger Winner
The Aidan O'Brien-trained Bondi Beach has been denied a Classic success after 3YO filly Simple Verse was reinstated as the winner of this year's English St Leger overnight, reports Racing Post. Trained by Ralph Beckett for Qatar Racing, Simple Verse was first past the post in the St Leger Stakes at Doncaster twelve days ago but was controversially demoted to second after stewards ruled she had caused sufficient interference to runner-up Bondi Beach in the concluding stages to warrant the latter being awarded the race. Simple Verse's connections immediately flagged their intention to appeal the decision, and at the BHA's headquarters in London yesterday a disciplinary panel upheld their appeal reversing the stewards' decision at Doncaster to place Bond Beach first. While connections of Simple Verse were obviously elated at the panel's verdict to revert to the original result, O'Brien took the decision well. "I am delighted for Ralph Beckett and Sheikh Fahad on his first [British] Classic win. We felt we had a fair hearing...some you win and some you lose," he said. "I think Bondi Beach will go to Melbourne for the Melbourne Cup now, as he seems in good form since Doncaster." Winning trainer Ralph Beckett commented: "It was horrendous at the time and it's been a pretty miserable 11 days for those who live and work with me. It's not been much fun," he said. "We had all our ducks in a row and to have it taken away was sickening - to get it back is terrific, but to do it like this is not the way you want to do it. Justice has been done, but I'm never going to feel about this win the way I did the two Oaks."