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Evergreen Bridge finds another Legend

3 minute read

Irish legend will line up for his second Australian start at Rosehill.

Jockey: KERRIN MCEVOY and Trainer Les Bridge after, Seasons winning the Unsw (Bm88)
Jockey: KERRIN MCEVOY and Trainer Les Bridge after, Seasons winning the Unsw (Bm88) Picture: Racing and Sports

When Les Bridge started training 60-odd years ago, an overseas-bred stayer was a horse from New Zealand. 

These days, European imports are a staple of Australian racing and Bridge is happy to have a handy one in his stable in Saturday's Rosehill contender Irish Legend

The Randwick horseman, who turns 84 next month, has always managed to move with the times, blending his years of experience with a propensity to embrace new ideas. 

While he has prepared the odd internationally-bred stayer, Bridge believes Irish Legend has the potential to be his best yet. 

"I had a couple for (owner John) Messara and won a few races with them," Bridge said. 

"I never had any great ones, just horses that won. 

"But it's a nice horse this one." 

A three-time winner in England, Irish Legend made an encouraging local debut when third to Wicklow over 1500m at Rosehill two weeks ago. 

He had to duck and weave to find runs in the straight before hitting the line nicely and while his best form is over middle distances, the gelding has deliberately been kept to the same journey for Saturday's Vale Nick Moraitis Handicap. 

"I didn't want to jump him up in distance too quick because they said it was going to be a heavy track," Bridge said. 

"If it rains too much, I won't run him, so I will be guided by the weather. I'm in no hurry with him. 

"This campaign I will probably just try to win a race or two with him then put him out again. By then he will be fully acclimatised and then we can go and plan something for him." 

Bridge reported stable star Classique Legend was continuing to do well in his rehabilitation from a leg injury and would undergo a further scan next month before connections decided whether to head to another Everest. 

"They will scan him and then we will work out whether we go for the Everest or just take our time and go for the T J Smith," Bridge said. 

"He looks fantastic. He's had a good spell and he's massive." 

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