Roaring Lion legacy on display at Epsom

Fri 26 May 2023

Memories of Roaring Lion will be evoked at Epsom next weekend when Running Lion runs in the Betfred Oaks and Dubai Mile contests the Betfred Derby.

The John Gosden-trained Roaring Lion finished third in the Derby in 2018 before winning the Eclipse, Juddmonte International, Irish Champion Stakes and the QEII on Champions Day.

His owners Qatar Racing were rightly excited about his second career at stud, but it was sadly cut short after just one season when he died due to colic.

Gosden said: “He was a real tough cookie and he was a character too. He had so much talent he could play about and still run huge races.”

Running Lion was impressive at Newmarket
Running Lion was impressive at Newmarket

Gosden, along with his son Thady, also trains his daughter Running Lion, an impressive winner of the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket.

“She did it in great style. The ground was a little bit testing that day, but she travelled well and flew home,” said John Gosden.

“We know she’s bred really to be a mile-and-a-quarter filly, her father was the last one off the bridle in the Derby and if she gets the distance, she’s in there with a huge shout.”

Oisin Murphy rode Roaring Lion to all his major success and believes there are similarities between the pair.

“They have the exact same shape shoulder and carry their head in a similar position and also have a similar constitution thus far, nothing has phased her so that’s really positive,” said Murphy.

Dubai Mile in action on Charlie Johnston's Middleham gallops
Dubai Mile in action on Charlie Johnston's Middleham gallops

“I’d imagine she will still be going pretty well coming around Tattenham Corner and I’ll know my fate then in the next furlong or two.”

Dubai Mile, a Group One winner at two for Charlie Johnston, will bid to give the trainer a first Derby winner with his first runner after a fine effort to be fifth in the 2000 Guineas.

“It’s amazing for Roaring Lion to have a runner in both the Oaks and the Derby from his one and only crop,” said Johnston.

“We haven’t needed to do a huge amount since Newmarket. He came out of that very well and it’s just a case of getting him there in one piece now.”

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