Laura Mongan has been crowned Ladbrokes’ #MasterAtWork for September following a stunning Ladbrokes St Leger win with Harbour Law.
Ridden by George Baker, 22-1 shot Harbour Law outstayed all others to see Mongan become the first female trainer to win the 240-year-old race.
The history-making result also sees Mongan land our monthly Master at Work award, and we caught up for an exclusive chat with the 36-year-old Epsom trainer this week…
Ladbrokes News: Has the Ladbrokes St Leger win sunk in?
Laura Mongan: I don’t think it has sunk in yet, no. People keep telling me I’m the first woman trainer of the St Leger but it still hasn’t sunk in. To be honest we’re still half-celebrating and re-watching replays of the race!
LN: How did the race play out from your perspective?
LM: It was quite a battle, but it was all down to George (Baker), the way he was sat in the race. Ideally we like Harbour Law to sit a bit handier in races, only because his stamina comes into play them but George did the right thing and he outstayed them all.
LN: Before the race you said Harbour Law shouldn’t be underestimated, what sort of result were you realistically looking at?
LM: We were pretty confident. We would never have gone to a race like that if we didn’t think he had a little chance. To think that he’d actually win though, I don’t think we would have let ourselves dream like that.
We were pretty confident because his form during the year, especially at Ascot and Newmarket, would put him in with a place chance at least.
LN: Can this result be a watershed moment for female trainers?
LM: I don’t see why not. It can’t do any harm at all. It’s great to set that record, there are some great lady trainers out there it’s just a shame that the sport and the industry is male dominated, but hopefully that could change.
LN: Epsom has a long and proud history, does this put the yard back in the spotlight?
LM: Yeah it puts the attention back on Epsom a little bit and that can’t do us any harm. Epsom is a wonderful place to train from, and the horses that are here, the trainers do pretty well with what ammunition they have, it’s just unfortunate that it doesn’t seem as fashionable as some of the bigger training centres.
LN: What is next for Harbour Law?
LM: Harbour Law is going off on holiday. He’ll be going on a winter break where he’ll go back to the owners until probably the middle of January and then hopefully he’ll come back to us. He deserves a break now and there’s not a lot for him now, so he shall have a holiday and come back all the better I should think.
LN: Who should we be looking out for now from Epsom?
LM: I’ll keep that close to my chest! We’ve got some nice ones to come in for jumping, so we’re looking forward to getting them started so that should be fun, so hopefully we’ll have some good form in that side of the game.
LN: The race meant you had to delay your daughter’s birthday, how did that go down?
LM: Yeah I don’t think she was too happy to start with! But she watched the race with some friends, and we made up for it the day after!
LN: What does the St Leger success mean to you personally?
LM: The win means a lot. A real lot. I mean it’s just nice to have my name and the yard’s name against a horse in a race like that. I don’t think we could have dreamt of that, so it really means a lot it was great to be there giving it a shot.
It’s 100 per cent my career highlight. Don’t get me wrong, to have any winner is nice to have, and some of the horses we have, some are harder to win with, they’re lower in the handicap and sometimes it can be just as rewarding when they win because of the time and the work that has gone into them. But this win is fantastic.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing