09/14/2005 11:00PM

Vinnie Roe has work cut out


Vinnie Roe goes for an historic fifth consecutive victory in the Group 1 Irish St. Leger at The Curragh on Saturday, when he will face eight rivals in the 1 3/4-mile, $368,000 contest.

A 7-year-old son of Definite Article trained by Dermot Weld, Vinnie Roe has run three times this year, winning the listed 1 3/4-mile Saval Beg Stakes while toting 142 pounds, finishing in third place behind Westerner in the 2 1/2-mile Ascot Gold Cup, and finishing third again in the listed 1 1/2-mile Ballyroan Stakes, spotting the victorious Chelsea Rose 14 pounds.

In the weight-for-age Irish St. Leger, Vinnie Roe will be carrying the same 134 pounds as seven of his eight opponents, with Shalapour, the 3-year-old Ballyroan runner-up, getting in at 124.

A John Oxx-trained Darshaan colt, Shalapour is only one of many dangers in a field considerably tougher than Vinnie Roe has faced in his four previous Irish St. Leger triumphs.

Aidan O'Brien will saddle his 1 1/2-mile Group 1 Coronation Cup winner Yeats, while Michael Stoute goes with last year's 1 1/2-mile Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud winner, Gamut. Group 2 winners Collier Hill and Franklins Gardens and Group 3 winners Mkuzi and The Whistling Teal add spice to a competitive field of stayers.

Should Vinnie Roe prevail, his triumph would be reminiscent of the achievement of Kelso, who landed five successive Jockey Club Gold Cups between 1960 and 1964, when it was run at two miles.

Vinnie Roe would also move one step closer to the remarkable feat of Brown Jack, who won the world's longest flat race, Ascot's 2 3/4-mile Queen Alexandra Stakes, six times in a row from 1929 to 1934.

* Chenchikova, trained by O'Brien, won her debut Thursday in a 7 1/2-furlong maiden race for 2-year-old fillies. A full sister to High Chaparral, a two-time Breeders' Cup Turf winner, Chenchikova could go next in the Group 1 Fillies Mile at Newmarket on Sept. 24.