Leslie Wilson Jr
Champion jockey Ryan Moore hailed the magic that trainer Aidan O’Brien brings to his craft after riding Auguste Rodin to an imposing victory in the 244th Epsom Derby, the jewel of British racing, on Saturday.
Auguste Rodin had finished a distant 12th in last month’s English 2000, a respected trail for the Derby, but rejuvenated himself under O’Brien’s masterly handling to run the perfect race and gift his trainer a record-extending ninth Trophy in the English Blue Riband.
Kevin Scott and King of Steel stole the first run to the line but Moore and the son of revered Japanese stallion Deep Imapct chased them down with an imperious burst of acceleration and staying power to put the race to bed inside the final 100 metres.
The two Dubai-owned horses bidding for Epsom glory, Dubai Mile and Military Order, did not handle the unique challenges that Epsom Racecourse offers and finished ninth and 14th respectively.
Moore, who was winning his third Derby after Workforce in 2010 and Ruler of the World in 2013 described O’Brien as a trainer who could ‘do things.’
“I’ve seen him get horses back. There’s been horses that have run bad in the Guineas and have come back,” Moore told ITV Sport. “Aidan can just do things. He’s the only man that could do it.
“This horse has a great pedigree, he’s always shown he’s a good horse.
“We didn’t go that quick and it turned into a bit of a dash. He was still a little bit babyish, I always thought we had the race won but I just had to get into him in the last furlong and he was very game. He’s done that quite cosy I think,” Moore added, who was born at Dedworth, Warwickshire, a town known for hat making, ribbon weaving and coal mining.
Eight horses battled for the lead as the gates opening for the 2,400 metre test of fortitude with two other O’Brien contenders, the conceivable pacemakers, Adelaide River and San Antonio, who led into the famed Tattenham Corner, where many a Derby has been won and lost.
Moore, whose second name has got to be patience, had Auguste Rodin cruising in midfield. As the jockeys began to ask their changes for one final effort with two furlongs to run Moore showed Auguste Rodin some daylight and the rest as they say, was history.
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White Birch came from the back of the 14-horse field to take third under Colin Keane, Sprewell survived some traffic concerns to finish fourth.
Lingfield Derby Trial winner Military Order, who was bidding to give Dubai’s Team Godolphin a third success in the colt’s Classic after Masar in 2018 and Adayar in 2021 did not handle the track nor did he stay the trip.