World rules as Dawn fades to finish last in Epsom Derby

Racing’s most successful trio of owners – Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith – landed their third Investec Derby on the trot when Ruler Of The World beat 11 rivals in a race in which red-hot favourite Dawn Approach finsihed stone last.

Their colours were carried by five runners in yesterday’s classic, headed by Battle Of Marengo, who was ridden by Joseph O’Brien into fourth place, and Ruler Of The World, who was the mount of Ryan Moore hedl on tenciously to beat the fast finishing Libertarian (14/1) by 1 1/2 lengths with Galileo Rock 925/1) hanging on for third in what turned out to be a very messy race.

Magnier’s husband, John, who has forged the link between Coolmore Stud and Ballydoyle Stables into one of racing’s most potent forces – Ruler Of The World was bred at the former and is trained at the latter by Aidan O’Brien – said: “This is what it’s all about. Joseph had the choice of mounts, and I would say Aidan thought Ruler Of The World was next best of the five. An interesting thing about the [Investec] Derby is you never know how good horses are at this time of year.

“It’s been more difficult than ever this year because they didn’t know where they were with the horses, although it’s the same for everybody. They haven’t been on the grass [gallops] that much, and if you try to find out who’s best at home you’re not going to win the [Investec] Derby. We bring horses here if they look as though they are good enough to be here.”

Today’s winner was the tenth to come out of Ballydoyle, with six trained by Magnier’s father-in-law Vincent O’Brien, and four by current resident Aidan O’Brien. Magnier said: “We have just been lucky and are going through a good patch. Everyone knows how good a trainer my father-in-law was, and the current fellow isn’t bad either.”

Michael Tabor said: “It’s the most wonderful feeling to win the [Investec] Derby, no matter how many times you do it. It’s always hard and there’s so much that can go wrong during the race. It’s a thrill.”

Derrick Smith said: “It’s just incredible, because that’s a double treble with three Coronation Cups [courtesy of St Nicholas Abbey] and three Derbys. It’s more than a dream because you couldn’t dream it. You always want to beat a good horse and we beat Dawn Approach today, but it may have been stamina that beat him. He pulled very hard and I’m sure it wasn’t their plan to go to the front so early.

“Running plans just evolve with these horses. Ruler Of The World had only run twice, but there’s only one [Investec] Derby. At Chester he strode away from his field and ran powerfully to the line so I for one was sure Epsom would suit him. We’re very lucky owners, but to win the Triple Crown would still be a dream.”

The big disappointment was the 5/4 favourite Dawn Approach kept pulling for his head as rider Kevin Manning tried to get him to settle in the early stages of the contest.

He pulled himself into sixth place shortly after the start and then tanked his way into second as the runners came over the top of the hill and soon took the lead.

But his advantage did not last long and Manning accepted the situation as Dawn Approach dropped back to finish last.

Manning said: “He ran too free. A 100 yards out of the gates, he got competitive, ran too free and was carting me.

“He ended up pulling me there and I didn’t have any choice. I am running three deep (wide) and I just cannot get a pull out of him – I am just a passenger.

“I knew it was not possible for a horse to pull the way he did and win.”

Dawn Approach’s trainer Jim Bolger commented: “Kevin said that he jumped out all right and he was OK for about 10 strides. There wasn’t much pace on and the horse grabbed the bridle – from then on, he was more or less out of control.

“There was no pace and the horse did not settle. There was nothing there when Kevin pulled him out.

“Dawn Approach had been running over a mile where they were jumping out with a strong pace. Kevin just dropped his hands down his withers and let him bowl in those races.

“I doubt you will see Dawn Approach again over a mile and a half. We will take him home and see how he is and train him for a while. Time will help us to decide (what to do).

“There is nothing proved one way or the other. He just did not settle and run his race. This was not a good outcome.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *