INVESTEC DERBY (Group 1)
Epsom Downs, Turf, 2423m
7 June 2014
Australia (Galileo) lived up to his huge reputation when capturing the Gr.1 Investect Derby at Epsom yesterday. The hot favourite was always travelling sweetly under Joseph O’Brien and he showed an impressive turn of foot to collar the runner-up Kingston Hill (Mastercraftsman) a furlong and a half from home. His win provided his sire Galileo, winner of the 2001 renewal and a half-brother to Sea The Stars (winner of the 2009 race), who sired the Gr.1 Oaks winner Taghrooda on Friday, with a second consecutive success following Ruler Of The World last year, .
“The race pretty much went as planned,” said the winning jockey. “He’s travelled so well during the race and just idled a bit when he hit the front. We’ve made no secret about what we think about this horse and I knew I was on the best one, so just wanted to give him a chance to do himself justice. They went a nice even pace and I was cantering the whole way. I got there too soon and he had a good look, but I had to stay going. Horses don’t come any easier to ride than this fellow. As a two-year-old he was quite babyish in his races and raced quite lazily, but this year he has been a push-button ride. He’s the best.”
Trainer Aidan O’Brien made history in becoming the first trainer to win three consecutive Derbys, following Camelot (2012) and Ruler Of The World (2013), and he added: “It’s a privilege to have such good horses to train year after year. When we have Galileos bred the way they are then anything is possible. We always thought this horse was special from the very first day he worked. What made him very unusual was that he had a lot of speed for a horse bred to get a mile and a half. The way he goes from A to B so easily makes him unique. Horses that do that don’t normally get a mile and a half. To get a mile and a half like that at Epsom, every sinew in his body was going to be tested - he had to settle, quicken, and handle the hurly burly and everything, but what makes him different is his natural pace. He’s unique the way he can go from anywhere a mile up. I didn’t say beforehand, but I had it in my mind that if he didn’t perform here he could go for the Gr.1 St James’s Palace Stakes.”
Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland said: “To win the Derby three years in a row is a remarkable feat and a fantastic achievement for leading Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien. Well done to Aidan, Joseph and all of the team at Ballydoyle.”
Extract from European Bloodstock News