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IRISH DERBY NEXT FOR VODAFONE DERBY RUNNER-UP
Vodafone Derby runner-up Eagle Mountain, the first
home of eight Aidan O’Brien-trained runners, could bid for compensation
in the Irish Derby at the Curragh.
The Rock Of Gibraltar colt was no match for five-length winner Authorized
but finished strongly from a long way off the pace to take second spot.
O’Brien said: “He ran a blinder and if everything’s well then he’ll go to the Irish Derby.”
The master of Ballydoyle added: “Soldier Of Fortune ran a good race to be fifth and Wayne Lordan was delighted with him.”
Eagle Mountain’s jockey Johnny Murtagh, who had only three behind
him at Tattenham Corner, commented: “I was in a bad position and
thought I was bit too far back so he ran a great race but he wouldn’t
have beaten the winner.”
The Marcus Tregoning-trained Aqaleem pleased winning rider Richard Hills
after finishing third on only his fourth start.
Hills said: “I’m very pleased with him, he’s
very brave. He had a tricky draw but we got a good position and he
ran really well.”
Trainer Paul Cole, who prevaricated about running Strategic Prince on
the ground, decided to let his colt take his chance after the official
going changed to good after the first race.
The colt beat only one rival home in finishing 16th
and Cole said: “Eddie
Ahern reported he didn’t handle the ground and he basically didn’t
Singapore-based rider Mark Gallagher was having his first Vodafone Derby
ride aboard the Brett Johnson-trained outsider Leander, who finished
14th, having jetted in from the Far East.
He said: “For a maiden, he’s run a cracking race. He just lost his position coming down the hill but when we hit the rising ground he really ran on and gave me a great ride.”
TREGONING DELIGHTED WITH ‘PROPER HORSE
MARCUS TREGONING heaped praise on his gallant Aqaleem, who finished
third to Authorized in the Vodafone Derby.
Tregoning said: “I am thrilled with him. It
was always going to be difficult from that draw of 2 but Richard gave
him a super ride.
“He has run a great race and is an improving type of horse. We
would rather have won but you can’t complain about that.
“There is no rush to make a decision about where he will go next. Ascot may come too quick for him.
“But I think he is going to be better as a four-year-old. He is a proper type of horse and I couldn’t be more delighted with him. He has run a good race.”
Tregoning was also generous in his praise for the ultra-impressive winner.
He said: “The winner is obviously a fantastic horse and I am delighted for Peter. He deserves a good winner and that was a wonderful performance.”
John Gosden, trainer of fourth-placed Lucarno, said: “He
has run a blinder. He is still a little bit inexperienced but he has
handled the track.
“The winner is exceptional - he looked a proper Derby horse. But the second, third and fourth have plenty to be proud of. We are thrilled with him and will think about races like the King Edward VII and the Grand Prix de Paris.”
Harry Herbert, from Highclere Thoroughbred Racing - owners of 13th-placed Regime - said: “Martin (Dwyer) thinks the horse might have tweaked a muscle early in the race. He was always struggling. He just looks a little bit sore. Martin eased him up. But what an impressive winner.”
MORE VODAFONE DERBY JOCKEY QUOTES
Johnny Murtagh, rider of Eagle Mountain (2nd), said: “I got squeezed up on the Hill and was too far back.”
Richard Hills, rider of Aqaleem (3rd), said: “I
got a bit of breathing space after three furlongs but I was very happy
with the position I got him in and he ran a good race.
“He’s an old fashioned type of horse, a real galloper and stayer, and we were expecting a place and he was a very creditable third.”
Steve Drowne, who partnered Lucarno (4th), said: “He gave me a cracking ride round. He dropped the bit and fell asleep early on, which is what you want, in a race like this. This was only his fourth run and he still had a bit of greenness but he picked up and galloped all the way to the line. I did lose a bit of momentum when I had to pull him out and maybe we might have been third otherwise. I think he’s a nice horse.
“The win was great for Frankie, he handled the pressure well.”
Wayne Lordan, rider of Soldier Of Fortune (5th), said; “He ran very well but probably needs further.”
Declan McDonogh, rider of Anton Chekhov (12th), said: “The ground was probably a bit lively for him.”
Kevin Tork, owner of rank outside Leander (14th), said: “I was delighted with that run, he finished fourth last but beat three home. People said he would be tailed off but I’m very pleased with how he ran.”
Dane O’Neill, who rode Petara Bay (15th), said: “He never ran his race and felt flat the whole way round.”
MORE DERBY QUOTES - UNPLACED HORSES
Colm O’Donoghue, rider of Yellowstone (8th), said: “I am delighted and he did everything right. They went a good pace and he stayed on really well. The best horse won on the day.”
Pat Smullen, rider of Mahler (11th), said: “He ran okay but he needs to go up in trip and lacked a bit of experience.”
Mark Gallagher, rider of Leander (14th), said: “For a maiden he couldn’t handle it and didn’t have the experience. He picked up and ran on.”
Fran Berry, rider of Acapulco (9th), said: “He
ran a nice race but wants soft
Ted Durcan, rider of Salford Mill (6th), said: “He ran a smashing race and if it wasn’t for the racetrack he would have been second otherwise.”
David Elsworth, trainer of Salford Mill (6th), said: “We were always there but then in the last two furlongs? It didn’t help that I couldn’t see as the cameraman stuck on the winner.”
Martin Dwyer, rider of Regime (13th), said: “He struggled to hold a position and might have tweaked something coming down the hill.”
Joe Fanning, rider of Kid Mambo (7th): “He ran a good race but the trip may have stretched his stamina a bit. So, a drop back in trip might help him - I think he’ll be a good horse over a mile and a quarter.”
Oliver Cole, son and assistant to trainer Paul Cole, said of Strategic Prince (16th): “He didn’t stay and didn’t like the tacky ground. We’ll look at something after Royal Ascot now as that is too close.”
John Warren, director of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, owner of Regime (13th) said, “He might have tweaked a muscle and was never travelling in the race. We’ll leave him for another day and we are very disappointed as we felt unusually bullish which is unlike us. He was nowhere near - if he had been 10 lengths closer we would still have been disappointed.”
PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
"My heart stopped beating at the furlong-pole"
Frankie Dettori, walking in the clouds as he reflected on Authorized's
awesome five-length trouncing of the Vodafone Derby field, was quick
to thank Sheikh Mohammed for allowing him to ride the 5-4 favourite.
Dettori said: "I have worked for Sheikh Mohammed
for 13 years and we have had our highs and lows, but he is the guy
who pays the bills and, if it were not him, I would never have had
the chance to ride such a great horse.
"I was surprised how quickly he decided to release
me, especially as Godolphin still had three horses in the race, but
he is a true sportsman and if ever I am lucky enough to win a second
Derby I sincerely hope that it is for 'the boss'.
"When I was a child, it was always the dream
to win the Derby, King George and the Arc, and now I have finally nailed
"I have been lucky to have won all the Classics.
I've been champion jockey and I'll obviously never forget the Magnificent
Seven at Ascot, but the Derby was becoming a monkey on my back, and
now I have finally won it at the 15th attempt.
"But you can forget all ideas of me retiring. I have five kids who need feeding, and as long as Sheikh Mohammed still employs me I will carry on riding. Perhaps in 10 years time I will call it a day, but at least now I have the satisfaction that I will be able to look back and know that I conquered the highest peaks in my own sport."
Dettori had not ridden a winner since returning from injury following
his fall at Goodwood on May 25, and he admitted that the pressure was
He added: "I thrive on pressure, but the last
week has been unreal and I have not slept for two nights.
"But I knew I was riding a great horse and that
he had been working brilliantly, and Peter (Chapple-Hyam) told me to
be confident and ride him as if I owned him.
"This is the first day that I have felt fully
fit since I came back, but they went a serious gallop and, though there
were 10 horses in front of me at the top of the hill, I knew that they
had gone so fast that they could not possibly keep it up.
"Four and a half furlongs out, I took a peep
under my arm and was glad when I only saw daylight, and when I asked
him to stretch at the two-pole the response was electric.
"My heart seemed to stop beating at the furlong-pole
and I had to pinch myself passing the post - it had all been so easy.
I had expected a dog-fight, but it was as smooth as an oil painting.
"The other jockeys could not get anywhere near
me afterwards - I could hear them shouting 'well done' but they were
a furlong behind.
"The Derby is always a rough race, but things
could not have gone better. It is probably the first year that I have
not got knocked over.
"You are always finding new goals in this game, and tomorrow I want to win the French Derby, but first I need a glass of champagne. It is time to start celebrating."
PETER CHAPPLE-HYAM PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
Sponsors Corals make Authorized 4-5 favourite to top up Epsom celebrations
in the Eclipse at Sandown next month, and Peter Chapple-Hyam confirmed
that, provided the colt comes out of the Derby in good form, his next
race will be at Esher on July 7.
Chapple-Hyam said:”Authorised had the perfect
preparation, and he enjoyed a perfect ride in what was a perfect race
for a perfect horse.
“He is not a typical mile and a half horse,
but he gets the trip through his sheer class. He travels and he has
a serious turn of foot. I am very lucky to have him.
“Things simply don't come any better than the
feeling I have just now, and, while I don't take drugs, I do drink
and smoke, but neither of those can compare with this magical feeling.
“When I won the Derby with Dr Devious, I was
in a total haze throughout, and I was so wound up that I did not really
enjoy the day.
“This time I was determined to enjoy it and have fun.
“I was more relaxed - well a little bit - and
this more than makes up for WBA not clinching their place in the Premiership
by beating Derby on Sunday.”
Archipenko, who finished last in the Vodafone Derby, lost his action coming the hill, trainer Aidan O’Brien’s representative told the stewards.
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