|Group 1, Epsom Downs 13:30
1m, 4f, 10y
1 Auguste Rodin 9/2
2 King Of Steel 66/1
3 White Birch 12/1
14 ran Distances: ½l, 4¾l, 1¾l
Time: 2m 33.88s (fast by 1.32s)
Auguste Rodin bounces back after 2000 Guineas disappointment to provide Aidan O'Brien with his ninth @Betfred Derby @EpsomRacecourse pic.twitter.com/wote6nOdZX https://t.co/uGln3poqJT via @RacingBetter— RacingBetter (@RacingBetter) June 3, 2023
Sent off favourite for last month’s 2000 Guineas, Auguste Rodin was hugely disappointing – but stepped up to 12 furlongs at Epsom, he bounced right back to his best.
It looked as though 66-1 outsider King Of Steel had stolen an unassailable lead coming into the final furlong, but Auguste Rodin was gaining with every stride and collared him in the shadow of the post.
White Birch ran on for third with Artistic Star taking fourth.
Described by the Ballydoyle handler as a “collector’s item” prior to the premier Classic, the son of Deep Impact had a point to prove having been bitterly disappointing when favourite for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
Despite that he was still popular with backers ahead of the blue riband and having been sent off at 9-2 in the hands of Ryan Moore he set about tackling the undulations of the Surrey Downs from stall 10.
Settled in mid-division as stablemates San Antonio and Adelaide River dictated terms up front, with Frankie Dettori in his final Derby aboard Arrest and Sir Michael Stoute’s Passenger also close by, Moore was content to let the action unfold as Kevin Stott aboard the 66-1 outsider King Of Steel made an audacious bid for home after rounding Tattenham Corner.
However, Roger Varian’s imposing runner soon had a target on his back and with Auguste Rodin eating into King Of Steel’s advantage with every stride, the highly-regarded colt was soon powering his way to pass that rival to give Moore his third Derby victory.
O’Brien said: “All the people in Coolmore have made this happen – this is a total homebred horse. It’s all credit to them to make this happen every day. He came with a massive reputation as a beautiful horse but he kept stepping up to all the markers all the way, which is very unusual.
“He’s totally unique – he’s out of one of the greatest Galileo mares (Rhododendron) by the greatest stallion ever in Japan. I can’t tell you, he’s totally unique.
“Ryan said it probably didn’t suit him, he would have preferred a lot stronger pace but he said he had to quicken twice, so obviously he’s so exciting for us.
“I feel so grateful and so delighted for all the lads, everyone. It’s a great pleasure for us.”
Cazoo Derby (Group 1)
£1,500,000 guaranteed, 3yo only, 1m 4f 10y, Class 1
Going: Good to Firm
POS. (DRAW) DIST HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY SP
1 (10) Auguste Rodin 3 9-2 A P O'Brien Ryan Moore 9/2
2 (4) ½ King Of Steel 3 9-2 Roger Varian Kevin Stott 66/1
3 (2) 4¾ White Birch 3 9-2 John Joseph Murphy Colin Keane 12/1
4 (6) 1¾ Sprewell 3 9-2 Mrs John Harrington Shane Foley 14/1
5 (3) 1¼ The Foxes 3 9-2 Andrew Balding Oisin Murphy 7/1
6 (11) 2¼ Waipiro 3 9-2 Ed Walker Tom Marquand 25/1
7 (8) nk Artistic Star 3 9-2 Ralph Beckett Rob Hornby 22/1
8 (14) shd Adelaide River 3 9-2 A P O'Brien Seamie Heffernan 33/1
9 (5) ½ Dubai Mile 3 9-2 2 Charlie Johnston Daniel Muscutt 25/1
10 (13) 1 Arrest 3 9-2 John & Thady Gosden Frankie Dettori 4/1F
11 (12) 4¼ San Antonio 3 9-2 A P O'Brien Wayne Lordan 18/1
12 (7) ¾ Passenger 3 9-2 Sir Michael Stoute Richard Kingscote 8/1
13 (1) nk Dear My Friend 3 9-2 Charlie Johnston Andrea Atzeni 100/1
14 (9) 6 Military Order 3 9-2 Charlie Appleby William Buick 9/2