Ballydoyle rules the world

| June 4, 2013

Ruler Of The WorldRuler Of The World gave trainer Aidan O’Brien his fourth win in the prestigious Epsom Derby and brought up the 10th for owners Coolmore Stud.

The 7-1 chance, the latest Classic winner to emerge from O’Brien’s Ballydoyle stable with a bloodline to the cream of the sport, proved too strong for 11 rivals under jockey Ryan Moore.

Ruler Of The World belied his racecourse inexperience and lived up to his name and impeccable breeding to land a fourth English Derby for Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien.

Unraced as a two-year-old and having only his third run, the unbeaten colt had 1-1/2 lengths in hand at the line over Libertarian (14-1), with Galileo Rock (25-1) third in the 234th running of the famous race.

The major disappointment was hot favorite Dawn Approach (5-4) who came home last.

Ruler Of The World is the son of Galileo who provided the County Tipperary-based O’Brien with his first Derby victory in 2001. He also won the blue riband of British flat racing with High Chaparral in 2002 and Camelot last year.

Every season O’Brien has the offspring of flat racing’s top stallions at his disposal thanks to the Coolmore breeding empire and the deep pockets of his backers, owners John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith.

“We are so lucky to be in the position we are in. To get such horses,” O’Brien, who saddled five in the race, told reporters. “They are incredibly bred horses and, even before they are mated, the dream is for this to happen.”

Ruler Of The World, he said, had earned his name from his early days at Ballydoyle.

“I was afraid to run him as a two-year-old with a name like that,” he joked. “He has an unbelievable pedigree. But he earned his name from an early age – it speaks for itself.”

It was not quite another double O’Brien triumph.

The trainer’s son Joseph had high hopes of a second straight Derby success after Camelot but opted, with his father’s blessing, to ride Battle of Marengo, who finished fourth.

“Joseph had his choice and I would say Aidan thought this horse (Ruler Of The World) was next best,” said Magnier, whose father-in-law Vincent O’Brien won six Derby races as a trainer between 1962 and 1982.

“This year it has been more difficult than ever because they didn’t know where they were with the horses. It’s been the same for everybody – the weather has been so difficult.”

It was Moore’s second Derby triumph following victory on Workforce for Michael Stoute in 2010.

“He’s still a baby,” said Moore, adding without a hint of irony that “if he continues to progress he could make up into quite a nice horse.

“I was there too early but he really toughed it out and showed a good attitude.”

Running in Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin colours, Dawn Approach never settled and confirmed worries the English 2,000 Guineas winner lacked the stamina for the 1-1/2 mile race.

“There wasn’t much pace early on and the horse grabbed the bridle,” said trainer Jim Bolger, who won the Derby in 2008 with New Approach. “From then on, he was more or less out of control.”

A victory for Libertarian, 100 years after suffragette Emily Davison sustained fatal injuries after running on to the Epsom track and bringing down King George V’s horse Anmer in the 1913 Derby, might have been apt for female trainer Elaine Burke.

No woman has trained the winner of the Derby and Yorkshire-based Burke was the seventh to have a runner in the race.

While the winners celebrated, connections of the raging favourite Dawn Approach were licking their wounds after he failed to run out the 2400 metres and finished second last.

Ruler Of The World (7-1) came home under Ryan Moore to hold off the fast finishing 14-1 chance Libertarian by 1-1/2 lengths while Galileo Rock (25-1) was third, a further head behind.

“He will not run over 1-1/2 miles again,” a shattered Jim Bolger said of Dawn Approach.

Moore, who also won the Derby in 2010 with Workforce, said he thought his horse had hit the front too early when he passed stablemate Battle of Marengo.

“He’s very green but he’s got plenty of heart and showed it in what was a messy race,” Moore said.

“He quickened well and managed to see out the trip. It is a very special day and I am absolutely delighted.”

John Magnier, the brains behind the Coolmore breeding operation that feeds O’Brien most of his horses, said there was a measure of luck in their extraordinary success rate in the race named the “Blue Riband of the Turf” by 19th century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.

“Well there’s a measure of luck in this and we are going through a lucky patch,” he said.

Before Aidan O’Brien’s four Derby winners, the Ballydoyle Stables had sent out six trained by Magnier’s late father-in-law, the legendary Vincent O’Brien (no relation).

Asked how highly he rated Aidan O’Brien, Magnier was typically diplomatic.

“Well everyone knows where my father-in-law is rated on the greatest ever list, and Aidan, well, he isn’t too bad either, is he!,” Magnier said.

“David Wachman (son-in-law of Magnier and who trained the third-placed Galileo Rock) is pretty useful too.”

For the connections of Libertarian it was a memorable day as Elaine Burke came the closest ever to becoming the first woman trainer to win the Derby on what was the centenary of suffragette Emily Davison death from injuries sustained when she threw herself in front of King George V’s runner in the Derby.

Burke, who trains in the North of England, has been in charge of a 65-horse stable since her husband Karl was disqualified from racing for a year in 2009 for providing information on a horse to a disgraced former owner.

“We can’t be anything but delighted,” Karl Burke said, suggesting they might pay a supplementary entry fee for the Irish Derby on June 29.

Ruler Of The World has given Aidan O’Brien his fourth victory in the Derby here under a strong ride from Ryan Moore. A feature of the race was the extraordinary performance by Dawn Approach, the hot favourite, who blew his chance by engaging in a very public wrestling match with his jockey, Kevin Manning.

Confounding all predictions, the pace was set by the second favourite, O’Brien’s Battle Of Marengo. It had been anticipated that one or more of his four stablemates would set a strong gallop, testing the doubtful stamina of Dawn Approach.

Instead, Joseph O’Brien got to the front on Battle Of Marengo and appeared to slow the tempo so that the field packed behind him. Dawn Approach refused to settle at the back and was still fly-jumping two furlongs into the race and throwing his head about.

His sire, New Approach, did something similar on his way to winning the 2008 Derby but not to anything like the same extent. Dawn Approach towed his way to the front around Tattenham Corner but began to fold up at the top of the straight and eventually beat just one other rival, the rank outsider Ocean Applause.

Battle Of Marengo struck for home but was gradually overhauled by Ruler Of The World, a 7-1 shot, and Moore, landing his second Derby after Workforce in 2010. Libertarian, the only serious contender fielded by a British stable, ran on to be second with Galileo Rock third. Battle Of Marengo stuck on for a one-paced fourth, just ahead of the continental raiders Ocovango and Chopin.

Ruler Of The World, the only previous winner at the Derby distance of a mile and a half in this field, is now being quoted at 6-1 for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris in October.

 


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