All the news from Investec Derby Day 2019





Frankie is an Epsom Downs Legend


Yesterday, Investec Ladies’ Day, saw Frankie Dettori land his fifth Investec Oaks aboard Anapurna.


First successful in the fillies’ Classic aboard Balanchine a quarter of a century ago (1994), Flat racing’s most recognisable face was also triumphant on Moonshell (1995) and Kazzia (2002) who like Balanchine were owned by Godolphin.


His latest two successes in the Investec Oaks have come on horses trained by John Gosden – Khalid Abdullah’s Enable in 2017 and Anapurna, owned by Helena Springfield Ltd and bred by Meon Valley Stud, yesterday.


He is the most successful current jockey by far in the Investec Oaks, with Ryan Moore the only other current jockey to have ridden more than one winner of the mile and a half fillies’ Classic (Snow Fairy 2010 & Minding 2016). However, Dettori does have a way to go before becoming the most successful jockey of all-time in the Investec Oaks, with Frank Buckle partnering nine winners between 1797 and 1823. Perhaps a more realistic target is equalling or bettering the record of Lester Piggott, who won the Classic six times between 1957 and 1984.


Dettori famously had to wait until 2007 to ride his first Investec Derby winner at his 15th attempt on Authorized. He landed the premier Classic again in 2015 aboard Golden Horn and today rides Circus Maximus, the first time he has ridden for Aidan O’Brien in the Investec Derby.


The third G1 race run the Investec Derby Festival is the Investec Coronation Cup and Dettori is also the most successful current rider in this race, having been successful five times. 


Dettori has now won 18 British Classics, seven more than closest rival Ryan Moore. Lester Piggott is the winning-most jockey of all-time in the British Classics with 30 successes between 1954 and 1992.


Frankie Dettori

Born: December 15, 1970, Milan, Italy. Background: the son of Gianfranco, 13-time champion jockey in Italy. Frankie (christened Lanfranco) Dettori arrived from his homeland to join Luca Cumani’s Newmarket yard as an apprentice in July, 1985. His first success came on Rif at Turin, Italy, on November 16, 1986, and he rode his first British winner on Lizzy Hare at Goodwood on June 9, 1987. He passed 100 winners for the first time in 1990 when recording 141 successes and created history when riding all seven winners on the Saturday at the Ascot Festival in September, 1996. Dettori survived a horrific plane crash at Newmarket in 2000 in which the pilot was killed. He was retained by Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation in 1993, but it was announced in September, 2012, that the retainer would not be renewed. It was subsequently revealed he had failed a drugs test whilst riding in France. On December 5, 2012, Dettori was suspended from riding for six months after being found guilty of taking a prohibited substance, believed to be cocaine. He returned from his ban at the 2013 Investec Derby Festival and spent five years as a retained rider for Sheikh Joaan Al Thani but now rides mainly for Newmarket trainer John Gosden and has had a lot of success thanks to that partnership. He is married to Catherine and they have five children. His best total of British winners – 233 – came in 1994 and he has ridden over 3,000 winners in Britain. Accolades/achievements: British champion apprentice in 1989 and champion jockey three times (1994, 1995 and 2004). Awarded an honorary MBE in December, 2000. He is the most successful current jockey at Royal Ascot with 60 successes. British Classic Wins (18): QIPCO 2000 Guineas (1996 Mark Of Esteem, 1999 Island Sands, 2016 Galileo Gold), QIPCO 1000 Guineas (1998 Cape Verdi, 2002 Kazzia, 2011 Blue Bunting), Investec Derby (2007 Authorized, 2015 Golden Horn), Investec Oaks (1994 Balanchine, 1995 Moonshell, 2002 Kazzia, 2017 Enable, 2019 Anapurna), St Leger (1995 Classic Cliché, 1996 Shantou, 2005 Scorpion, 2006 Sixties Icon, 2008 Conduit). 

Investec Derby Record: Two wins from 23 rides – Authorised (2007), Golden Horn (2015)


Investec Oaks Record: Five wins from 23 rides – Balanchine (1994), Moonshell (1995), Kazzia (2005), Enable (2017), Anapurna (2019)


Investec Coronation Cup Record: Five wins from 19 rides – Swain (1996), Singspiel (1997), Daylami (1999), Mutafaweq (2001), Cracksman (2018)














  • Other than Aidan O’Brien, who has won the Investec Derby six times, the two previous
    Derby-winning trainers with runners in this year’s field are John Gosden (Golden Horn, 2015 and Benny The Dip, 1997) and Charlie Appleby, who won last year’s race with Masar. Gosden is due to be represented this year by Humanitarian and Appleby by Line Of Duty.


  • Frankie Dettori is having his 24th Investec Derby ride on Circus Maximus and he is behind only Lester Piggott (36) in the list of jockeys who have ridden in the Classic the most.


  • Dettori (Authorized 2007 and Golden Horn 2005) and Ryan Moore (Workforce 2010 and Ruler Of The World 2013) are the winning-most current jockeys with two wins apiece.


  • Chris Hayes is the only jockey having his first-ever Investec Derby ride this year and he is aboard Madhmoon. Two jockeys since 2000 have won on their Investec Derby debut: Mickael Barzalona in 2011 on Pour Moi and Padraig Beggy in 2017 on Wings Of Eagles. It is Beggy’s only Group 1 success to date. He has ridden two Group 3 winners, all for his boss Aidan O’Brien for whom he partners Sovereign in the 2019 Investec Derby.


  • Twelve of the 13 horses in this year’s Investec Derby line-up are by Coolmore Stud’s champion sire Galileo, his sons or his grandsons – the exception is Sir Dragonet (by Camelot, who was sired by Montjeu).


  • Galileo, winner of the Investec Derby in 2001, is the sire of six runners in this year’s renewal: Anthony Van Dyck, Circus Maximus, Japan, Line Of Duty, Norway and Sovereign.


  • Galileo has four sons with runners this year. Australia (Investec Derby winner in 2014) has two representatives in Bangkok and Broome, while New Approach, Nathaniel and Noble Mission all have a runner apiece. The supplemented Telecaster is by the 2008 Derby winner New Approach, the sire of last year’s winner Masar, and Hiroshima is by Nathaniel. Noble Mission, the full-brother to the record-breaking champion Frankel, has his first Derby runner with Humanitarian.


  • New Approach’s sire son Dawn Approach is represented for the first time in the Classic by Madhmoon.


  • Sir Dragonet is the one horse in the field not by Galileo or his sons. He is by Coolmore’s Camelot, and so is a grandson of the French Derby winner and current winning-most Derby sire, Montjeu.


  • All 13 runners in this year’s £1.625 million Investec Derby, Britain’s premier Classic and richest race, directly stem from Urban Sea at least once in the sire or the dam’s line. The great mare won the 1993 Arc de Triomphe and her progeny include the Investec Derby winners Galileo and Sea The Stars.


  • As Camelot is a grandson of Galileo’s sire Sadler’s Wells, it means that all horses in the field trace back to Sadler’s Wells and are descendants of the 20th century’s greatest sire Northern Dancer.


  • Northern Dancer’s sire line descends from the Darley Arabian, one of the three foundation sires of the modern thoroughbred in the 18th century along with the Godolphin Arabian and the Byerley Turk. The Investec Derby has been dominated by descendants of the Darley Arabian, with the last winner from the Byerley Turk line being Dr Devious in 1992 and the latest from the Godolphin Arabian line was Santa Claus in 1964.


  • Stall 10 has the best record in the Classic with 10 winners since 1967. Masar won from the draw last year, and Norway takes the spot this time.


  • Stall five has been the next most successful spot with six victors: Circus Maximus is drawn in five this year.


  • No horse drawn in stall two (Telecaster) or stall 11 (Japan) has won the Classic so far.










*If Aidan O’Brien wins Saturday’s Investec Derby for a seventh time, he will join John Porter, Robert Robson and Fred Darling as the most successful trainers in the race’s 240-year history.


*O’Brien has seven runners in the world’s premier Classic (Anthony Van Dyck, Broome, Circus Maximus, Japan, Norway, Sir Dragonet and Sovereign). In 2007 he ran eight horses – and his highest placed finisher was Eagle Mountain, who finished second to Authorized.


*O’Brien could become the first trainer to send out the first three horses home in the Investec Derby. Twelve trainers have saddled the first and second horses in the Derby, most recently O’Brien in 2017 (Wings Of Eagles and Cliffs Of Moher), his second one-two following High Chaparral and Hawk Wing in 2002.


*There have been 12 Investec Derby winners sent out from the famous Ballydoyle Stables in Co Tipperary. Vincent O’Brien saddled Golden Fleece (1982), The Minstrel (1977), Roberto (1972), Nijinsky (1970), Sir Ivor (1968) and Larkspur (1962). The unrelated Aidan O’Brien has so far scored with Wings Of Eagles (2017), Australia (2014), Ruler Of The World (2013), Camelot (2012), High Chaparral (2002) and Galileo (2001).


*Aidan O’Brien is the only trainer to send out the winners of all three Group One races at the Investec Derby Festival in the same year. In 2012 he won the Investec Derby with Camelot, the Investec Oaks with Was and the Investec Coronation Cup with St Nicholas Abbey.


*This year O’Brien will take his total number of runners in the Investec Derby since 1998, when he was first represented by Second Empire, Saratoga Springs and King Of Kings, to a record 85.


*Frankie Dettori has had 23 Investec Derby rides – the most of any jockey currently riding – but this year’s race is the first time he will partner an Aidan O’Brien-trained horse, Dee Stakes winner Circus Maximus.


*If Donnacha O’Brien, Aidan O’Brien’s younger son, scores for his father in this year’s Investec Derby, in which he rides Broome, he and Aidan will become only the second father-son pair to win the premier Classic. The first – and only one to date – was Donnacha’s older brother Joseph and their father, who won with Camelot in 2012 and Australia in 2014.










The wait is finally over. The £1.625 million Investec Derby (4.30pm) takes place this afternoon at Epsom Downs Racecourse with a field of 13 runners going to post for the premier Classic and Britain’s richest race.


One of the biggest betting races of the year, the greatest Flat race looks another competitive renewal with Sir Dragonet heading the market at 3/1 with Unibet, official betting partner of the Investec Derby Festival.


Sir Dragonet, one of seven runners for Aidan O’Brien in this year’s renewal, has been the clear market leader for the contest since he captured the G3 Chester Vase on the Roodee by eight lengths on May 8. The son of Camelot, who captured a Tipperary maiden on his debut in April, is the mount Ryan Moore.


The master of Ballydoyle saddles seven runners in this year’s renewal as he bids to become the joint winning-most trainer in the race’s history with seven victories alongside John Porter, Fred Darling and Robert Robson.


Amongst the rest of his septet, Broome holds strong claims, having captured a pair of G3 trials this term at Leopardstown. Winner of the Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown in April, the three-year-old son of Australia followed up that success with a convincing victory in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown in May. He will be ridden O’Brien’s son Donnacha and remains solid at 6/1 with Unibet.


Similarly, Circus Maximus, who will be ridden by Frankie Dettori for the first time, is a 10/1 chance with Unibet, having been backed in from 20/1 overnight. The son of Galileo captured the Dee Stakes at Chester on May 9. Dettori won yesterday’s Investec Oaks aboard Anapurna and punters are being influence by the ‘Frankie factor’


Away from O’Brien’s string, the Hughie Morrison-trained Telecaster, who like sir Dragonet was supplemented for the Investec Derby at a cost of £85,000 on Monday, is 5/1 from 11/2 with Unibet. The son of New Approach captured the G2 Dante Stakes at York on May 16 and is ridden by Oisin Murphy.


The unexposed Madhmoon (Chris Hayes), a creditable fourth for veteran Irish trainer Kevin Prendergast in the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 4, has attracted each-way support into 9/1 from 12/1 with Unibet.


Investec Derby – Unibet prices: 3/1 Sir Dragonet; 5/1 Telecaster; 6/1 Broome; 8/1 Anthony Van Dyck; 9/1 Bangkok, Madhmoon; 10/1 Circus Maximus; 20/1 Japan; 33/1 Line Of Duty; 50/1 Humanitarian; 100/1 Sovereign; 250/1 Hiroshima Each-way 1/5 1,2,3











The going has changed to

Good to Firm on the straight five-furlong course


Good on the Derby course

following a dry night and three millimetres of watering.


Andrew Cooper, Clerk of the Course at Epsom Downs, said at 11.30am after walking the courses twice this morning: “It is Good ground from the mile and a half start to the bottom of the hill, while it is on the faster side of good up the home straight. I would say the top side of the home straight is Good to Firm. The temperature is about 23 degrees Celsius now and it is going to get hotter – up to 26 or 27 degrees Celsius. The courses will dry, as was shown yesterday on a much cooler and less sunny day.


“I am thinking that by the time the Investec Derby is off at 4.30pm, I am anticipating Good to Firm ground, but hopefully a decent, safe Good to Firm. We will update with any changes to the official going descriptions through the afternoon.


“I walked much of the course yesterday evening after racing and it was almost Good to Firm. The question was then how much water do we put on rather than do we water. We put on three millimetres from the mile and a half start to the six-furlong pole; left the next two furlongs, which is down the hill into the home straight which had been watered earlier in the week and we put three millimetres on the home straight down to the crossing on the pulling up area just by the Rubbing House pub.


“We started watering about 6.30pm yesterday and the team finished around 12.30am. Those same guys were in about 4.30am this morning. It is great credit and thanks to them. There were four guys involved in the watering – the two main ones were Craig Williamson, who is the Regional Estates Manager, and Chris Youngs, the Deputy Estates Manager, who is based here at Epsom all the time. We have six full-time groundstaff.”


GoingStick Readings

Derby course 7.6, Stands’ side straight course 7.9


Stalls’ position

5f – Stands’ side, 6f – Outside, 1m 4f – Centre, Remainder – Inside


Running rail

The inside running rail, which was dolled out by up to five yards from the mile marker to the winning post for racing yesterday, is back on its original line which means there is fresh ground on the inside for Investec Derby Day today.



It is going to be a dry and hot day today, with temperatures going up to 27 degrees.



1.8mm rain Tuesday.

5mm water to last two furlongs of the Hill on Tuesday afternoon.

2.8mm rain Wednesday.

5mm of water applied to rest of course during Wednesday.

3mm of water applied to all the mile and a half course, except from the six-furlong pole to the home straight crossing, on Friday night. 





3.10pm Investec Diomed Stakes

no2.  Master The World (vet’s certificate (bad scope))


3.45pm Investec ‘Dash’ Handicap

no2.  Stake Acclaim  (going)


5.50pm Investec Asset Management Handicap

no11.  Gabrial The Devil  (self certificate (stiff))

no13.  Tawny Port   (going)

no14.  Paddy Power  (self certificate (stiff))





Her Majesty The Queen


Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy



The Lord & Lady Vestey


The Lord & Lady de Mauley


Mr John and the Lady Carolyn Warren


Colonel & Mrs Toby Browne


Mrs Michael Gordon Lennox (Lady in Waiting)


Lieutenant Colonel Charles Richards (Equerry in Waiting)



The Queen will arrive by car down the straight at Epsom Downs at 12.50pm





The G1 Investec Derby is of course the highlight on day two of the Investec Derby Festival, but an excellent undercard, including two G3 contests provides punters with ample opportunities to bash the bookies.


In the opening £50,000 Investec Private Banking Handicap (2.00pm), the Mark Johnston-trained The Trader is a notable market mover, constricting in price to 4/1 from 7/1 with Unibet, official betting partner of the Investec Derby Festival. The three-year-old son of Mastercraftsman finished a creditable fifth at Newbury last time out.


Richard Hannon saddles Anna Nerium in the £90,000 G3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes (2.35pm) and the four-year-old daughter of Leroidesanimaux is a 9/2 shot from 5/1 with Unibet for the extended mile contest. She finished second on her return to turf at Goodwood on May 9 and was second in this event last year.


Andrew Balding, Silvestre de Sousa and King Power Racing team up with Bangkok in today’s Investec Derby and they could get on the scoresheet earlier on at Epsom Downs courtesy of Bye Bye Hong Kong, a solid 9/4 favourite from 11/4 in the £90,000 G3 Investec Diomed Stakes (3.05pm) over an extended mile. The three-year-old son of Street Sense is unbeaten this term, backing up a victory on the All-Weather at Chelmsford in April with a gutsy success in Listed company at Windsor last time out.


The £100,000 Investec ‘Dash’ (3.45pm) is arguably the world’s fastest five-furlong event and Irish raider Hathiq for trainer Denis Hogan and Rory Cleary is fancied to capture the contest. Unbeaten in his last two starts, the Exceed And Excel gelding was bought for just £3,000 in January out of Owen Burrows’ yard and is the 4/1 favourite with Unibet from 9/2.


The Andrew Balding-trained Genetics is the one for each-way money in the £50,000 Investec Out Of The Ordinary Handicap (5.15pm) over a mile and a half following a respectable fifth-placed effort on his return to action at Chester on May 12. Oisin Murphy’s mount is 11/1 from 12/1 with Unibet.


In the concluding race of the Investec Derby Festival, Investec Asset Management Handicap (5.50pm), Newmarket trainer Roger Varian, who recorded a double on day one of the meeting, is represented by Spanish City. Second at Newmarket on his seasonal debut, the six-year-old Exceed And Excel gelding is a 7/2 shot from 7/1 with Unibet.


Unibet Market Movers:


2.00pm Investec Private Banking Handicap – The Trader 4/1 from 7/1

2.35pm Princess Elizabeth Stakes – Anna Nerium 9/2 from 5/1

3.10pm Investec Diomed Stakes – Bye Bye Hong Kong 9/4 from 11/4

3.45pm Investec Dash – Hathiq 4/1 from 9/2

5.15pm Investec Out Of The Ordinary Handicap – Genetics 11/1 from 12/1

5.50pm Investec Asset Management Handicap – Spanish City 7/2 from 7/1












Her Majesty The Queen arrived at Epsom Downs Racecourse for the Investec Derby Day 2019 at 1pm, met by racecourse chairwoman Julia Budd.


Dressed in a sky blue dress, matching hat and floral sky blue and yellow dress, The Queen met the legendary Lester Piggott before she unveiled a life-size bronze statue of the
nine-time Derby-winning jockey.


It is the first of nine bronze statutes by portrait sculptor William Newton that will be installed at nine different racecourses around the country in honour of Piggott.


The idea was the brainchild of journalist Neil Morrice, who was joined by Osborne Studio Gallery’s Geoffrey Hughes and Brough Scott, and came to fruition thanks to the generous support of David and Christopher St George.


The Queen was at Epsom for all nine of Piggott’s Derby victories, and in 1957 he rode her own Carrozza to Oaks success.


The statue, located by the winners’ enclosure, met with Piggott’s approval.


“I think it has been a great idea, it’s marvellous, I am honoured,” said Piggott, whose family and friends were all on hand to watch the occasion. “I had seen the statue before today and it is very good. The Queen also seems in great form.”


In today’s Investec Derby, Piggott has gone for the Aidan O’Brien-trained pair of Broome and Sir Dragonet.





Horse Date of Birth Star Sign
Anthony Van Dyck May 19 Taurus
Bangkok April 27 Taurus
Broome February 8 Aquarius
Circus Maximus February 8 Aquarius
Hiroshima February 29 Pisces
Humanitarian February 29 Pisces
Japan February 22 Pisces
Line Of Duty February 17 Pisces
Madhmoon March 29 Aries
Norway April 18 Aries
Sir Dragonet February 9 Aquarius
Sovereign April 9 Aries
Telecaster February 9 Aquarius



Last year’s Derby winner Masar was born on April 16 so is an Aries





















Sectionals confirm Friday’s Surrey Stakes winner Space Blues a potential Group-race winner


Data released by Coursetrack for Friday’s racing confirm that Space Blues and Urban Icon registered particularly smart sectionals in the latter stages of the seven-furlong Listed Investec Surrey Stakes.


Space Blues, an impressive winner of a York handicap on his previous start, put himself firmly into the reckoning for Royal Ascot’s Jersey Stakes later this month with a neck victory over the 2,000 Guineas eighth, the pair a length and a half clear of Marie’s Diamond in a finish that saw the trio pull right away.


The winner completed the penultimate furlong in a time of just 10.32s (43.53 mph), following a fifth furlong of 10.51s. His seventh and last furlong was run in 11.03 seconds – the fastest final furlong of the day and fully 0.5 seconds quicker than that registered earlier by the two-year-old Oh Purple Reign, who appeared to fly the closing stages of the Woodcote Stakes in a strong-finishing second to Pinutabo.


Urban Icon was quicker than Space Blues in the fifth furlong (10.31s) but slower in both of the last two sections.


While five-year-old Defoe’s time of 2m 33.94s for the Investec Coronation Cup dipped under the Racing Post’s standard for the trip by 0.56s, the later Investec Oaks was run in an unexceptional 2m 36.09s (slow by 1.59s).


The sectionals reveal that the pace set by Communique through the first mile of the Coronation Cup was quicker than that set by Lavender’s Blue in the Oaks at every stage and that Defoe’s finishing effort – completing the final furlong in 11.87s, compared to runner-up Kew Gardens’ 12.24s and Oaks winner Anapurna’s 12.10s was particularly impressive, as was already apparent to the eye.









Kingsclere trainer Andrew Balding got his Investec Derby Day 2019 off to the best possible start with a four and a half length success by Le Don De Vie (5/1) in the Investec Private Banking Handicap over one mile and two furlongs. The three-year-old gelding was doubling up at Epsom Downs Racecourse after breaking his maiden over a mile at the Investec Spring Meeting on April 24.


“He’s tough and he’s pretty talented too, he’s got a pretty good way of galloping and Martin (Dwyer) gave him a perfect ride. You always have to be a bit worried when Silvestre looms upsides, but we had enough in the tank thankfully and he is going the right way,” said Balding of the three-year-old.


“We thought another furlong and a half would suit him today. He’s got ability, which is half the battle and he was bred by Kirsten Rausing ¬- she has bred some good horses over the years and he is a typical stamp of the type of horses she breeds.


“We always hoped he’d take a step forward, we liked him a lot last year, and he disappointed us on his last start so we gelded him and that has been the making of him,” added the trainer, who will be represented by Bangkok (9/1) in the Investec Derby.


“We might have a handicap on the agenda now, there is a chance we might go a mile and half now, but he is a pretty valuable horse now so we will have to see what interest there is.”


Le Don De Vie’s success is the 50th winner for owners Mick and Janice Mariscotti with the Baldings, the couple having had horses at the Kingsclere yard for 14 years.




The Andrew Balding-trained Le Don De Vie (5/1) made all of the running to land the opening race on day two of the Investec Derby Festival, the £50,000 Investec Private Banking Handicap.


Ridden by Martin Dwyer, the three-year-old son of Leroidesanimaux repelled the challenge of Mark Johnston’s The Trader (7/2) throughout the home straight to score by a length and a half in the 10-furlong contest.


Dwyer said: “Le Don De Vie has won on this track and is an improving horse. Andrew was very confident and the race was easy – doing the 8st 2lb was the hard bit for me! It’s worth it on days like this.


“It’s a 50th winner for the owners, Janice and Mick (Mariscotti), so I am delighted that I could ride it for them on Derby Day.


“Look at this place. There is no better place to be in the world than Epsom on Derby Day. It’s just brilliant.


“It’s quick ground but it’s nice. There’s no jar and I think every horse should handle it.”


Morning gamble The Trader flatters but is well held


Morning gamble The Trader (Silvestre de Sousa, 7/2 favourite) looked poised to deliver when moving upsides front-running Le Don De Vie (Martin Dwyer, 5/1) starting up the straight, the pair clear of the rest, but he could not get past the leader and was beaten four and a half lengths into second after hanging sharply right in the closing stages.


De Sousa said: “We gave it a good go, but the winner looks like he’s well in.”


Trainer Mark Johnston, who ran three in the race, said: “The Trader is obviously in fairly good form, but he couldn’t get past the winner and is a bit quirky. It’s just the way it goes.”


He added: “Victory Command has run very well in fourth and got the trip well, but is a bit of a bridesmaid these days. Nayef Road (fifth) didn’t seem to come down the hill all that well.”


The William Haggas-trained Alkaamel (Chris Hayes, 6/1) was a respectable third and Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: “Chris said he slipped coming out of the stalls, and although he stuck on well he had too much to do from where he was.


“He’s a bonny little horse and keeps improving. Back in November he was for the chop, as he was showing nothing at all, but we kept him and he’s already had a great year. There’s a good handicap in him, but not on a track like this.”




Martin Dwyer, rider of the 5/1 four and a half-length winner Le Don De Vie, said: “It is quick, but with no jar.”


Silvestre de Sousa, jockey of the second placed 7/2 favourite The Trader, said: “Firm.”


Chris Hayes, partner 6/1 third Alkaamel, said: “Beautiful quick ground.”


Ryan Moore, rider of Nayef Road, said: “Quick ground.”


Joe Fanning, partner of Victory Command, said: “Fast ground.”


Barry McHugh, on board Red Hot, said: “It is on the quick side of good.”


John Egan, jockey of Politicise, said: “Good quick ground.”


Hollie Doyle, on board Kheros, said: “Quick ground.”




The £100,000 Investec ‘Dash’ (3.45pm) is one of the finest sights in racing and there is cause to think that today’s renewal could see a new course record for the world’s fastest five furlongs.


The course record was set in the 2012 renewal of the Investec ‘Dash’ by the John Best-trained Stone Of Folca. The 50/1 shot won the contest in 53.69 seconds.


With the straight course at Epsom Downs being described as riding Good to Firm this afternoon, there is a possibility of a new record being set today.


A maximum field of 20 sprinters line up for the cavalry charge which is downhill almost all the way.


The market for this year’s renewal is headed by Irish raider Hathiq, trained by Denis Hogan and the mount of Rory Cleary.


Other horses in the contest include three-time winner Caspian Prince (Michael Appleby/Alistair Rawlinson) and 2013 scorer Duke Of Firenze (David Griffiths/Nathan Evans).




The name of an Investec Derby runner is written on a wishing well at The Amato Pub in Epsom before the race.


The famous pub named after the 1838 Derby winner now forms part of The Grumpy Mole franchise.


This year, the name etched onto the well is the Andrew Balding-trained Bangkok.


Unbeaten this season, the King Power Racing-owned colt defeated fellow Investec Derby contender Telecaster in a Doncaster maiden on March 30 before capturing the G3 Classic Trial at Sandown on April 26.













Richard Hannon registered a landmark 1,000th winner when Tom Marquand brought 2018 runner-up Anna Nerium (9/2) from last to first to land the G3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes by a length and a quarter from Awesometank.


Hannon, who took over the licence from his father Richard Hannon senior in 2014 and was champion trainer in his first season with 206 winners, has had his eye on the milestone for a few weeks.


He said: “It’s lovely to get it in a significant race and she’s a very good filly who was unlucky in this race last year. Dad’s not here – he was 74 two days ago and is at home with tears in his eyes according to mum – but I’ve got the rest of the family here.”


Hannon enjoyed Classic success with Night Of Thunder in the 2014 2,000 Guineas and again with Billesdon Brook in the 1,000 Guineas four years later, and he has also enjoyed major G1 wins with the likes of Barney Roy and Olympic Glory.


He added: “I think Dad finished up with around 4,500 successes, so I’ve got a long way to go, but 1,000 is a lot of winners and I’ll be delighted if I end up with half as many as him.


“I’m delighted to win this one for Jeanette McCreery, who bred Billesdon Brook and has been such a good supporter along with her late husband Bob. We don’t make champions – she does. We just get them fit.


“I’m not sure Anna Nerium loved the track, but she dealt with it. Royal Ascot isn’t out of the question, but I’d love to think she could go close in something like the Prix Rothschild at Deauville.”




Richard Hannon registered his 1,000th career winner after Anna Nerium (9/2) captured the £90,000 G3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom Downs.


Ridden by Tom Marquand, the four-year-old daughter of Dubawi swooped late to capture the extended mile contest by a length and a quarter.


William Haggas’ Awesometank (3/1) was second.


Anna Nerium and Marquand finished second in last year’s renewal and the jockey was delighted to win the contest and provide Hannon with a personal milestone.


The jockey said: “That was a bit of redemption for Anna Nerium. Last year in this race, she was slow away and got squeezed out early. I felt I was unlucky not to win that time around.


“That was playing on my mind the whole time today. I didn’t want to rush her early and I knew she would handle the camber and it worked.


“It is very satisfying to win today and it’s Richard’s 1,000th winner as well. We were talking about it this morning and he has managed it in about five and a half years, which is about six or seven years quicker than anybody.


“It is a phenomenal achievement for him and for a pretty special filly in Anna Nerium to do it for him is pretty sweet.


“I adore this filly. Anna Nerium was my first G3 winner (Salisbury, September 7, 2017) so it’s very special to win on her again.”




Second placed Awesometank, sent off at 3/1, was overhauled in the closing stages of the extended mile G3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes by 9/2 winner Anna Nerium, who the William Haggas-trained filly had beaten by a head on her latest outing in a Listed contest at Goodwood over a mile.


Haggas commented afterwards: “She ran very well.


“The winner overturned the form in a Group race which is a little disappointing, but maybe we will get her back.”


Jockey Doyle added: “It was a really good run. I am chuffed with her. We got a nice split up the rail and she hit the line well.”




Jockey Ryan Moore played a late card on the Cheveley Park Stud-owned Veracious (2/1f) in the Group Three Princess Elizabeth Stakes over an extended mile, but Frankel four-year-old filly was just denied and finished third, beaten a neck for second by Awesometank.


It was the filly’s second start of 2019, first time out this season she finished fourth in the Group Two Dahlia Stakes.


“It was a better performance than at Newmarket last time, and I am surprised they made her favourite as she had the winners’ penalty,” said trainer Sir Michael Stoute. “I think she is progressing, she didn’t stop galloping. She was third in the Nassau Stakes (1m1f197yds) last year and I think that might be her best trip. We’ve no plans as yet.”




The official going for all courses at Epsom Downs was changed to


Good to Firm


after the first race.










Sir Michael has long been acknowledged as the master when it comes to improving older horses, but if further proof were needed it was provided when Zaaki (Ryan Moore, 11/8 favourite) stepped up again on last month’s Listed win at Ascot Leicester for a first success at G3 level in the Investec Diomed Stakes.


The Leroidesanimeaux four-year-old finished strongly to beat Oh This Is Us by a length in a new course record of 1m 40.46s, taking 0.29s off the long-standing record of 1m 40.75s for the extended mile set by Sylva Honda in the corresponding race in 1991.


Stoute was delighted and said: “He ran some very good races last year but gelding hasn’t harmed him and you would have to say he has suddenly progressed. He’s a powerful horse who still looks like a colt, and he’s got mile and a quarter form so I didn’t think the trip would be a problem.


“I felt he might be having a little difficulty with the track, but he’s still won a Group 3 at Epsom. We try at home, but you can’t practise coming round Tattenham Corner and a lot of horses would cope better if they came here again in a month’s time.”


He added: “This looked the right race for him after Ascot, but we’ll have to stop and think about where we go next now. I’d have no fears about going back up to a mile and a quarter though.”




Ryan Moore kicked home a welcome winner at the Investec Derby Festival 2019 having suffering plenty of near misses over the two-day meeting so far, including when a neck second in the Investec Oaks aboard the Aidan O-Brien-trained Pink Dogwood.


Moore steered the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Zaaki, the 11/8 favourite, to a length success in the Group Three Investec Diomed Stakes.


It was the gelded son of Leroidesanimaux’s second win in succession, his first at Group level with the four-year-old having won over a Listed race mile at Ascot last time.


“He is a horse that has got better this year,” said Moore. “It probably wasn’t his track, although they are saying it’s a track record. He won nicely at Ascot, when he beat a very good horse, and was probably entitled to beat these today.”




Richard Hannon praised the performance of Oh This Is Us (8/1), who finished a creditable length second to 11/8 favourite Zaaki, trained by Sir Michael Stoute in the £90,000 G3 Investec Diomed Stakes over an extended mile.


Hannon said: “Oh This Is Us is my favourite horse. My Dad trained for 40 years and I’ve been training for four – he is our only winner outside Europe (Meydan, February 17, 2018).


“He is a lovely horse and he’s run another good race today.”


The William Jarvis-trained Chief Ironside (16/1) was a further length and a quarter back in third.


Jarvis commented: “I am really delighted with him. He has got a big one in him.


“He just got caught out – that hill has caught him out in the last 100 yards. If it was a mile maybe he would have won, but there are no excuses.


“The winner is a good horse and progressive, a typical Sir Michael Stoute horse.


“I think we will go for the Royal Hunt Cup (at Royal Ascot later this month) next.”


Jockey Jason Watson added: “Chief Ironside ran a cracker. I think the hill just caught him out a little bit towards the end.”









David Griffiths recorded his first victory in the £100,000 Investec ‘Dash’ as Ornate (33/1) captured the world’s fastest five-furlong event under Phil Dennis.


The six-year-old Bahamian Bounty gelding came across from the outside stall two to soon take the lead and held on gamely in the closing stages to score by a neck.


The Scott Dixon-trained Dark Shot (14/1) was second, with Robert Cowell’s Blue De Vega (25/1) a neck behind in third. Eeh Bah Gum (9/1), trained by Tim Easterby, was a further head back in fourth.


South Yorkshire-based Griffths who also ran Duke Of Firenze, who finished seventh said: “I’m delighted.


“We probably fancied Duke Of Firenze a bit more as he was drawn on the stands’ side rail (stall 19) which is usually the place you need to be.


“Ornate was drawn completely the other side (stall 2), but I thought he was seriously well handicapped off a mark of 99.


“He has so much speed, but I didn’t expect him to be tanking along at that speed as it is the quickest five furlongs here. To travel like that at Epsom was very impressive. I’m chuffed to bits and just over the moon to win this race again.


“Ornate was wrong last year, but we’ve got him back since and it’s just been about taking little steps with him.


“We ran him in the Duke Of York last time out and that was a fact finding mission. I think in time he will be a Group horse, but he was was ninth in that race, so we decided to go back handicapping and put him in the Dash.


“Group races will probably be more for him next year. The ability is definitely there and he is seriously quick.


“He had good form over six furlongs when trained by Robert Cowell, but I think if we try to campaign him over six that might make him slow. There are more opportunities over six furlongs, but if you campaign him over that trip, you will take away his natural speed.


“It only takes less than 60 seconds, so it’s OK – you only have to worry for about a minute, which I am happy with!”


The winning time was a fast 54.00s, just outside the 53.69s course record.


Jockey Phil Dennis enjoys unforgettable first Epsom ride


Phil Dennis had to pinch himself after making nearly all to win the £100,000 Investec ‘Dash’ Handicap on David Griffiths’ ultra speedy Ornate, just seven days after another career highlight on stable-mate Duke Of Firenze in another valuable handicap at York. It was his first ride at Epsom Downs.


Ornate had to overcome stall 2 in a field of 19, but was soon in command and was always holding on from Dark Shot and Blue De Vega. Duke Of Firenze, a former winner of the race when trained by Sir Michael Stoute whom Griffiths considered much better drawn in stall 19, close to the stands rail, finished well but was only seventh.


Dennis, 22, said: “That was a lot of fun. To be fair he’s such a straightforward horse. He is literally ‘jump and go’ – that’s his style.  He’s in top gear the whole way but he just keeps going. He goes a relentless gallop the whole way.


“I thought the draw might ruin our chance, but he took a length out of them out of the stalls, and although he wasn’t quite quick enough to lead Caspian Prince in the early stages the further he goes the more he gallops them into the ground. I never felt like his tank was emptying and that was a good performance.”


He added: “It was my first ride here and that’s some feeling. I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet, but he’s been some horse for me. It’s my first year without a claim, so I needed something like that. Last week on Duke Of Firenze was my highlight at the time, but this has just blown it out of the water.”




Paul Dixon, the former CEO of the Horsemen’s Group and father of trainer Scott Dixon, was representing his son at Epsom Racecourse today – Dixon Jnr is in a Chesterfield hospital with wife Rebecca who is currently in labour expecting the birth of their first child.


There is some good news heading to the hospital as the Dixon-trained Dark Shot (14/1) ran a game race to finish second beaten just a neck in the Investec ‘Dash’ over five furlongs. The six-year-old gelding has run 36 times and has finished second nine times, including first time out this year at Investec’s Spring Meeting and last weekend at York.


“We thought we might get a winner on Derby Day and our first grandchild on the same day, but it wasn’t to be,” smiled Dixon. “This is one of those unbelievable horses who has bags of ability, but keeps finishing second. There was loads of pace on, I don’t know what the time is but they seemed to go lickety-split.


“Well done to David Griffiths – he is great at getting these older horses running.  He beat us with Duke Of Firenze and I said ‘I bet you beat us at Epsom’ – and he did!”


Jockey Paddy Mathers was equally rueful with the second-placing.


“I was off the bridle all the way and I had to sit on him a bit before I asked him a question, and we were just beaten again. We had a clear run through so no excuses,” said Mathers. “The ground is lively, but I am really happy with the way he has run – it is just second again!”




A fast renewal of the Investec ‘Dash’ Handicap saw Blue De Vega (25/1), who was drawn in seven, and trained in Newmarket by Robert Cowell, come home in third behind winner Ornate (33/1) and second Dark Shot (14/1).


Ed Bethell, assistant trainer to Cowell, commented: “He wasn’t drawn great on the outside, but has run a blinder.


“He was a little unlucky in running, he got checked right when he had the momentum going – if he hadn’t got checked he might just have got there.


“It is just one of those things and you have luck in this race.


“I don’t know where he will go next, Royal Ascot possibly. I don’t know which race, he would go for. You would be looking like something like the Wokingham Handicap (six furlongs and held on the Saturday of Royal Ascot later this month) because there are no five-furlong races.


“He has a big one in him somewhere.”


Jockey Martin Dwyer added: “He ran really well. It was a difficult draw and I had to ride him for a bit of luck and he has run a blinder.”










Aidan O’Brien became the joint winning-most trainer in Investec Derby history after 13/2 shot Anthony Van Dyck provided the master of Ballydoyle with a seventh success in Britain’s premier Classic and richest race.


Ridden by Seamie Heffernan, enjoying his first win on his 12th Derby ride, the three-year-old son of Galileo ran on gamely in the closing stages on the far-side rail to deny the Kevin Prendergast-trained Madhmoon (10/1) by a half-length.


Anthony Van Dyck’s stable companions Japan (20/1), Broome (4/1), Sir Dragonet (11/4f), Circus Maximus (10/1) were third, fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.


O’Brien joins Fred Darling, John Porter and Robert Robson as a seven-time winner of the world’s greatest Flat race.


The Ballydoyle maestro has won the Investec Derby with Galileo (2001), High Chaparral (2002), Camelot (2012), Ruler Of The World (2013), Australia (2014), Wings Of Eagles (2017) and Anthony Van Dyck (2019).


O’Brien said: “It’s incredible, I am so delighted for everybody. I am privileged to be part of the team with everybody. The lads put so much in – John and Sue, Michael and Doreen, Derrick and Gay – they put so much in day in, day out.
“Everyone that works in Ballydoyle and Coolmore – there are so many people. If I mention everybody, I will forget but there are people from the ground right up to the riders, the people in the office, the farriers, the vets, the people that do the stables day in and day out, that do the farms. There are so many people involved that I would like to thank.
“Patrick rides this horse out all the time and does a great job, Andrew is in charge of him, Sumi, who leads him up, and John – they are incredible people. I am so privileged and delighted and grateful to them.


“They were all there having a chance and I knew Kevin’s horse was there – I knew that Kevin would have his horse in tip-top shape and he was a very good horse. We were just hoping and we were just so delighted to be involved in that part of the race.
“Seamus gave him a great ride. This races are so competitive and so tough that, until they pass the line – as we saw yesterday, you are never sure. I am so delighted for everybody.
“Seamus has been placed for so many times. He has been working for us for so long and is such a special fellow. He has always been a world-class rider. We are so privileged to work with him and grateful every day, day in, day out. I am so delighted for him.”




Aidan O’Brien became the joint winning-most trainer in Investec Derby history after 13/2 chance Anthony Van Dyck captured the 2019 renewal of the £1.625 million event under jockey Seamie Heffernan, enjoying his first win on his 12th Investec Derby ride.


O’Brien said: “It’s unbelievable. I’m so delighted and privileged to be working with everybody at Ballydoyle and Coolmore day in day out – they put so much effort it.


“The Derby is such a tough race to win. All the way down the straight, we had a big team of horses challenging to win. We won the race, but we didn’t even have the second!


“Seamus gave him a great ride and I’m so delighted for Seamus who has been there for a long time. He has ridden placed horses in the Derby, so it is great for him to win the race.


“I’m just so delighted for everyone. I know how tough a race this is. We do not put any of our Derby horses together at home. We just try to have them at their best for when they get to the racecourse.


“The boss [John Magnier] always says that the Derby is the Holy Grail and it is the backbone of the thoroughbred. This is the ultimate test.


“You don’t know what horse is going to handle the track, the preliminaries, whether they will have the stamina.


“Anthony Van Dyck is a very solid horse. He danced every dance last year and did everything we asked of him. He ran a very good trial when winning at Lingfield. He passed all the tests to be fair to him.


“I’m very privileged to be a small part of a great team.”


The three-year-old son of Galileo knuckled down gamely in the closing stages to repel the challenge of Kevin Prendergast’s Madhmoon (10/1) to win Britain’s premier Classic and richest race by a half-length.


His stable companions Japan (20/1), Broome (4/1), Sir Dragonet (11/4f) and Circus Maximus (10/1) were third, fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

O’Brien joins O’Brien joins Fred Darling, John Porter and Robert Robson as a seven-time winner of the world’s greatest Flat race.


The Ballydoyle maestro has won the Investec Derby with Galileo (2001), High Chaparral (2002), Camelot (2012), Ruler Of The World (2013), Australia (2014), Wings Of Eagles (2017) and Anthony Van Dyck (2019).


Team player Heffernan celebrates first Derby win


Seamie Heffernan added a long-awaited first win in the Investec Derby to his 2012 Investec Oaks win on Was and eight Irish Classics when bringing Anthony Van Dyck (13/2) from off the pace up the far rail to score by half a length from Madhmoon, who just got the better of three stable-mates of the winner in a blanket finish for second. It was his 12th Investec Derby ride.


Heffernan is the definition of a team player and his association with Aidan O’Brien, who had no fewer than seven runners this time and was winning the race for a joint-record seventh occasion, goes back so far that he was on board Anthony Van Dyck’s sire Galileo when he won his ‘prep’ race at Leopardstown 18 years ago, although not in the Derby, the Irish Derby, or any of his other races.


He had been second before in the Investec Derby on Fame And Glory in 2009 and At First Sight in 2010, and there was no mistaking what it meant to him.


He said: “I wouldn’t be able to win it if it wasn’t for the firm I am with. I had to take a hold from two down, which probably helped as it’s hard pushing the whole way down the straight. He’s a Galileo, so I knew that he would be with me when I needed him.


“I was happy enough to be comfortable. I was following Ryan (Moore, on favourite Sir Dragonet, who finished fifth), which I thought was the big danger, but it was a big ask for him on only his third run. My lad has danced every dance and been running up the back ends of horses over seven furlongs. I am happy.”


He added: “It means a lot as I’m into the last ten years of my riding career. I’ve been around plenty of Derby winners and I rode his father in a trial and won it. I’ve seen plenty of them and I’ve ridden in plenty of Derbys, so it means a lot to win it.


“I’m always confident riding for Aidan. It doesn’t matter if they are favourite or a big price – he trains them all for the big day. Aidan trains them all for the Derby and some of them handle it and some of them don’t. That’s just the way horse racing is.


“I haven’t had to take a pull going to the two pole and wait for a run in a long time, so I was confident I was going to get to them.”




Wayne Lordan, third on Japan, said: “A little bit babyish on the track, but he got it together and came home well. I am delighted with him.”


Donnacha O’Brien, fourth on Broome, said: “Ran well.”


Ryan Moore, fifth on Sir Dragonet, said: “He ran a very good race for a horse of his experience. Hopefully he will come on for that.”


Frankie Dettori, sixth on Circus Maximus, said: “He ran OK. He didn’t really get on with the track.”


Robert Havlin, seventh on Humanitarian, said: “He ran a nice race, I just had to help him down the hill a little bit, but when he met the rising ground he finished off well. He will come on a bundle for the run.”


Jamie Spencer, eighth on Norway, said: “He ran well.”


James Doyle, ninth on Line Of Duty, said: “He just flattened out. Maybe he needs easier ground.”


Padraig Beggy, 10th on Sovereign, said: “He ran a nice race.”


Brett Doyle, 11th on Hiroshima, said: “Good. As expected really.”


Silvestre de Sousa, on Bangkok, said: “A bit flat.”


Oisin Murphy, on Telecaster, said: “He ran flat.”


The 240th Investec Derby – Full Finishing Order

Group 1, £1,625,000 total prize fund. Epsom Downs, 4.30pm, Saturday, June 1, 2019, 1m 4f 6y. For three-year-old colts (9st) and fillies (8st 11lb). Horses will only be eligible to run provided they have attained a BHA rating of 80 or higher. Horses who do not qualify for a rating may also be eligible providing the BHA Handicapper is satisfied that the horse’s racecourse performances up to and including the day before confirmation merit a provisional assessment of 80 or more. Horses who have not run will not be eligible. Entries closed December 5, 2017, first scratchings deadline March 5 (96 remained), second entries deadline April 2 (14 second entries), second scratchings deadline noon May 21 (18 remain), five-day confirmations & £85,000 supplementary stage May 27 (13 remain & two supplementary entries, Sir Dragonet & Telecaster – 15 go forward), final declarations May 30 (13 declared runners).


1) (7) ANTHONY VAN DYCK (IRE) Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE Seamie Heffernan 13/2

2 (6) MADHMOON (IRE) Hamdan Al Maktoum Kevin Prendergast IRE Chris Hayes 10/1

3 (11) JAPAN Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE Wayne Lordan 20/1

4)(8) BROOME (IRE) Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE

Donnacha O’Brien 4/1

5) (13) SIR DRAGONET (IRE) Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE Ryan Moore 11/4 Fav

6) (5) CIRCUS MAXIMUS (IRE) c/p Flaxman Stables/Sue Magnier/Michael Tabor/Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE Frankie Dettori 10/1

7) (9) HUMANITARIAN (USA) HH Sheikh Zayed bin Mohammed Racing John Gosden

Robert Havlin 33/1

8) (10) NORWAY (IRE) c/p Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE Jamie Spencer 33/1

9) (1) LINE OF DUTY (IRE) c/p Godolphin Charlie Appleby  James Doyle 25/1

10) (4) SOVEREIGN (IRE) Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE Padraig Beggy 50/1

11) (3) HIROSHIMA Graham Smith-Bernal John Ryan Brett Doyle  100/1

12) (12) BANGKOK (IRE) King Power Racing Co Ltd Andrew Balding  Silvestre de Sousa 9/1

13) (2) TELECASTER Castle Down Racing Hughie Morrison Oisin Murphy 5/1


Time: 2m 33.38s

Distances: ½, nose, sh, sh, 4½, 1¾, sh, 1, 1¼, 2¼, 1¼, 6

Tote Win: £8.30 Places: £2.70, £3.60, £5.90 Exacta: £83.70 Trifecta: £1,317.50

Breeder: Orpendale, Chelston & Wynatt

Breeder: Galileo (IRE) – Believe’N'Succeed (AUS) (Exceed And Excel (AUS))









Seamus Heffernan: “Anthony Van Dyck is an uncomplicated horse, I was always happy, I decided to go down the inside, I needed a bit of luck and he came back on the bridle and switched in.


“I got beaten on the favourite [Fame And Glory, 2009] one year, then came out the following and finished second on a 150/1 shot, Aidan’s horses are capable of running above of what people think.


“It means a lot but I have been around good horses since I moved to Ballydoyle. They are all proper men there, if it doesn’t go on to plan, they take it on the chin. That’s the way it has always been.”


MV Magnier: “The lads put a lot of thought into it, it is the most important race of the year, it is what we always strive for. I am just delighted for Seamus – he works so hard he really deserves it.


“Aidan was pretty strong on this horse, he is by Galileo and out of an Exceed And Excel mare and is half-brother to a Champion. Winning the Derby is everything, it is a great result. In fairness most of them ran a blinder.“


Aidan O’Brien: “Obviously, we are so privileged to be a small part of this, all of these people that put so much in on a daily, weekly and yearly basis.  I can’t tell you how delighted I am – they all came down the straight together and we still weren’t second! it just goes to show how competitive it is, Kevin’s horse ran an unbelievable race – he had his horse in unbelievable shape.


“I am so delighted for Seamus, and it is a dream come true to win any of these races. They are so tough to win every year. That is why we run so many horses, we always feel they are bred, reared and we try and keep them sound to compete in this race. It is the ultimate test in every way, it tests their speed, their stamina and then their mentality as well.


“John always says it is the ultimate test of the thoroughbred and that is why we come here and try and compete every year It is very tough and I can’t tell you how privileged we are.


“Seamus is an unbelievable fella, he is a world-class jockey, always has been, we’ve known each other a long time, before we went to Ballydoyle we worked together. Seamus has ridden so many placed horses, so many big horses in so many races, won so many top races all over the world. Every day, day in and day out, he puts it all in, he is really experienced as a horseman and jockey he is second to none. And as a fella – we are so delighted for him.”


Seamus Heffernan: “I was always confident! The best horse, if he has the speed, ideally I wanted to be two off the fence and three back, but I was two off the fence, then I was one off the fence and when Ryan took my position I was happy enough because I knew he’d take me wherever I wanted to go.”


Heffernan continued: “I had to snatch up at the two pole and switch left, I was happy enough to take that inside path today, but I was always confident.


“Stall seven is a good place to be and it is a lucky number; it is a lucky number for this firm (Pour Moi won for Coolmore in 2011).”


“I am probably lucky I don’t have the choice [about which horse I ride]! When you have to make the choice, if you get it right 51 per cent of time you are winning. There is no other yard in Ireland from which I would have gone around in the Derby 12 times. I am just happy to taking part on very well-bred horses.”


Aidan O’Brien: “Obviously, everyone knows there has only been one Galileo and there probably will never be another. What he has done in 20 years since he won the Derby and what his colts have done and what his fillies are showing as broodmares is incredible, it is just a built-in thing with determination. As you saw with Seamus’s horse today, their heads go down, it is just a very, very unusual trait with horses and we train a lot of horses every year and it is an inwardly thing in their minds and they just won’t give up. It is just a very strange thing.


“Anthony Van Dyck is a very solid horse, he had very good form last year and we always thought he was going to be a middle-distance performer. He is the horse that John [Magnier] said to me he thought had the profile [to be a Derby horse].


“He ran at lots of tracks last year, he went to America and he had a real hard profile. There is nowhere to hide out there and anything could have happened. He has passed the ultimate test now and it is only his second run of the year.


“It is incredible to be in the position to be a record holder, we never thought we’d be in this position. We have to pinch ourselves everyday, we are working with the best people, with the most incredible horses with the unbelievable pedigrees and physiques, in an incredible facility. The lads put in so much day in and day out, they know more about the horses than we do. We are just in a very unique position and we are learning a lot from it.


“The lads will decide the next step as always, but we thought coming here that the Irish Derby will be the next step for the winner. We always go back to Ireland, it is a nice progression. The Irish Derby is a three-year-old only race and after that, they have to take on older horses.”




The 2019 Investec Derby saw an all Irish-trained first six for the first time in the premier Classic’s 240-year history – with Anthony Van Dyck beating Madhmoon, Japan, Broome, Sir Dragonet and Circus Maximus.


Aidan O’Brien, the winning trainer, was responsible for five of those six horses, the exception being Madhmoon, who is trained by 86-year-old Kevin Prendergast. O’Brien now becomes the joint most successful trainer in the Investec Derby on seven victories, sharing the title with Fred Darling, John Porter and Robert Robson.


Anthony Van Dyck is the third horse to win the Investec Derby from stall seven since starting stalls were introduced in the premier Classic in 1967.


Anthony Van Dyck won the Lingfield Derby Trial on his seasonal return last month and becomes the first winner of that trial to go on and triumph in the Investec Derby since High-Rise in 1998.


He is the 48th Investec Derby winner to be sired by a past Investec Derby victor. Anthony Van Dyck is by Galileo, winner of the 2001 Investec Derby, who is now responsible for four Investec Derby successes. This one follows on from Australia 2014, Ruler Of The World 2013, and New Approach 2008. Galileo thus joins Montjeu, Sir Peter Teazle, Cyllene, Waxy, and Blandford as the joint most successful sires in Derby history.


This is the eighth Investec Derby success for a Coolmore partnership, with Anthony Van Dyck owned by Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith. Coolmore partnerships already held the record as being the most successful owners in Derby history. The previous success came from Galileo 2001, High Chaparral 2002, Pour Moi 2011, Camelot 2012, Ruler Of The World 2013, Australia 2014, and Wings of Eagles 2017.




Investec Derby winning rider Seamie Heffernan has been banned for two days for careless riding.


46-year-old Heffernan, who partnered Anthony Van Dyck to success in Britain’s premier Classic and richest race, was suspended for making a manoeuvre to his left, causing stable companion Circus Maximus to be taken off his intended line.







Soto sizzles to possible Royal Ascot date with win in £50,000 handicap


Soto Sizzler (9/2, Jimmy Quinn) might bid to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner Dash Of Spice by winning again at Royal Ascot after beating Byron Flyer a length and a half in the Investec Out Of The Ordinary Handicap.


However, while trainer William Knight is convinced there is more to come he has one eye on a G3 at Glorious Goodwood and wants to ensure that the four-year-old sees the season out, so he will not commit to the Royal meeting unless he is happy that his progressive Mastercraftsman four-year-old recovers in time.


Knight said: “I was thinking about the good mile and six handicap at Goodwood, but Jimmy thinks we should stay at a mile and a half so the Group 3 Glorious Stakes might come under consideration. I think there’s definitely another handicap in him first though, and last year’s winner went on to win the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap at Royal Ascot.


“That’s a race we’ve thought about, but at the same time you want him to last the whole season and it might be a bit hard on him. We’ll see.”


Knight had been concerned about Epsom’s quickening ground, but he need not have worried. He said: “He coped on it absolutely fine. He’s now won at Goodwood and here, so maybe he likes that sort of track, but it would be very interesting to see him on a flat, galloping track like Ascot. He’s always worked very well at home.”




The William Knight-trained Soto Sizzler captured the £50,000 Investec Out Of The Ordinary Handicap.


The 9/2 shot, ridden by Jimmy Quinn, ran on strongly in the closing stages of the 12-furlong event to score by a length and a half.


Soto Sizzler also scored over course and distance at the Investec Spring Meeting in April.


Quinn said: “Soto Sizzler won well.


“He won here earlier on this year so he likes Epsom.


“They went quick early on and we got steadier as we went down the hill.


“I knew he would get the trip, he kept quickening throughout the home straight and I knew it was going to take a fair one to beat him.”


Watchable some consolation for Murphy after frustrating two days


Oisin Murphy ended a disappointing two days on a high when steering the David O’Meara veteran Watchable (8/1) to a three-and-a-half length success over top-weight Lake Volta (4/1 joint favourite) in an Investec Asset Management Handicap in which nothing else threatened to land a blow.


Murphy, whose mother had come over from Ireland to see him ride in the Investec Derby, finished no closer than third in seven previous rides at the 2019 Investec Derby Festival, and Telecaster, his mount in the big race and supplemented on Monday at a cost of £85,000, finished last of 13, when the 5/1 third favourite.


However Watchable, who he was riding for the first time, gave him something to smile about with a thoroughly dominant display which saw him smash Mac Gille Eoin’s 10-year-old track record for six furlongs by a full second with a blistering 1m 6.20s.


Murphy said: “He’s a very tough old horse and he tries really hard. It’s testament to David O’Meara and his team that he’s won so well, and I’m just so pleased to ride a winner here as it’s a very important festival.”


Reflecting on Telecaster’s run, he said: “He did everything right today and we wouldn’t change anything. Hughie [Morrison] had him in great order and I was very happy at the start, but although we got a great position he’d had four races in quick succession. Hopefully we’ll see him back to his best later in the year. He’s a very good horse and ran the fastest final furlong in the Dante.”









Investec Derby Day saw the number of ticketed racegoers come to around 36,000, in line with the sold-out 2018 Investec Derby Day.


The Queen’s Stand, Lonsdale, and Upper Tattenham Enclosures were all sold out again today.


Tens of thousands more watched the 240th Investec Derby, the premier Classic and Britain’s richest race, from The Hill, enjoying a splendid sunny afternoon.


Yesterday’s Investec Ladies’ Day had an excellent attendance of just over 28,000.


This was about 2,000 more than in 2018, with The Queen’s Stand once again sold out.


The sun broke through in mid-afternoon to put the final touches to an excellent afternoon of racing featuring the fillies’ Classic, the Investec Oaks, and the G1 Investec Coronation Cup.




Epsom Downs Racecourse Clerk Of The Course Andrew Cooper reflected on an excellent two days of action at the Investec Derby Festival.


The feature race of the meeting, the £1.625 million G1 Investec Derby served up a thrilling finish as Anthony Van Dyck provided trainer Aidan O’Brien with a seventh victory in Britain’s premier Classic and richest race. The master of Ballydoyle is now the joint winning-most trainer in the race’s 240 year history, whilst 46-year-old Seamie Heffernan, having his 12th ride in the event, was winning the Investec Derby for the first time.


Cooper said: “The Derby was an excellent contest with a thrilling finish. It has been a fabulous day.


“Clerks of the Course sometimes worry about track records as they think the ground must be very quick. I just think we had an ideal combination to break track records today. The ground was not rattling, but it was dry, good ground which horses could let themselves down on.


“Over these two days, we see the best horses that will run in Epsom all year in high-quality races and so track records will come under threat.


“We had a track record in the Diomed Stakes and also in the last, the Investec Asset Management Handicap (For The Tokyo Trophy) by a second and we nearly had one in the ‘Dash’.


“From a track perspective there has to be huge congratulations to Craig Williamson and Chris Youngs – Regional Estates Manager and Deputy Estates Manager Respectively. Whatever the ground is like is down to them and their hard work.


“It’s been a very enjoyable couple of days and there was a positive, happy atmosphere during both days and also after racing. The weather has been absolutely fabulous today and we got up to around 25 degrees today with a little bit of breeze which helped.


“It was my 24th year here and this place gets a real grip on you, as does the Derby. I hope and think I’m better at the job than I was 24 years ago. You never stop learning and last night was as much as we have ever watered when we put three millimetres down.


“Every year is different in terms of the ground and the build-up to the race. As a team I think we felt we had the track in a good place coming into the season. We’ve had a good Investec Spring Meeting and a good Investec Derby Festival in terms of the ground.


“We’ve set chafer grub traps this year. They were an attempt for us to monitor volume and location. We are actually spraying for them this coming week. Today you’ve had the beetle emerge and lay it eggs, so this is the time strike. I thought we would be swarming with them today. I think we learnt from the treatment we did last year and we are more on top of it. Those traps were there to obviously prevent that.”





















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