Monday, June 29, 2009

O'Brien bags seventh Irish Derby

Fame And Glory romped home in the Irish Derby to give trainer Aidan O'Brien a record seventh win in the race.

The 8-11 favourite, ridden by Johnny Murtagh, took up the running from stablemate Golden Sword (11-1) with 300m to go and won by five lengths.

Third place at The Curragh went to the Aga Khan's Mourayan (8-1), ridden by Mick Kinane for trainer John Oxx.

Kinane was to have ridden Derby winner Sea The Stars for Oxx but the colt was withdrawn because of the soft going.

Fame And Glory, beaten into second place by Sea The Stars at Epsom, took full advantage of his rival's absence to give Murtagh his third Irish Derby success.

Sea The Stars next races in Saturday's Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park and is a 5-4 favourite.

This is like our Royal Ascot and a great champion always wins it
Johnny Murtagh

Fame And Glory's odds for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in October have been cut from 12-1 to 6-1 with Sea The Stars still favourite at 4-1.

O'Brien said of his winning horse: "He's got a lot of tactical speed and was very quick to get into his stride.

"It's unbelievable to win this race again. When there is expectation, like there was today, it's always tense - but this is marvellous.

"Johnny was over the moon and he has won very snugly. He has improved with every run and came back very well."

Murtagh said: "This is like our Royal Ascot and a great champion always wins it. It was a good, solid gallop all the way - he relaxed very well.

"I thought when I worked him earlier in the week he was going to do something like this.

"I rode (Irish Derby winners) Sinndar and Alamshar and they went on to better things, and this horse has a similar profile."

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