The Aidan O’Brien Sovereign pulled off a huge shock in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh this afternoon.
Under Epsom Derby-winning rider Padraig Beggy, who was recording his first winner of the season, Sovereign was returned at 33/1 as he looked to bounce back from an unplaced run in the Epsom Derby. Beforehand Aidan O’Brien looked to have much stronger candidates for this race in Anthony Van Dyck and Broome who had finished first and fourth at Epsom. Also the field contained Kevin Prendergast’s Derby second Madhmoon so Sovereign’s task looked stiff indeed.
However, Sovereign turned by far the best effort of his career as he went in search of his first victory since winning a Galway maiden last September. The front runner kept up a strong gallop for the duration of the straight to defeat Anthony Van Dyck by six lengths with Norway giving Aidan O’Brien yet another one-two-three in a race he has won on 13 occasions.
“He had good form last year and he is just a very solid, genuine horse. When these Galileos get galloping they just don’t stop. He got a lovely ride from Padraig who kept increasing it from halfway and he’s won well,” said Aidan O’Brien.
“Possibly we will look at the Grand Prix de Paris or the King George with Sovereign and then maybe he could have a break with a view to going for the English St Leger. The King George and the Grand Prix de Paris are also an option for Anthony Van Dyck.”
Derby Day also featured a tremendous display by Siskin who stayed unbeaten in the Group 2 Gain Railway Stakes. He was part of a treble for Ger Lyons and Colin Keane and he is on target for the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes back here in August.
Joseph O’Brien also enjoyed a treble with Speak In Colours bouncing out of a great run in Ascot to take the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship Dash Stakes while Buckhurst justified favouritism in the Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises International Stakes.