Hurricane Lane wins the €1m Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at The Curragh

June 27, 2021

Cazoo Derby third-place finisher Hurricane Lane (4/1) went two places better at The Curragh on Saturday as he landed a thrilling €1million Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.

The Charlie Appleby-trained colt caught the race leader Lone Eagle (11/2) in the dying stages of the premier Classic in Ireland, to ensure a 1-2 for the English visitors. 

A son of Frankel, Hurricane Lane had gone into the Cazoo Derby at Epsom as the clear favourite of the Godolphin-owned runners, but it was his stable companion and half-brother Adayar who took the Epsom Classic by seven and three-quarter lengths.

Hurricane Lane’s victory in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby means the former Sir Henry Cecil-handled Frankel, and now Juddmonte Farms’ sire, is responsible for the winners of the Derby in both England and Ireland this year. 

Ridden by William Buick at The Curragh, the winner of the Dante Stakes at York, England, earlier this season, defeated the Frankie Dettori horse, Lone Eagle, by a neck at the wire.

Dettori seemed to have made a winning move when taking the lead early in the 1 mile 4 furlong race aboard the Martyn Meade-handled colt. The Italian rider and the Ballylinch Stud and Aquis Farm-owned son of Galileo found themselves three lengths ahead when passing the two furlong from home pole. 

With the Normandie Stud Limited-bred Hurricane Lane still amongst the remainder of the field at this stage, Buick’s horse found some trouble in running, before the Norwegian-born jockey straightened the Godolphin runner. The eventual winner soon made stealthy progress and quickly began closing down on the leader. 

With the two English-trained colts pulling clear of the field, they fought out an exciting battle inside the furlong pole, before Hurricane Lane finally prevailed by a neck at the winning line. Despite a number of anxious minutes for Appleby and Buick when a stewards’ enquiry was called, the result stood and the Englishman had trained a second Derby winner in the space of a month.

“It’s great to bring a horse here to the (Dubai Duty Free) Irish Derby. He’s a battle-hardened horse and he showed ability, willingness and experience there. It’s just great to be part of it.

“I’m delighted,” added Appleby, “Coming into this race I was very confident this horse had gained a lot of experience from Epsom. He was on his ‘A game’ today and came into the race as an experienced and more battle-hardened horse. He’s a fantastic-looking individual. As a physical you would have a job to fault him.”

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Coolmore-owned Wordsworth (11/1), in the colours of Derrick Smith, was best of the Irish runners, finishing a further seven lengths back in third under rider Séamie Heffernan. 

The Ben Coen-ridden Earlswood (28/1), a son of Pivotal trained by former Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby-winning jockey Johnny Murtagh was one and three-quarter lengths behind Wordsworth in fourth place.

The perceived first choice from Ballydoyle and race favourite, High Definition (9/4), the mount of Ryan Moore, disappointed in the race, trailing in second last in the 12-runner field. 

Moore later reported that the son of Galileo had been hampered during the first furlong and a half of the race, which may have been a reason for his poor performance.

Photo: Hurricane Lane winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, (The Curragh Racecourse’s Twitter account @curraghrace)

Contributing Authors

Breandán Ó hUallacháin

Breandán Ó hUallacháin lives in Ireland and writes specifically about Irish, British and French horseracing, both National Hunt and Flat. He has an interest in...

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