Los Angeles Awards O’Brien 16th Irish Derby 

July 3, 2024

Winning connections of Los Angeles on the winner’s rostrum after the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby. (Breandán Ó hUallacháin photo)

14th Railway Stakes Win for O’Brien with Henri Matisse

We were all over him!!!
Tracking Trips, your second set of eyes in horse racing!

Breandán Ó hUallacháin

THE CURRAGH—Los Angeles, third to stablemate City Of Troy in the Betfred Derby at Epsom at the beginning of June, went two places better in winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at The Curragh, Co Kildare, Ireland.

Ridden by Ryan Moore, the Aidan O’Brien-handled son of Coolmore Stud stallion Camelot, gave the Coolmore partners another succes in the premier Irish classic.

His main rival in the betting market for Sunday’s €1.25 million race over a mile and a half, was the English challenger and Betfred Derby runner-up Ambiente Friendly, who had three and a quarter length to spare over the Ballydoyle runner when they last met at Epsom.

Similar to their previous clash, the James Fanshawe-conditioned Ambiente Friendly came to challenge Los Angeles inside the two-furlong pole. The Gredley Family-owned son of Gleneagles looked as though he would take his opponent when asked by his rider Robert Havlin. Just as at Epsom, however, Ambeinte Friendly failed to find enough and was ultimately outstayed by Los Angeles, just as he had been by City Of Troy in the Epsom Derby.

Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winner 2024, Los Angeles, poses for the cameras at The Curragh. (Breandán Ó hUallacháin photo)
Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winner 2024, Los Angeles, poses for the cameras at The Curragh. (Breandán Ó hUallacháin photo)

Sunway, trained in England by Frenchman David Menuisier and ridden by British-based Irish rider Oisín Murphy, stayed on better than the other visiting horse and got to within three-quarters of a length of the winner at the wire. There was a further half-length back to Ambiente Friendly in third place, with Matusri a further neck nehind in fourth position for trainer Roger Varian and jockey James Doyle.

The win was a 16th vistory in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby for Aidan O’Brien, who also won the race last season when Auguste Rodin completed the Epsom-Curragh Derby double.

Los Angeles in the winner's circle after his Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby win. (Breandán Ó hUallacháin photo)
Los Angeles in the winner’s circle after his Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby win. (Breandán Ó hUallacháin photo)

Speaking to the media after another Ballydoyle victory in the premier Classic at The Curragh, County Wexford-born Aidan O’Brien admitted:

“We were delighted with him in Epsom and we thought he would come forward. Obviously he did go forward in Epsom and learned plenty, we were hoping that would be the case so he could come back here.”

“Ryan (Moore) gave him a great ride. It was a solid even pace on an unbelievable track. It’s great to have this race at this time of the year so all those type of horses can come together and you get to find out what’s there really.”

Winning owner and Coolmore supremo John Magnier said:

“It’s good to have the Epsom form held up here, really important I’d say. He’s a good stamp of a horse, there’s no doubt about it. He won his Group 1 race as a two-year-old so he’s an improving horse. Maybe he’ll get even better, I don’t know.”

Jockey Ryan Moore, Coolmore owner John Magnier and trainer Aidan O'Brien after Los Angeles' win at The Curragh. (Breandán Ó hUallacháin photo)
Jockey Ryan Moore, Coolmore owner John Magnier and trainer Aidan O’Brien after Los Angeles’ win at The Curragh. (Breandán Ó hUallacháin photo)

14th Railway Stakes win for O’Brien with Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse (8/1) and Wayne Lordan came from the back of the five-runner field to win the Group 2 Gain Railway Stakes over six furlongs.

The perceived second string from Ballydoyle based on the fact that Ryan Moore chose to ride Blackbeard’s full-brother Tunbridge Wells (11/8 favourite), Henri Matisse is a two-year-old son of Wootton Bassett out of Immortal Verse, making him a half-brother to the dual Group 1-winning Tenebrism, who Aidan O’Brien previously trained for the same owners.

The winning handler said of Henri Matisse, his 14th victory in the race, matching the training record of Dr Vincent O’Brien:

“We’re delighted with him. We thought he was a bit too babyish to go to Ascot and Waye (Lordan, jcokey) said he’s still babyish. He said he’ll love going up to seven (furlongs) and we might go up to seven next.”

My Mate Alfie (100/30) was a Derby Day winner for Ger Lyons and Colin Keane when taking the Listed Jebel Ali Racecourse and Stables Dash Stakes.

With five runners almost in a line in the dying stages of the six-furlong contest, the three-year-old son of Dark Angel stuck his neck out at the death to claim the win by half a length from Ano Syra (11/2), with Dylan Browne McMonagle in the saddle. Tango Flare (7/1) was a head further back, with another head to the fourth-placed finisher Kajajaro (6/1).

Contributing Authors

Breandán Ó hUallacháin

Breandán Ó hUallacháin writes about Irish, British, French and Australian horseracing, both National Hunt and Flat. He has an interest in the history of racing...

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This is so beautifully written; You bought a horse and took him to a farm moved me. Bless You.

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