In the colours of Juddmonte Farms Limited, the son of Frankel, was an impressive winner of the 157th running of Ireland’s Premier Classic, under Irish champion jockey Colin Keane, who replaced Ron Hornby after the horse’s third place finish in England.
Trained in England by Ralph Beckett, the colt was a seven length winner over the 1 mile 4 furlong distance, giving Keane his first success in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.
The winner tracked the leader for the opening furlong over the plains of The Curragh before moving towards the lead. With Keane sitting comfortably in the saddle the 11/8 joint favourite was never in any danger as he challenged to lead three furlongs from the wire.
Once the County Meath-born jockey Keane asked his mount for an effort, Westover moved to take the lead before the two furlong pole. He impressively asserted before sprinting clear inside the one furlong marker.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport after the race, first time Irish Derby winning rider Colin Keane stated:
“It’s great to win a home Derby, it’s unbelievable.”
Commenting on his winning mount Westover, Keane said:
“He’s a monster of a horse and is only going to get better next year.”
The victorious handler Ralph Beckett agreed with Keane’s assessment that the colt will improve during this season and next, stating:
“He is going to develop from three to four never mind the rest of the year.”
Piz Badile (18/1), a disappointing 12th in the Cazoo Derby at Epsom, was second today, under jockey Gavin Ryan. The Flaxman Stables Ireland Ltd-owned and bred colt was trained by Donnacha O’Brien, son of Ireland’s champion flat trainer Aidan.
French Claim, third to Stone Age in the Group 3 Derby Trial at Leopardstown in May, was two lengths further behind in third place for conditioner Paddy Twomey and rider Billy Lee.
Joint favourite Tuesday, who was supplemented into the race during the past week, was never a serious threat in the Group 1 and eventually finished in fourth place, beaten over 10 lengths. The filly was the only runner in the contest for the powerful Coolmore-Aidan O’Brien partnership as the Ballydoyle conditioner attempted to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby for a 15th time. The County Wexford handler will have to wait another twelve months to add his list of successes in the race.
It was a second successive win for British-trained runners in the Irish Derby – a race sponsored for the 15th successive year by Dubai Duty Free – following the victory of Hurricane Lane last season for Charlie Appleby, William Buick and Godolphin.
Photo: David Betts