Mark Howard Publications Ltd

O'Brien's ninth Epsom Derby

03-June-2023 16:21
in General
by Admin

Auguste Rodin bounced back from a dismal run in the 2000 Guineas to win the Epsom Derby on Saturday and, in doing so, provided Aidan O'Brien with his ninth win in Flat racing's Blue Riband. A Group 1 winning juvenile could only finish twelfth on the Rowley Mile but was a different proposition here. Given a patient ride by Ryan Moore, he quickened up inside the final furlong to reel in King of Steel who was making his three year old debut. Half a length separated the pair with nearly five lengths back to the third White Birch who looks every inch a St Leger contender. The Ballydoyle winner ought to prove as effective over ten furlongs and it will be interesting to see if he is tried over shorter trips later this summer. One would imagine the Irish Derby at the Curragh will be next.

Despite being beaten over ten lengths, Top 40 entry Artistic Star acquitted himself well in seventh given the fact the Galileo was only racing for the third time. Rob Hornby's mount showed his inexperience during the first half of the race but finished off well and should stay further, if necessary. He remains a promising sort capable of winning at Pattern level. Indeed, it is not beyond the realms of possibility Ralph Beckett's lightly raced charge develops into a Leger contender, too.

Eighteen days earlier, Artistic Star beat another Top 40 entry Torito (4/1) in a ten furlongs novice stakes at Sandown. John Gosden's runner-up returning to winning ways on his handicap debut at Epsom with a smooth success by two and three quarters of a length off a mark of 95. Beautifully ridden by Benoit De La Sayette, he cruised into contention in the homestraight and was pushed clear to win convincingly. The Golden Gates Handicap Stakes at Royal Ascot (24th June) is likely to be next. His young rider has a big future, too.

Overall, it was an excellent afternoon at Epsom for followers of Ahead On The Flat with Augustin Rodin (9/2), Navello (25/1), Prosperous Voyage (6/4), Tattersall (8/1) and Torito (4/1) all featured.


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