Mark Howard Publications Ltd

Epsom Derby Review

02-June-2024 12:19
in General
by Admin

Last season's outstanding juvenile City of Troy came good on the day which mattered most when providing Aidan O'Brien with a record breaking tenth win in the Epsom Derby on Saturday. Similar to stablemate Auguste Rodin twelve months ago, things didn't go to plan in the 2000 Guineas with the son of Justify getting worked up in the stalls beforehand and failing to run his race on the Rowley Mile finishing a distant ninth. However, he was a different proposition here overcoming stall one and making good headway early in the homestraight. Leading with two furlongs to run, Ryan Moore's partner stayed on strongly to fend off the challenge of Ambiente Friendly to prevail by two and three quarters of a length with the pair clear of the rest.

There is no mistaking City of Troy is a high quality colt and needless to say the British press were waxing lyrical about the training achievements of O'Brien afterwards. The result may not have been different but one can't help feeling Robert Havlin, who was on board the the runner-up, was outridden by Moore. Ironically, Callum Shepherd had been on board James Fanshawe's runner when winning the Lingfield Derby Trial by four and a half lengths but was replaced on the grounds on his owner wanting a more experienced rider. Ambiente Friendly travelled through the race like the best horse and was evidently full of running passing the three marker. Havlin chose to sit and wait rather than pressing on which allowed City of Troy to get first run as he swept to the front soon afterwards. From that point onwards, Ambiente Friendly was never going to win the 2024 Epsom Derby. 

As regards the rest of the field, Group 1 winning two year old Los Angeles, who filled third position, got worked up beforehand but lacks a change of gear. He looks an out and out stayer and is St Leger material. He could even develop into a Cup horse one day. Futurity Stakes winner Ancient Wisdom was disappointing in eighth position - the drying conditions and the track didn't do him any favours. The former Roger Varian trained Mr Hampstead trailed in last of fifteen beaten nearly 94 lengths, 49 lengths behind the same owner's Dallas Star who filled fourteenth position.


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