Aidan O’Brien claims seventh Derby success at Epsom

Anthony Van Dyck became trainer Aidan O’Brien’s seventh Investec Derby victory when the Galileo colt stormed to success in the Group One Epsom Classic today (Saturday, 1 June).

Very little divided the top five at the finishing line, with the winning mount of Seamie Heffernan holding off the Kevin Prendergast-trained Madhmoon, under Chris Hayes, by just half a length.

O’Brien horses filled the next four places, with the Irish handler’s Japan (Wayne Lordan) finishing a nose in third.

The winning Ballydoyle three-year-old, a 13/2 shot, stayed on up the iconic Epsom home run under Irishman Seamie, who was claiming his first Investec Derby win.

“I knew he’d do it when I needed him,” said Seamie, whose bold riding was rewarded. He switched his mount left onto the rail one furlong out and the pair led 100 yards from the line.

“It is a privilege to be part of this team — the lads at home put so much in day in, day out,” said Aidan.

“A few of my horses were in with a chance during the closing stages, and I was just delighted they were a part of the race in the final furlong. It’s a tough race and, until the horse passes the finish line, you’re just never sure [of the result].”

The top Irish trainer was also thrilled for the winning jockey.

“Seamie has been placed in the Derby so many times — he is a special fella and a world-class rider.”

The victory sees Aidan equal Robert Robson, John Porter and Fred Darling for most Derby wins.

Girls on form

The fillies’ Group One equivalent, the Investec Oaks, was won by the John Gosden-trained Anapurna on Friday (31 May).

The daughter of Frankel rallied inside the final furlong under Frankie Dettori, leading the last 110 yards and beating the Aidan O’Brien-trained Pink Dogwood (Ryan Moore) by a neck.

Don’t miss our full report from the Investec Derby meeting in the 6 June issue of Horse & Hound.