‘Sensational’ colt silences his critics with breathtaking Derby success at Epsom

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  • After weeks of speculation and debate, megastar colt City Of Troy silenced all his doubters with a commanding victory in the 2024 Betfred Derby at Epsom on Saturday (1 June). The colt provided trainer Aidan O’Brien with the opportunity to claim a record-extending 10th triumph within his impressive Epsom Derby results.

    Despite the son of Justify’s puzzling below-par performance in last month’s 2000 Guineas, the Ballydoyle handler had proclaimed before Epsom, “I’m not sure we’ve ever sent a horse with as much ability for this race”. In the immediate aftermath of City Of Troy’s exhilarating two-and-three-quarter-length Derby victory, O’Brien underlined that he was, without doubt, “the best Derby winner we’ve ever had”.

    Jockey Ryan Moore, celebrating his fourth success in the Derby at Epsom, described the colt as green but “sensational”.

    “He was going to win very easily – he quickened well and you’d have to be delighted with what he’s done today,” said Moore, who finished a disappointing sixth to Ezeliya on the Aidan O’Brien-trained favourite Ylang Ylang in Friday’s Betfred Oaks. “It was hard to know what would happen today, but he was brilliant.”

    Epsom Derby results 2024: first and third for Ballydoyle

    During the early stages of the 1m 4f Derby, Moore was happy to drop City Of Troy towards the rear of the 16-runner pack and let him lob away in his typically relaxed manner. As the field accelerated round Tattenham Corner, a tempting gap opened up and the bay colt burst through with breathtaking speed, letting the loose horse Voyage – who stumbled and unshipped his rider coming out of the starting stalls – guide him home for possibly one of the greatest Derby successes we’ve ever seen.

    “So many people have put their heart and soul into City Of Troy and Ryan gave him an incredible ride,” said Aidan O’Brien of the colt who runs in the silks of Mrs John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith. “We knew that the 2000 Guineas went totally wrong. I made mistakes training him and that’s the bottom line.

    “But the cruise he has and the ability he has – it’s very exciting for everybody.”

    The Gredley family celebrated a second-place finish with their James Fanshawe-trained Ambiente Friendly, ridden by Robert Havlin. Showjumper Tim Gredley was set to return to a rain-soaked five-star show at St Gallen after the historic Epsom race to contest Sunday’s grand prix.

    Ballydoyle’s second runner Los Angeles finished third under Wayne Lordan.

    • You can read the full report from the Derby meeting at Epsom in this week’s Horse & Hound, in the shops Thursday 6 June

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