New Approach, the horse that wasn’t going to run until last Monday, won the 229th Vodafone Derby at Epsom.
Trained in Ireland by Jim Bolger and ridden by his son-in-law Kevin Manning, the colt beat Tartan Bearer half a length after pulling hard in the early stages and weaving his way through the field from the back.
The colt, last year’s Champion two-year-old, was bought outright by Sheikh Mohammed at the end of last season and given to his wife, Princess Haya of Jordon who described the victory as ‘the moment of a lifetime.’
Bolger described the win as the ‘best mistake he ever made’ after he left the horse in the race at the second last forfeit stage as an oversight. Last Sunday after he had come out of the Irish 2000 Guineas in good form, he advised the owner that a change of plan might not be a bad thing.
“Full marks to Kevin,” he said, “he was the most difficult ride I have ever seen at Epsom and he did it with aplomb.”
It took Manning three furlongs to settle New Approach. With most horses that would cost them the race which makes him an exceptional winner by any standards. He then had to overcome trouble in running and two furlongs out there was a wall of four horses in front of him. His manoeuvre back to the inside cost him a three day ban.
The first two pulled a long way clear of Doctor Freemantle with Washington Irvine fourth. Otherwise there were few hard luck stories and the usual tale of horses which either didn’t stay or horses which weren’t good enough.
The winner is now expected to run in the Irish Derby.
1. New Approach (Kevin Manning)
2. Tartan Bearer (Ryan Moore)
3. Casual Conquest (Pat Smullan)