Champion jockey Ryan Moore rode his first Classic winner yesterday on Snow Fairy in the Investec Oaks. Twenty-four hours later he added the world’s most prestigious race, the Investec Derby, to his tally when Workforce strode home to a seven-length victory.
Workforce, nicknamed “Sefton” at home at Sir Michael Stoute’s Newmarket yard because of his unflappable temperament — and perhaps his big frame and plain head — was sent off at 6-1 after being beaten in York’s Dante Stakes on his last start.
The Derby was only the King’s Best colt’s third ever run, and it was generally considered that he wouldn’t handle Epsom’s rollercoaster bends well, despite having a huge reputation for blistering workouts on the gallops.
But, under the immaculate handling of Ryan Moore, he remained tucked away in the pack until well into the straight before using his long stride to power past the pacemaker, Aiden O’Brien’s At First Sight, who stayed on for second at 100-1.
It was a breathtaking performance — in a record time— from a colt who should have a lot more to give before he eventually retires to his owner-breeder Khalid Abdulla’s Juddmonte breeding operation.
Frankie Dettori finished third on the supplemented Rewilding, half a length behind Johnny Murtagh on At First Sight. Fourth was the favourite, Jan Vermeer, who lost two shoes during the race. His Ballydoyle stable companion, Midas Touch, was fifth and Al Zir was sixth under Kieren Fallon — who was the last person to do the Oaks-Derby double in 2004.
Don’t miss next Thursday’s issue of H&H magazine for a special report, analysis and comment on the Classic meeting