Video of Serpentine and jockey Emmet McNamara pulling off a big upset in the 2020 English Derby at Epsom, as the Curragh maiden winner of seven days ago made all to win Britain’s premier Classic.
The 25-1 shot took an early lead in the 1m 4 furlong Group 1 and didn’t see a rival over the Epsom Downs as the inexperienced son of Galileo gave his trainer Aidan O’Brien an eighth win in the race, making him the winning-most trainer in Epsom Derby history.
O’Brien previously won the race with Galileo (2001), High Chapparal (2002), Camelot (2012), Ruler Of The World (2013), Australia (2014), Wings Of Eagles (2017) and last year with Anthony Van Dyck.
The history-making trainer said of Serpentine’s surprise Investec Derby win:
“We are so delighted. We are in a very privileged position to have such unbelievable horses and such unbelievably well-bred horses. We are working with special people. It is a position very few people will ever get into. The horses have such incredible pedigrees, top and bottom. There are so many special people involved and everyone puts their heart and soul into it day in, day out. Everyone loves what they do and we really appreciate every opportunity that we get and how grateful we are to everyone for what they do. It is just very special for us to be part of such a special team of people.”
Other outsiders, Khalifa Star (50/1), who was in second position throughout the race, finished as runner-up, while O’Brien’s maiden, Amhrán na Bhfiann (66/1) finished in third place.
The Qipco 2000 Guineas winner Kameko (5/2f), under Kerry jockey Oisín Murphy, was fourth ahead of the Lingfield Derby trial winner, English King (100/30), while the Ryan Moore-ridden Mogul, perceived by many to have been the Ballydoyle number one, came home in sixth place.
The winning rider, 30-year-old Emmet McNamara, having his first ride in the Investec Derby, said of Serpentine’s victory:
“I think I got a little bit of a freebie! I had a huge amount of confidence in the horse having spoken to Aidan during the week. He filled me with confidence and said that he is a horse that is going to stay a mile and six furlongs for you well. He said jump, go your own tempo, from halfway after you give him a breather from the six to the five, you keep building to that winning post, he will keep going. God, he was right!”
McNamara was one of seven first-time jockeys in the race today and becomes the third first-time jockey to win the Investec Derby this century following Mickael Barzalona and Pádraig Beggy, both of whom also won on Cooolmore partners-owned colts, Pour Moi (2011) and Wings Of Eagles (2017) respectively.
Paul Smith, son of one of the Coolmore partners, Derrick Smith, was generous in his praise for the successful rider, saying:
“I am so pleased for Emmet McNamara, he is a big part of the team back at Ballydoyle. He got chinned in the Irish Derby a week or so back, he works so hard for us, no disrespect to the other jockeys, but I am delighted for him.”
Galileo is now the most successful Investec Derby sire of all time with five winners following Serpentine’s win on Saturday. His other scorers were New Approach (2008), Ruler Of The World (2013), Australia (2014) & Anthony Van Dyck (2019).
The 241st Investec Derby (Group 1)
4.55pm, Epsom Downs, Saturday, 4 July, 2020. 1m 4f 6y. £500,000 Total Prize Fund.
1 (12) Serpentine (IRE) (Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00 Emmet McNamara 25/1
2 (14) Khalifa Sat (IRE) (Ahmad Al Shaikh) Andrew Balding 3-9-00 Tom Marquand 50/1
3 (5) Amhran Na Bhfiann (IRE) (Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00 William Buick 66/1
4 (11) Kameko (USA) (Qatar Racing Limited) Andrew Balding 3-9-00 Oisín Murphy 5/2 Fav
5 (1) English King (FR) (Bjorn Nielsen) Ed Walker 3-9-00 Frankie Dettori 100/30
6 (2) Mogul (Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00 Ryan Moore 7/1
7 (6) Russian Emperor (IRE) (Laurie Macri/Sue Magnier et al) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00 Séamie Heffernan 6/1
8 (8) Vatican City (IRE) (Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00 Pádraig Beggy 17/2
9 (16) Gold Maze (The Long Wait Partnership) Jessica Harrington IRE 3-9-00 David Egan 150/1
10 (13) Highland Chief (IRE) (Fitri Hay) Paul & Oliver Cole 3-9-00 Ben Curtis 20/1
11 (3) Pyledriver (K & W Bloodstock Limited & Roger Devlin) William Muir 3-9-00 Martin Dwyer 16/1
12 (15) Mohican Heights (IRE) (Sun Bloodstock SARL) David Simcock 3-9-00 Andrea Atzeni 25/1
13 (10) Mythical (FR) (Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00 James Doyle 100/1
14 (7) Max Vega (IRE) (The Pickford Hill Partnership) Ralph Beckett 3-9-00 Harry Bentley 33/1
15 (4) Emissary (Khalid Abdullah) Hugo Palmer 3-9-00 Jim Crowley 40/1
16 (9) Worthily (USA) (George Strawbridge) John Gosden 3-9-00 Martin Harley 40/1
Time: 2m 34.43s
Distances: 5½, ½, nose, nk, ¾, 1¼, ½, 2¼, 2¾, ½, ½, ½, nk, 2¼, 75.