Sovereign (33/1) gave top trainer Aidan O’Brien his 13th win in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at The Curragh on Saturday evening.
The son of Galileo, ridden by Pádraig Beggy, denied another Ballydoyle-trained horse, Anthony Van Dyck (5/4f), the chance to become the 19th colt to complete the Epsom-Curragh Derby double.
Sovereign was prominent from leaving the stalls in the 1m 4f classic as he made most of the running with another stablemate, Norway.
Both horses built up a large lead extending it to about eight lengths four furlongs out. Ryan Moore on the favourite Anthony Van Dyke led the chasing group, but to everyone’s surprise the leader Sovereign never came back to them on the home straight.
The winner, 10th behind Anthony Van Dyck in the Investec Derby at Epsom, galloped on relentlessly, with jockey Beggy judging the fractions to perfection.
Sovereign crossed the finishing line an impressive six lengths ahead of Anthony Van Dyck, with the other pace-setter Norway eventually finishing two-and-a-half lengths further back in third, providing Aidan O’Brien with a clean sweep in Ireland’s premier Classic.
Madhmoon, fancied by many to give Kevin Prendergast his first victory in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, could only finish in fourth place.
Watch a full replay of how Sovereign provided Aidan O’Brien with his thirteenth victory in the @DDFRacing Irish Derby at @curraghrace plus reaction from Padraig Beggy and the winning trainer ⬇️https://t.co/Mq6RirCvaw
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) June 29, 2019
The win was jockey Pádraig Beggy’s second Classic victory, having caused another shock when taking the Investec Derby at Epsom in 2017 on the 40-1 shot Wings Of Eagles.
A jubilant Beggy said of Saturday’s win:
“I’m over the moon. This would be more important to me (than the Epsom Derby) as an Irishman, the Irish Derby. I’m just very, very lucky that I’ve won the English and the Irish Derby.”
Sovereign, described by his trainer as “a solid horse and very uncomplicated” may now be aimed at either the King George or the Grand Prix de Paris before a possible late season tilt at the St Leger in either Ireland or England.