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INVESTEC DERBY FACTS for the 2018 race
Winning-most trainers: Aidan O’Brien, with six wins from 72 runners since 1998 (2001 Galileo, 2002 High Chaparral, 2012 Camelot, 2013 Ruler Of The World, 2014 Australia, 2017 Wings Of Eagles).
John Gosden, trainer of Roaring Lion and Sevenna Star, has won the Investec Derby twice (Benny The Dip, 1997 and Golden Horn, 2015).
Dermot Weld (Hazapour) and William Haggas (Young Rascal) are the other two trainers with runners this year to have won the premier Classic before. Weld scored with Harzand in 2016, while Haggas took glory with Shaamit – his first Investec Derby runner – in 1996.
Oldest trainer: Dermot Weld, 69
Youngest trainer: Harry Dunlop (Knight To Behold), 42
Derby debutant: Harry Dunlop has his first Investec Derby runner in Knight To Behold.
Winning-most jockey: both Ryan Moore, who rides the favourite Saxon Warrior, and Frankie Dettori, who will be aboard Hazapour, have won the Investec Derby twice. Moore took it in 2010 with Workforce and in 2013 with Ruler Of The World, while Dettori’s victories came courtesy of Authorized in 2007 and Golden Horn in 2015.
Oldest jockey: Frankie Dettori, 47
Youngest jockey: Donnacha O’Brien (Kew Gardens), 19
Most experienced jockey: Frankie Dettori, with 22 previous rides in the race.
First-timers: Richard Kingscote (Knight To Behold), Robert Havlin (Sevenna Star)
Oldest horse: Kew Gardens, born January 20, 2015
Youngest horse: Dee Ex Bee, born May 3, 2015
Most successful owners: The Coolmore partnership (Sue Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor), with five runners in this year’s Investec Derby (Delano Roosevelt, Saxon Warrior, Kew Gardens, The Pentagon, Zabriskie), have owned all or part of the six of trainer Aidan O’Brien’s winners of the race, plus the 2011 victor Pour Moi, trained by Andre Fabre.
The Aga Khan, owner of Hazapour, has owned five Investec Derby winners to date: Shergar in 1981, Shahrastani in 1986, Kahyasi in 1988, Sinndar in 2000 and Harzand in 2016.
A sponsor’s dream: Bernard Kantor, owner of the William Haggas-trained Young Rascal, is Managing Director of Investec, sponsor of the Derby Festival.
Champion sire: Galileo, who won the Investec Derby in 2001 for Aidan O’Brien, has three runners in this year’s race (Delano Roosevelt, Kew Gardens, The Pentagon). He is also broodmare sire of Saxon Warrior – who is the first Japanese-bred horse (by Deep Impact) to run in the Investec Derby – and the John Gosden-trained Sevenna Star.
Classic contender: Saxon Warrior, the winner of the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket last month, bids to become the 38th horse to follow up a 2,000 Guineas victory with Investec Derby success. The last was Camelot, also trained by Aidan O’Brien, in 2012.
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Investec Derby Day – Saturday 2nd June 2018
2.00pm Investec Private Banking Handicap 1m 2f 17y
Won by CONNECT (owner Alan Spence), trained by Clive Cox , ridden by Adam Kirby, at odds of 12/1.
Connect, trained by Clive Cox and ridden by Adam Kirby, took the first race of Investec Derby Day, the £50,000 Investec Private Banking Handicap.
The Roderic O’Connor-sired three-year-old Connect was sent off at 12/1 and beat top-weight Court House by a length and a half in the 10-furlong race.
The 11 runners spread themselves over the width of the course, with only Poet’s Prince, trained by Mark Johnston, coming over to the stands’ side rail.
Cox said: “He didn’t settle at all at Newbury – to be fair, the ground was too quick for him and he pulled far too hard – and the hood [which Connect wore for the first time] was an experiment, but with the atmosphere you’re going to get on Derby Day I’m glad we put it on. I think it made a huge difference and Adam was able to get his hands on his neck and relax early.
“Because of the ground yesterday, everybody very kindly moved off the rail for us turning in, and when you are behind you are going to take the best way clear and that was it. He did a good job.
“To be perfectly honest, [owner] Alan Spence deserves all the credit, because he phoned me on Monday morning and said it is pouring down here – I’m walking the dog and I’m soaked. We’d better be in that race on Saturday. Fair play to Alan – I said he probably ought to train him in his garden at home; he’d do a better job than me!
“If Connect relaxes, I think we are going to see the best of him and hopefully today has proved he can relax a bit better. We’ll take it a step at a time, but I’m thrilled.”
2.35pm Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored By Investec) (Group 3) 1m 113y
Won by WILAMINA (owners The Snailwell Stud), trained by Martyn Meade, ridden by Frankie Dettori , at odds of7/2 Jt Fav.
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The extended mile G3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by Investec) went to Wilamina, a daughter of Zoffany and trained at Manton by Martyn Meade. She won by three-quarters of a length from Anna Nerium.
A delighted Meade, who only recently moved from Newmarket, said: “She has just been knocking on the door all the time. It was disappointing in her last run in the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes – she put in a fantastic time at Newmarket and was still second [to Wuheida], but now it has all come good.
“I am so thrilled for her she is such a trier, she was in her element, she seemed to love the whole thing today. She is a lovely filly. She knew it was the time she had to get her head in front – and she did it.”
Jockey Frankie Dettori treated racegoers to one of his trademark flying dismounts after Wilamina romped to the victory. Dettori was full of praise for Wilamina after the race.
“I was drawn eight and I was worried but I got a good pitch,” said the jockey.
“Some horses handle the track and she went round Tattenham Corner like it was flat. When I asked her to quicken, she quickened really well and it was never in doubt. She won really well.”
3.10pm Investec Diomed Stakes (Group 3) 1m 113y
Won by CENTURY DREAM (owner Abdullah Saeed), trained by Simon Crisford, ridden by William Buick, at odds of 11/4 Fav.
Simon Crisford stood in the winner’s enclosure at Epsom Downs many times in his years as Godolphin’s racing manager, but this time he was there as the trainer of Investec Diomed Stakes hero Century Dream.
The four-year-old Cape Cross colt was the 11/4 favourite for the £90,000 Group Three race, and came home two and a quarter lengths ahead of second-placed Gabrial. He was ridden by William Buick.
Crisford said: “I think races are always incredibly difficult to watch if you are closely connected, and I really take my hat off to people who have got runners in the Derby and the Oaks and races like that, and when I used to do that for Godolphin I could never watch the races. Afterwards I would watch them 100 times – where did we go wrong, where did we go right – but in this instance it was easy to watch because he never looked like getting beaten at any stage. It was great.
“I think William felt the ground suited this horse – obviously he is ground-dependent and he doesn’t want it too quick, so when it rained we were absolutely delighted. It played to his strengths and he won really well.
“As a small boy I dreamed about standing in this winner’s enclosure on Derby Day, but I did not have the Diomed Stakes in mind at the time!”
3.45pm Investec Corporate Banking ‘Dash’ Handicap 5f
Won by TANASOQ (owners F Brady & J S Morrison), trained by Paul Midgley, ridden by James Sullivan, at odds of 12/1.
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Paul Midgley recorded his second victory in the £100,000 Investec Corporate Banking ‘Dash’ Handicap following the victory of 12/1 shot Tanasoq in the five-furlong event, which attracted the maximum field of 20.
Ridden by James Sullivan, the five-year-old daughter of Acclamation kept on well on the stands’ side rail to take the lead close home and score by a length and three-quarters.
Midgley captured the ‘Dash’ in 2015 with Desert Law and was delighted to register another victory in the contest.
Midgley, based in Westow, North Yorkshire, said: “Everybody drifted off the stands’ side rail and we probably had too good a run if that makes sense!
“From a long way down, you could see he was going to win as he was always just doing enough – he’s a nice horse.
“I’m not sure how good he could be at this stage as he just does what he has to do in his races – he’s really professional and has a good engine.
“We have lots of sprinters and lucky enough we have a few good ones now and everybody who has sprinters wants to win the ‘Dash so it is a race we target.
“Everybody wants to be here and I never thought we would be winning this race again, so it’s great.
“It’s a great team effort and I’m delighted for everyone. I’m not allowed to sit on him too many times and that’s probably why he’s winning!”
4.30pm Investec Derby (Group 1) 1m 4f 6y
Won by MASAR (owners Godolphin), trained by Charlie Appleby, ridden by William Buick, at odds of 16/1.
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Charlie Appleby was wreathed in smiles as he became the first trainer to provide Godolphin with an Investec Derby victory in their blue colours after Masar stormed to victory.
The 16/1 shot was always travelling kindly under jockey William Buick and the pair loomed ominously two furlongs from home, as they challenged leader Hazapour (ridden by Frankie Dettori – 5th) and eventual runner-up Dee Ex Bee (20/1), with the third-placed Roaring Lion (6/1) still travelling well behind that trio.
Appleby couldn’t quite believe the result immediately after the Britain’s richest race, worth £1.5-million.
“That was absolutely amazing,” said Appleby.
“All I could think of in the last furlong was that I wanted to be the first trainer to win the Derby in the Godolphin blue. It was a fantastic team effort. Brett Doyle (former jockey) rides him every day and has been so sweet on him since the 2,000 Guineas (where Masar finished third behind today’s 4/5 favourite Saxon Warrior, who finished 4th). We just wanted to get him to switch off and we thought he’d stay. William’s given him a brilliant ride but the last 100 yards seemed a long time!
“It’s such a special day with the Royal family being here. This season, we’ve just been knocking on the door and it was the same story yesterday (when 5/2 favourite Wild Illusion was beaten into second in the Investec Oaks). Obviously, I went home a bit disappointed, and it was a long drive home, but that’s the great thing about His Highness (Sheikh Mohammed – owner of Godolphin), he told me not to worry and that we’d try next year.
“So I came here today very relaxed and just wanted the horse to do his best. It’s been so good. It still hasn’t sunk in and it probably won’t for days or even weeks. I was always just hoping the door was going to open for us this season and, to be honest, I did think it was going to be yesterday.
“The great thing about the team around me, especially His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, is that they are so supportive. I’m a realist – I’ve been in this game all my life and we were beaten fair and square yesterday. You’ve just got to take it on the chin and take the positives out of it.
“Today was another day though. He put up a great performance in the Guineas and it was always going to be the best trial I thought.
“I’m very lucky to have been given this position and all I wanted to do when I got it was to win the Derby for the team. Each year, I’ve watched it go by without having a winner but you’ve got to keep trying.”
William Buick’s victory was his first in the £1.5 million Classic.
Masar, the Craven Stakes winner and third in the 2,000 Guineas, is a son of the 2008 winner New Approach out of Khawlah, who took the UAE Oaks and the UAE Derby at Meydan in 2011.
Buick, who had finished second in the Investec Derby on two occasions – with Jack Hobbs in 2015 and Libertarian in 2013 – said: “I am not going to explain myself very well but it’s huge, it’s massive.
“I have had a few rides in the race and come close a couple of times. I think this is my seventh or eighth Derby ride [it was his eighth] and I know some people have ridden more Derbys without winning, but there were a couple of times when I was thinking ‘is my time ever going to come?’
“To do it for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and his family in the famous royal blue – they are very loyal supporters of me and I am just very, very happy to be part of it.
“He stayed the trip and travelled beautifully today. The Guineas didn’t happen for him but he is a very good horse and the team believed in him. I am just very pleased.
“I have dreamed of this since I wanted to be a jockey. This is everything.
“I knew before the race that he would be a straightforward ride in the Derby. Charlie was very confident that this horse would stay and convinced me he would stay.
“It is something really special. It’s the pinnacle of our sport, the Holy Grail, the be-all and end-all of everything.”
Godolphin finally landed the Investec Derby in their famous royal blue colours after the race had eluded them for many years. Though they did claim Lammtarra’s victory in 1995 (who ran in the colours of Saeed Maktoum al Maktoum), Masar’s victory was the first in the Godolphin blue colours and was made all the more sweeter as it was trainer Charlie Appleby’s first Investec Derby victory.
Godolphin had come close in the past in the blue colours, finishing second on three occasions (with City Honours in 1998, Rule of Law in 2004 and Jack Hobbs in 2015), and this victory gave Godolphin’s owner, Sheikh Mohammed, another famous Group One victory.
“This is what it is all about – winning big races across the world,” said Sheikh Mohammed.
“It is something special to win the Derby. I am very happy that he has won today and very proud that the horse has come from Dubai.
“My daughter is here (Sheikha al Jalila, who now has horses that run in Sheikh Mohammed’s old maroon and white colours) and she brought all the luck.
“I was confident during the race as I thought William (Buick – jockey) was going very well but before the race, I don’t know.
“We knew that the favourite was a very good horse but we liked our horse too. I wasn’t nervous in the last part of the race – I was excited and jumping around!
“Horses are my blood so this is a very special day for me. I love horses and I love racing.”
Sheikh Mohammed’s wife, Princess Haya of Jordan, whose horse New Approach won the Derby in 2008, added: “I am so happy for Sheikh Mohammed, who so deserved it. Everyone in the team has worked so hard for this.”
5.15pm Investec Out Of The Ordinary Handicap 1m 4f 6y
Won by DASH OF SPICE (owner Jeff Smith), trained by David Elsworth, ridden by Silvestre de Sousa, at odds of 11/4 Fav.
The David Elsworth-trained four-year-old Dash Of Spice was the impressive six-length victory in the Investec Out Of The Ordinary Handicap, the race following the Investec Derby, and over the Classic distance of a mile and four furlongs.
Owner-breeder Jeff Smith said of the11/4 winning favourite: “Ít is great to have a Derby Day winner – it is only one race out! He won like a proper favourite should do.
“He has kept on bumping into Ajman King of Roger Varian’s – that was two seconds for us! He had another second at Kempton well last time, and that something of a fiasco of a race.
“Yes, Dash Of Spice does like Epsom, but Silvestre reckons he is better on a more regular track.”
Jockey Silvestre de Sousa added: “He is a big horse and he just struggled at Kempton to get into his stride [last time]. He flew home today. I am very happy I won today.”
5.50pm Investec Asset Management Handicap (For The Tokyo Trophy) 6f 3y
Won by ACES (owners The Tuesday Syndicate & Michael Watt), trained by Ian Williams, ridden by Silvestre de Sousa, at odds of 11/2 Jt Fav.
Trainer Ian Williams has only had six-year-old Aces in his yard since May – the horse having previously been in France – and after a mid-field run at Ascot first time out for the Alvechurch-based trainer, the son of Dark Angel galloped to a length and a quarter victory in today’s concluding race, the Investec Asset Management Handicap Stakes over six furlongs.
“This horse has similar owners to Reshoun who ran in the penultimate race today and he was very disappointing, so I was quite anxious about this fella!” said Williams.
“I don’t see any reason why he won’t step up to seven furlongs. We haven’t had him long, and he is probably a good bit better than his mark today – he is something to look forward to!”
Jockey Silvestre de Sousa said: “He ran well. They went very hard up front so I bided my time for my run.”
It has been a great day for De Sousa – he rode a 23.38/1 double and also finished second in the Investec Derby on Dee Ex Bee. He ends the Investec Derby Festival as leading jockey with three victories.
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RACHEL GROOM is Eclipse Magazine’s Photography Editor. Known for her ‘street’ photography she is also an in-house documenter of racing activities at a training yard in Epsom and loves a big day out at the races. You can see more of her work at www.rachelgroom.com