Battle Of Marengo takes derby trial at Leopardstown
Aidan O’Brien’s horse sees off rivals in Derrinstown Stud race
Battle of Marengo ridden by Joseph O’Brien wins The Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA
Battle Of Marengo was left generally unchanged by bookmakers for Classic glory after a workmanlike success in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown.
Giving Aidan O’Brien his fourth Derby trial winner of the week, the Galileo colt, sent off at prohibitive odds of 2 to 13, took over from Dont Bother Me around five furlongs out and it looked like he would win with real ease when going clear with quarter of a mile to run.
He had to get a reminder from Joseph O’Brien, however, and in the end was pushed out to beat Loch Garman with Little White Cloud running an eyecatching race in third.
Just Pretending made a quick return to action pay dividends as she took top honours in the Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained filly only broke her maiden at Navan on Tuesday and clearly has an appetite for racing.
Joseph O’Brien’s mount (6 to 1) made noticeable progress at the three-furlong marker and made a positive move once straightened for home.
David Wachman’s Hint Of A Tint, who had been disappointing when favourite on her seasonal bow, put down a strong challenge but Just Pretending pulled out enough to prevail by a neck.
O’Brien senior said: “She is a funny lady. She gives trouble at the stalls and needs to be loaded early.
“She has loads of ability and she showed that at Navan. She could go for the Guineas (at the Curragh on May 26th) now and she might step up to a mile and a quarter. She is a fine big filly.”
Meanwhile, Style Vendome took his winning run to five when coming out on top in the French 2000 Guineas at Longchamp.
The Nicolas Clement-trained colt had won the Prix Djebel on his previous start and he continued his progress with a decisive, though narrow, triumph in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains.
He responded to jockey Thierry Thulliez’s urgings to lead inside the final furlong and hang on from Dastarhon.
Intello finished with a real flourish on the outside to grab third place with the Aidan O’Brien-trained Gale Force Ten fourth and Havana Gold from Richard Hannon’s stable fifth in the hands of Jamie Spencer.
Hannon’s first string, Olympic Glory, was sent off favourite but could never get in a blow from his wide position and was towards the rear of the field for most of the mile contest.
Flotilla got up in the final strides to land the French 1000 Guineas for trainer Mikel Delzangles at Longchamp.
Last season’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf winner came with a rattling run under Christophe Lemaire to collar the Andre Fabre-trained favourite Esoterique close home.
Fabre’s Tasaday was third while Zurigha came from way off the pace to grab fourth place for trainer Hannon and jockey Richard Hughes. The Ralph Beckett-trained Waterway Run was just behind the placed horses.
Flotilla’s (7 to 1) stablemate Sage Melody was soon in the lead and performed her pacemaking duties to a tee resulting in a win for the daughter of Mizzen Mast in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches.