Trading Leather lands knockout blow in the Irish Derby
Seven-year dominance of Aidan O’Brien ended by Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning team at the Curragh
Kevin Manning riding Trading Leather win The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at Curragh. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Joseph O’Brien on Count of Limonade comes home to win the second race of the day at the Curragh. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
His better known stable companion Dawn Approach finished last at Epsom but Trading Leather managed to do the exact opposite with a gallant success in this evening’s Dubai Duty Freee Irish Derby at the Curragh.
It was a first success in Ireland’s premier classic for veteran jockey Kevin Manning and a first Curragh Derby for trainer Jim Bolger, since St Jovite scored 21 years ago.
The Epsom hero Ruler of the World could never get a blow in after racing at the rear of the field and finished fifth, while Godolphin’s Libertarian beat only one home.
Victory for the Bolger-Manning team brought to an end Aidan O’Brien’s seven-year winning streak and it was, in fact, his outsider Festive Cheer who eclipsed the favourite when finishing third.
Galileo Rock, owned by controversial Cork developer Michael O’Flynn and trained by David Wachman, improved to the runner-up spot today after a third-placed finish at Epsom.
“It probably goes down as a career-topping day,” said Bolger afterwards. “It doesn’t really get any better than this. We were pleased with his run in the Dante, as we hadn’t had a good run with him up to that.
“We got a bit sidetracked with running him in the Guineas here and I suppose if nothing else we made it a good pace that day! We’ve had this race in mind all along. He would have gone to Epsom if Dawn Approach hadn’t been there. This horse needs a good strong gallop, whereas we weren’t sure about the stamina of Dawn Approach.
“I hope he’s entered in all the big races, but we need to be careful about the going, as he likes nice underfoot conditions. The dam is by Sinndar, so I never had doubts about his stamina, although others did.”
Manning was delighted to finally break his duck in Ireland’s premier Classic.
“I was a bit afraid of getting to the front too soon,” he said. “He gallops and he has pace. It means an awful lot to me to win this race. I missed the chance before when New Approach was taken out late on.”
Wachman was delighted with the effort of the runner-up.
“He ran well. The winner won well but we made of a race of it and I’m very happy with that. He’s definitely stepped forward (from Epsom). These three-year-olds need to step forward through the year and he’ll need to step forward again from here.
“Jim’s horse travelled particularly well, we stayed on but I think the winner won with bit up his sleeve.”
Wachman claimed the Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises Railway Stakes for the second successive year as 5/1 shot Sudirman sprang a minor surprise in the hands of Wayne Lordan.
O’Brien’s Norfolk Stakes runner-up Coach House was unsurprisingly all the rage for the Group Two contest, sent off an 8/15 favourite just nine days after his fine Royal Ascot display.
But while the juvenile loomed up menacingly over a furlong out, his challenge came to nothing and he eventually trailed home a well beaten third.