Fame and Glory lands Irish Derby

 

Racing:Fame And Glory ran out a wide-margin winner of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh. Aidan O'Brien's colt was sent off the 8-11 favourite to go one better than when second to Sea The Stars in the Epsom equivalent, and travelled nicely towards the rear of the field in the early stages.

As the pacesetters dropped away, Golden Sword was the first to go for home.

But Fame And Glory, ridden by Johnny Murtagh, soon reeled him in and powered away in the final furlong to score decisively from his stablemate.

Mourayan, trained by John Oxx, was third.

It was a record-breaking seventh success in the race for O'Brien - and a third for Murtagh following victories aboard Sinndar and Alamshar.

Fame And Glory oozed class as he pulled away from his rivals with five lengths in hand over 11-1 chance Golden Sword, who finished fifth in the Epsom Derby.

Mourayan, a stablemate of Sea The Stars, who was withdrawn from the Irish Derby on Saturday on account of the rain-softened ground, stayed on gamely for third.

O'Brien said: "He's got a lot of tactical speed and was very quick to get into his stride.

"He's a great traveller and he's a classy horse.

"It was a great performance from Golden Sword. He improved from his run at Chester and has improved again from the Derby at Epsom.

"It's unbelievable to win this race again. When there is expectation, like there was today, it's always tense - but this is marvellous."

O'Brien added: "He was special last year, and came through his trials well this spring. Johnny was over the moon and he has won very snugly.

"Everyone knows the Curragh is straightforward track and there is nowhere to hide. He has improved with every run and came back very well."

Murtagh said: "This is like our Royal Ascot and a great champion always wins it.

"It was a good, solid gallop all the way - he relaxed very well. It was hands and heels, a very easy win.

"I thought when I worked him earlier in the week he was going to do something like this. I rode Sinndar and Alamshar and they went on to better things, and this horse has a similar profile.

"He could be the horse for the Irish Champion Stakes (at Leopardstown) later in the year."

Of a possible rematch with Epsom Derby winner Sea The Stars, Murtagh added: "He is 1-0 up, but hopefully we'll lock horns later in the year - it will be great for racing.

"I knew coming here that this horse was going to be a different proposition altogether.

"He improved quite a bit from Epsom, and I don't care what turned up today - he would have been hard to beat.

"He has improved mentally, is much sharper and on the ball. I think he will be consistent from now until the end of the year."