Bolshoi Ballet makes a Derby statement for Aidan O’Brien

Galileo colt scoots clear to win impressively under Ryan Moore at Leopardstown

Bolshoi Ballet and Ryan Moore won impressively at Leopardstown. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA

Bolshoi Ballet and Ryan Moore won impressively at Leopardstown. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

 

Bolshoi Ballet leapt to the head of the Derby ante-post market with an impressive trial victory at Leopardstown.

Aidan O’Brien’s Galileo colt was far too good for his rivals in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes — a race which has been springboard to a succession of the Ballydoyle trainer’s champions over the years.

Ryan Moore tracked big outsider Wexford Soil in the early stages of the Group Three, before taking over with three furlongs to run and quickly scooting clear with a quarter of a mile to run.

The outcome was instantly beyond doubt, and the even-money favourite crossed the line six lengths clear of his vain pursuers, led by stablemate Lough Derg.

Mac Swiney failed to boost his Derby prospects by managing only a near seven-length fourth.

Bolshoi Ballet, who was following up his course-and-distance victory in the Ballysax Stakes last month, was quickly promoted to outright favouritism for next month’s Derby — at as short as 7-4 with Coral.

He had previously shared the top of the market at around 5-1 with unbeaten stablemate High Definition, who had to miss his intended prep run in Lingfield’s Derby Trial on Saturday because of a poor blood test but may yet be in action in the Dante Stakes at York this week.

Earlier Aidan O’Brien’s Joan Of Arc dominated the Irish 1,000 Guineas Trial.

The 11-4 favourite, ridden by Moore, was in front after a furlong and stayed there without ever having to come under strong pressure.

Joan Of Arc was restating her case for a clutch of high-profile entries in top races over the coming months, having failed to build on her Curragh maiden victory when only sixth in a similar trial over seven furlongs here last month.

Up to a mile in this Group Three, the daughter of Galileo — a full-sister to Classic winners Gleneagles and Marvellous — always appeared in control and had a length and three-quarters in hand at the line.

Her nearest pursuer was 50-1 shot Flirting Bridge, with the same distance back to another outsider Thinking Of You (40-1) in third.

Paddy Power reacted by halving Joan Of Arc’s odds for both Royal Ascot’s Coronation Stakes (into 8-1) and the Cazoo Oaks at Epsom (into 10-1) next month.

O’Brien said: “The last day was a bit of a non-event for her, but she came out of it lovely.

“The plan was to come back here, and then maybe go to the Irish Guineas.

“Ryan said she might stay a bit further so we’re very happy with that. She’s a very relaxed filly.”

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