Douglas Macarthur takes Derrinstown Derby trial

Aidan O’Brien saddles the first three home with 7-1 outsider taking it at Leopardstown

Douglas Macarthur leads home two Ballydoyle stablemates to take the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Douglas Macarthur came out on top in a Ballydoyle-dominated finish to the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien has saddled 10 previous winners of this prestigious event, with subsequent Epsom heroes Galileo (2001) and High Chaparral (2002) — as well as four-time Gold Cup victor Yeats (2004) — among those on the roll of honour.

This year O'Brien fired three bullets and though Douglas Macarthur had fared best of of the trio when runner-up in the Ballysax Stakes a month ago, he was the Ballydoyle outsider at 7-1.

Emmet McNamara’s mount set out to make all the running, but stablemate Capri, fourth in the Ballysax, ranged alongside rounding the home turn.


Yucatan, who finish third in the Ballysax, was the 13-8 favourite, and he finished strongly to set up a grandstand finish.

However, Douglas Macarthur clung on grimly against the rail to score by a head.

Yucatan just beat Capri to the runner-up spot.

McNamara said: “They were three very nice horses and it was just nice to be on one of them.

“He stays all day and he shouldn’t have any problems getting a mile and a half.

“He’s a typical Galileo — he gets his head down and really tries.”

McNamara added: “Turning in, I thought I might be in a bit of trouble but staying won the day for him.

“I rode him plenty at home over the winter and know him well. He’s a very uncomplicated horse, and I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t act around Epsom.

“He’s a well-balanced horse, and he can jump smart from the gates and get a position and travel.”

Earlier Bean Feasa eventually wore down the front-running Asking to claim top honours in the Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial.

The Jim Bolger-trained Bean Feasa was the 100-30 favourite shot to open her account at the sixth attempt in this Group Three contest.

Asking gave a bold sight in front under Ana O’Brien and briefly looked to have her rivals on the stretch early in the straight.

However, her stride began to shorten racing inside the final furlong and Bean Feasa was ultimately well on top as she passed the post two and three-quarter lengths ahead in the hands of Kevin Manning.

Bolger said: “She relished the faster ground and obviously that opens up new opportunities for her. Hopefully she will progress now from here.

“She can step up in trip later on and is going to be versatile. She doesn’t want soft ground but I’d say she will be alright after that.

“We were happy enough going to Gowran last week but there was a downpour at 12 o’clock on Sunday and that scuppered her chance.

“She still ran well and recovered well afterwards. She’s hardy.

“We’ll have to see about the (Irish) Guineas but I wouldn’t rule it out.”