Hurricane Lane and William Buick got the better of Frankie Dettori's mount Lone Eagle to record a one-two for cross-channel raiders in Saturday's Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.
On the back of just two overseas victories in Ireland’s premier Classic over the previous two decades, the home team were put firmly in their place this time in the €1 million feature.
Godolphin's 4-1 winner, third to his stable companion Adayar at Epsom earlier in the month, overcame a less than smooth passage through the race to overhaul Lone Eagle in the final strides and win by a neck.
It was a massive seven lengths back to the third Wordsworth who fared best of Aidan O’Brien’s five-strong team, while Earlswood was fourth.
The 9-4 favourite High Definition ran a shocker, beating only one home after racing at the rear and coming under pressure half a mile from home.
At that point Lone Eagle looked to have the race in the bag as Dettori kicked early in the straight and shot clear.
Buick had endured a tough time in the race with Hurricane Lane being shuffled back in the early stages and looking less than comfortable coming down the hill into the straight.
However, once the field levelled out Hurricane Lane's stamina came to the fore and he remorselessly cut into Lone Eagle's lead to give Godolphin and Buick another victory to go with Jack Hobbs in 2015.
Godolphin also scored in 1994 with Dettori’s sole Irish Derby winner Balanchine.
The winner leaned a little right on to Wordsworth when beginning his run, and the latter bumped Mojo Star, but there was never a danger of places being changed in the subsequent stewards' enquiry. Buick did receive a two-day suspension for careless riding.
Hurricane Lane returned to the welcome sound of applause into the winners enclosure from the first spectators allowed into a racecourse in the Republic of Ireland in almost 16 months due to the pandemic.
A thousand spectators were allowed at the Derby as one of the Government’s test sporting events which up to now have not resulted in any Covid-19 positives according to officials.
It still appeared to be a relatively low-key occasion with spectators sectioned into certain areas separate from industry professionals.
Before the Derby, Air Corps aircraft performed a fly-past over the track in tribute to frontline workers.
Hurricane Lane's success completed an Epsom-Curragh Derby double for trainer Charlie Appleby, who is preparing Adayar for a tilt at next month's King George.
Bookmakers have installed Hurricane Lane as a 4-1 favourite for the St Leger in September although Appleby was reluctant to make firms plans for his latest classic hero.
“I couldn’t have been any happier coming into the race. I felt that he gained experience at Epsom. He surprised me at Epsom as I thought he would travel better but inexperience showed around there.
“It was noticeable after Epsom how he’d grown up, his work was sharper. The only negative today was the ground tightening up over the last 24 hours and coming down the hill William came under the pump a bit.
“Once he met the rising ground again, I was confident that he would gallop all the way to the line.
“I thought that Frankie had stolen a march and he’d be a hard horse to peg back, but I knew our horse would keep galloping to the line,” Appleby said.
Buick, too, was anxious at one point that Dettori had got away.
“I must say that I thought halfway through the race that we’d given up our position behind Frankie a little bit, and I thought he’d get first run.
“My horse quickened up really well and showed a lot of quality out there today.
“Once I switched him out wide, he managed to get some clear running room and he took off. I was just praying I’d get the leader in time.
“He’s a very, very good horse. We obviously fancied him at Epsom and today he’s improved again,” the jockey said.
High Definition never promised to give Aidan O’Brien a 15th Irish Derby success. Afterwards samples were taken for analysis from the colt although a veterinary examination reported him post-race normal.
Saturday's main support race, the Group Two Gain Railway Stakes, also went for export as the Rossa Ryan ridden Go Bears Go went one better than his Norfolk Stakes second at Royal Ascot last week.
The 17-2 winner justified his supplementary entry to give both Ryan and trainer David Loughnane the biggest wins of their careers.
Co Galway-born Ryan, who turns 21 next week, and returned on Friday from both a broken collar-bone and an appendicitis operation, said: “He’s a top-class sprinter in the making, I think.”
Go Bears Go had over a length in hand of Castle Star at the line, with Masseto in third, in a result that suggests cross-channel juveniles have an edge on their Irish rivals to date this season.
Romantic Proposal was a winning favourite in the Listed Dash Sinawann but couldn’t manage the same in the Celebration Stakes.
He finished fourth to Fourhometwo who benefited from a daring switch to the rail from jockey Ben Coen to edge out Ryan Moore on Khartoum.
Last season's high class juvenile Cadillac made a winning return to action in the Group Three International Stakes, holding off the fast-finishing Dawn Patrol by a short head in a blanket finish.
“I thought he was beaten. I’m delighted for the horse as things didn’t go his way last autumn and to come back now, having had a bit of a setback earlier in the spring, is fantastic.
"We'll try to win a Group One with him. He may have one more run and then go for the Irish Champion Stakes. He loves Leopardstown, " said trainer Jessica Harrington.
“He’s a proper horse to do that on his first run of the year. He had to squeeze through and do all the things he hadn’t done before,” she added.