PAT BLOG: This week Pat reacts to the Epsom Derby and the Oaks, where Adayar caught his eye.
It was a fascinating Epsom Derby, which was full of drama and going into the race there was the extra intrigue with Aidan O’Brien having decided to declare only one runner in Bolshoi Ballet. We all thought the reason for that was because he was considered something special, but we failed to see that.
Then there was the jockey merry-go-round which bought you back to the days of Lester Piggott in his prime where he could jock off any rider in the country, and Frankie Dettori is able to do just the same being of such quality. The biggest casualty of all was Oisin Murphy who was supposed to ride the winner, Adayar, but with Frankie taking the ropes on John Leeper, Charlie Appleby reshuffled his deck and put one of his main players back in the race which is only right. For Adam Kirby to then go and win was just the stuff of dreams, and I was delighted for him, there is no harder worker in the weighing room. To add even more layers to a truly great story, Adam even broke in Adayar for Godolphin and this year’s Derby will live long in the memory.
Appleby winning his second Derby for Godolphin also proves that he really is in the top drawer of racehorse trainers. After working his way up from a stable lad it just shows that hard work and talent do rise to the top. We also happen to be very fond of him here in County Kerry as his wife is from neighbouring Limerick. A mention must also go to the horse, who looks to be a colt of the highest order and it will be interesting to see him strut his stuff in the next few weeks. He looks set for the King George now and if that goes to plan, a trip to the Arc looks very much on the agenda too.
Snowfall’s victory was a phenomenal performance and to win by 16 lengths really showed her class,. She looks a monster and I think I could have even won on her on the day! I would like to see her do it again in another Group 1, though, as this time last year Love was doing it day in day out claiming the Guineas, Oaks, and Yorkshire Oaks in the process. Aidan’s got a lot of good horses at his disposal, so it will be interesting to see where he takes her next, the quality of the yard was on show over in France too with St Mark’s Basilica claiming a first French Derby for him.
Martin Dwyer completed the Epsom hat-trick when landing the Coronation Cup, having already won the Derby and Oaks. He is one of the most popular guys on the circuit and it looks likely that they will head off to Longhcamp and the Arc with Pyledriver at the end of the season. He just adds another fascinating element to an already enthralling race.