O'Brien Triumphs 1-2-3 In Irish Derby
Cape Blanco made his move ahead of Midas Touch and Jan Vermeer.
The outcome of the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby was never in doubt with home-team Ballydoyle controlling the race with pacemakers Bright Horizon (Galileo IRE) and At First Sight IRE (Galileo IRE) setting a very fast pace for the 1m4f Classic on very firm Turf.
Their A-team of Cape Blanco IRE (Galileo IRE), Midas Touch (Galileo IRE) and Jan Vermeer IRE (Montjeu IRE) hovered behind the pacemakers with the supplemented favourite Monterosso (Dubawi IRE) ridden just off their pace by Frankie Dettori for owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed al Maktoum.
When the pacemakers faded, all three colts of trainer Aiden O'Brien took their chances with no favouritism to any.
Jockey Johnny Murtagh made the right choice on Cape Blanco who won by 1/2 length over Midas Touch and another 1-1/2 lengths to Jan Vermeer.
Monterosso was another length behind after making a gallant effort to pass the leaders.
His trainer Mark Johnston said "We're disappointed and don't know whether this was a step too far in terms of the class or if it came too soon after Royal Ascot."
My view is that the race was too soon for Monterosso (only a week since Royal Ascot).
Further, he was up against more experienced and rested horses on their home training course.
I warned that "it is a big ask" for the colt and was flabbergasted that he went off favourite with the Dante Stakes winner, Cape Blanco, second.
O'Brien's horses always run to win and he deserves his fifth consecutive Irish Derby with his one-two-three result.
Cape Blanco has moved into second favourite behind Workforce (King's Best USA) with the bookies for the King George VII and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes July 24 and Midas Touch is rumoured for the Doncaster St Leger.
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