O'Brien's Derby - yet again
Anthony van Dyck gave trainer Aidan O'Brien a record-equalling seventh winner in the Epsom Derby on Saturday.
The 49-year-old Irishman had seven runners out of 13 in this year's edition of English flat racing's premier event, with Sir Dragonet highly fancied.
But it was Anthony van Dyck, a 13-2 shot, who came with a run on the inside under jockey Seamie Heffernan to win from the fast-finishing Madhmoon and Japan. With Broome fourth and Sir Dragonet fifth, Irish-trained horses swept the major places.
"It's incredible. I'm so privileged to be part of the team," O'Brien told ITV Racing.
"There are so many people involved that I would like to thank. These races are so competitive and so tough. I'm so privileged, delighted and grateful to the team."
The victory takes O'Brien level with Robert Robson, John Porter and Fred Darling for most Derby wins.
Heffernan had no doubts about Anthony van Dyck in the final 200m.
"I knew he would be with me when I needed him. It was a big ask of him, but he's danced every dance. I'm happy," he said.
Turning to O'Brien, Heffernan, who was winning his first Derby in his 12th try, jokingly said: "He can train all right."
There was no fairytale finish for Bangkok, who finished 12th. The horse is owned by the son of the late Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, best known in British sport for his role in bankrolling Leicester City's rise to a shock English Premier League title triumph in 2016.
Srivaddhanaprabha was killed in a helicopter crash outside the football club's stadium in October.
- AFP, REUTERS