William Buick booted Masar home in Saturday’s Gr1 Investec Derby to give Godolphin a first success in a major European Classic for three years.
The 16-1 Masar, third behind Saxon Warrior and Tip Two Win in the 2,000 Guineas last month, surged to victory by one and a half lengths in the Surrey sunshine.
The son of New Approach gave trainer Charlie Appleby his first classic, with odds-on fancy Saxon Warrior a well beaten fourth after having no luck in running. Aidan O’Brien saddled the favourite and four other runners in a field of 12 and was bidding for a record-equalling seventh Derby.
It was a special day for the Godolphin operation. It also bred runner-up Dee Ex Bee, who is owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, son of Godolphin founder Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
“It’s not easy to win the Derby,” Sheikh Mohammed said. “Charlie is a very good trainer, and the horse came from Dubai. I’m very happy. Horses are in my blood. I love horses, and I love racing.”
Appleby, runner-up with Wild Illusion in the Oaks, said: “It’s not sunk in yet. It still feels a dream.
“I’m delighted for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed – firstly for giving me the position to be here. I’ve always said when I started this job I wanted to be the first person to have a Derby winner in Godolphin blue.”
Buick, twice a winner of the St Leger, said: “I’ve come close a couple of times. I’ve had seven or eight rides and I was wondering if my time was ever going to come.
“He stayed the trip; he travelled beautifully. The Guineas didn’t happen for him, but he’s a very good horse and the team believed in him.”
South African race fans were rooting for Bernard Kantor’s Young Rascal, but after an akward negotiation of the bend he never picked it up and fiinished well downfield.
The smart winner Masar, a homebred son of 2008 Derby winner New Approach, is out of the Cape Cross mare Khawlah, who won the 2011 Gr3 UAE Oaks Sponsored by Al Tayer Motors and Gr2 UAE Derby Sponsored by the Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group.