Seventh Investec Derby For O’Brien

Aidan O’Brien became the joint winning-most trainer in Investec Derby history after 13/2 shot Anthony Van Dyck provided the master of Ballydoyle with a seventh success in Britain’s premier Classic and richest race.

Ridden by Seamie Heffernan, enjoying his first win on his 12th Derby ride, the three-year-old son of Galileo ran on gamely in the closing stages on the far-side rail to deny the Kevin Prendergast-trained Madhmoon (10/1) by a half-length.

ANTHONY VAN DYCK wins the Gr1 Epsom Derby. Ridden by Seamie Heffernan. Photo – Bronwen Healy. The Image is Everything. Bronwen Healy Photography.

Anthony Van Dyck’s stable companions Japan (20/1), Broome (4/1), Sir Dragonet (11/4f), Circus Maximus (10/1) were third, fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

O’Brien joins Fred Darling, John Porter and Robert Robson as a seven-time winner of the world’s greatest Flat race.

The Ballydoyle maestro has won the Investec Derby with Galileo (2001), High Chaparral (2002), Camelot (2012), Ruler Of The World (2013), Australia (2014), Wings Of Eagles (2017) and Anthony Van Dyck (2019).

O’Brien said: “It’s incredible, I am so delighted for everybody. I am privileged to be part of the team with everybody. The lads put so much in – John and Sue, Michael and Doreen, Derrick and Gay – they put so much in day in, day out.

Aidan O’Brien – dominant force

“Everyone that works in Ballydoyle and Coolmore – there are so many people. If I mention everybody, I will forget but there are people from the ground right up to the riders, the people in the office, the farriers, the vets, the people that do the stables day in and day out, that do the farms. There are so many people involved that I would like to thank.

“Patrick rides this horse out all the time and does a great job, Andrew is in charge of him, Sumi, who leads him up, and John – they are incredible people. I am so privileged and delighted and grateful to them.

“They were all there having a chance and I knew Kevin’s horse was there – I knew that Kevin would have his horse in tip-top shape and he was a very good horse. We were just hoping and we were just so delighted to be involved in that part of the race.

“Seamus gave him a great ride. This races are so competitive and so tough that, until they pass the line – as we saw yesterday, you are never sure. I am so delighted for everybody.

“Seamus has been placed for so many times. He has been working for us for so long and is such a special fellow. He has always been a world-class rider. We are so privileged to work with him and grateful every day, day in, day out. I am so delighted for him.”

The win was a triumph for the Australian breeding industry. The Galileo colt is from the group winning Exceed and Excel mare Believe’n’succeed, a group winner as a two-year-old for trainer Mark Kavanagh.

Bred by Darley, Believe’n’succeed was purchased by Kavanagh for $300,000 at the 2007 Gold Coast Yearling Sale before a short but successful racetrack career and then retiring to stud.

She was next offered at auction by South Australian breeder Michael Birchall at the 2014 Patinack Farm Complete Dispersal Sale at the Gold Coast where she was purchased by Coolmore’s Tom Magnier for $1.1 million in foal to Street Cry.

Believe’n’succeed was slated for sale through the Attunga Stud draft a few months earlier at the National Broodmare Sale but was a late withdrawal through illness. She then was offered when Patinack Farm was dispersed later in the year and Attunga presented her there to prospective buyers.

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