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Trading Leather wins the Irish Derby

Trading Leather wins the Irish Derby

Trading Leather wins the Irish Derby

The Aidan O’Brien stranglehold on the Irish Derby has been broken. The Master of Ballydoyle was going for his eighth successive victory on Saturday and his eleventh win in the past seventeen years.

The latest renewal of the Euro 1,25 million  Irish Derby at the Curragh over 2400m saw punters jumping in boots and all for Ruler Of The World, who was sent off odds on at 4 to 5  following his triumph over the switchback Epsom course in the English Derby a month earlier.

In the past, certainly in the 90s, the Irish Derby was a contest between the English and French Derby winners to see who would be crowned the champion three year old of Europe.

In more recent times it has been dominated by the Ballydoyle team –  and this year O’Brien looked to have his best chance as in any previous year.

Some recent runnings of the Irish Derby haven’t been the strongest, the 2009 renewal was absent of Sea the Stars due to unsuitable ground while horses like Treasure Beach and Frozen Fire didn’t amount to much afterwards.

This year’s running seemed a stronger affair with all the main protagonists from the Epsom version involved

But things didn’t pan out as expected.

O’Brien’s extraordinary winning streak in one of the world’s premier three-year-old races came to a crashing end when hot favourite Ruler of the World, the Epsom Derby hero, was humbled by the Jim Bolger trained Trading Leather, ridden by veteran Irish jockey Kevin Manning.

Family Affair. Jim Bolger trained the winner for his daughter

Family Affair. Jim Bolger trained the winner for his wife

It was a real family affair for Bolger, as his wife Jackie owns the horse, and Manning is his son in law.

In addition Bolger bred the son of Teofilo, a horse he had trained, himself. It was the veteran trainer’s second Irish Derby as he sent out St Jovite to win the race in 1992.

Ruler Of The World never got in the race as the tearaway pacemaker Ralston Road cut out the running from Cap O’Rushes, there to make the pace for the Godolphin second favourite Libertarian.

Manning was alive to the situation up front and kept 6-1 shot Trading Leather at the head of the chasing group, kicking on in the straight to score from Galileo Rock (9/1), with Festive Cheer, Ruler of the World’s stable companion, third at 33-1.

Neither the favourite nor Libertarian, who had finished in second place at Epsom ever looked likely.

Bolger has had a magnificent season, Trading Leather’s success at the Curragh adding to the triumphs of his stable star Dawn Approach in the English 2000 Guineas and at Royal Ascot, although the latter had got stirred up in the Epsom Derby and ran a disappointing last in that race.

“It’s a very special day. It doesn’t get any better than this,” the trainer said. “We had this race in mind all along and he’s entered in all the best races (later in the European summer).”



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