O’Brien Makes A Ninth Impact On Derby

Activists fail to stop the great show

Aidan O’Brien had described Auguste Rodin as a collector’s item in the build-up to the 244th running of the Gr1 Betfred Derby and the colt showed his true worth as he provided the trainer with a record-extending ninth triumph in the premier Classic at Epsom on Saturday.

The impeccably bred colt, ridden by Ryan Moore, wore down the giant King Of Steel in the closing stages to erase the memory of his lamentable run in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket last month.

Auguste Rodin (Ryan Moore) gets the better of outsider King Of Steel (Kevin Stott) to win the big one (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

O’Brien had given a lengthy list of reasons as to why the son of Japanese legend Deep Impact had fluffed his lines at Headquarters and, stepped up to 12 furlongs, he bounced back to his best in memorable fashion.

Activists had threatened to disrupt one of the great highlights of the sporting summer and as spectators waited excitedly for the runners to appear, an intruder jumped the fence and rushed on to the course.

He was pursued by police as the crowd jeered, with some shouting “get him”, before being pulled away and tackled to the ground where he was handcuffed. Shortly after, a woman tried to jump the fence in front of the grandstand as police officers rushed to stop her.

Oblivious to what was happening, Moore settled Auguste Rodin in mid-division as his stablemates San Antonio and Adelaide River dictated terms up front. The jockey, previously successful on Workforce and Ruler Of The World, was content to let the action unfold in front of him.

Kevin Stott made an audacious bid for home after rounding Tattenham Corner aboard the 66-1 outsider King Of Steel, a horse who dwarfed plenty of his rivals in the paddock beforehand.

What a horse! Auguste Rodin priks his ears for SP photographer Candiese Lenferna

Plans for Auguste Rodin will have to be discussed, but the Irish Derby or King George at Ascot could be on the radar.

O’Brien said: “I’m not sure, but obviously these type of horses come here and if they’re good enough we often have a look at the Irish Derby, but the lads make all those decisions. We’ll see how he is, tell the lads and they’ll talk about it, talk to Ryan and then we’ll make a decision.

“I don’t think he had too tough a race as it wasn’t a strong early pace. All those options are open to him.”

Auguste Rodin is by Deep Impact out of Rhododendron by Galileo. Rhododendron is a full sister to Riethuiskraal sire, Flying The Flag.

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