O’Brien’s City Of Joy!

10 up for the master!

Aidan O’Brien hailed City Of Troy (3c Justify – Together Forever, by Galileo) as the best Derby winner he’s ever trained after the Coolmore homebred blew away the opposition at Epsom on Saturday to win the Gr1 Betfred Derby.

It was high praise from the Ballydoyle maestro, given that his record ten winners includes the likes of Camelot, Galileo and High Chaparral, but O’Brien’s belief in City Of Troy has never waned, not even after his disappointing return in the 2,000 Guineas.

Ryan Moore and City Of Troy charge clear to win easily (Pic – Coolmore)

“We knew he had the ability,” O’Brien said at Epsom. “We thought he was the best juvenile I had ever trained and there’s no doubt he’s the best Derby winner. He has the cruise, he has the balance, he quickens and he stays.”

Ryan Moore gave City Of Troy a patient ride from stall one, positioning the favourite at the back of the field and waiting until three furlongs out to produce a challenge.

“We were able to pick a path and he took me there early and easily, Moore explained. “The race was over and he was in control of it a fair way out. I felt he was still a little bit inexperienced with the loose horse in front of him, but he changed his legs near the line and went on again. He’s a bit special.”

The winning margin was two lengths and three quarters, with Ambiente Friendly (Gleneagles) producing a gallant performance in second, following his impressive Derby Trial success. Ballydoyle inmate Los Angeles (Camelot) and Owen Burrows’ Deira Mile (Camelot) completed a 1-2-3-4 for Coolmore sires.

City Of Troy’s impressive performance has everyone asking what’s next for the winner, with the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic suggested for the son of US Triple Crown hero Justify.

On that possibility, MV Magnier said, “That would be the biggest dream we could have. We’ve tried it before and we’ll try it again, and that’s what the sport wants. They want these horses competing with the best; that’s what the people want to see. It would be great for European racing and great for worldwide racing.”

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