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Harzand completes Epsom/Irish Derby double

Aidan O’Brien’s Idaho was beaten into second.

Trainer Dermot Weld and jockey Pat Smullen.
Trainer Dermot Weld and jockey Pat Smullen.
Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

DERMOT WELD-TRAINED Harzand won the Irish Derby today at The Curragh to become the 18th horse to achieve the Epsom/Irish Derby double.

Harzand — who gave Weld his first victory in the blue riband at Epsom earlier this month — beat home Aidan O’Brien’s first string Idaho, who was third in the Epsom Derby, with outsider Stellar Mass third.

A competitive edge was taken off the race with the withdrawal of Idaho’s stablemate US Army Ranger, the runner-up at Epsom.

Nevertheless Idaho didn’t make it easy for the winner — whose pacemaker Ebediyin set a rattling pace but to little avail as the remainder of the field largely refused to play his game — matching him stride for stride in the final furlong.

However, Weld’s stable jockey Pat Smullen just managed to get an extra burst out of the odds-on favourite and edge out Ryan Moore on the valiant Idaho to pass the post 1/2 a length to the good.

Stellar Mass — trained by Weld’s longtime rival Jim Bolger — finished 3 3/4 lengths back.

- © AFP, 2016

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