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Dublin: 4°C Friday 16 April 2021

33-1 shot Sovereign steals Irish Derby to cause huge shock

The outsider strode to a commanding victory at the Curragh today.

Padraig Beggy celebrates winning on Sovereign.
Padraig Beggy celebrates winning on Sovereign.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

SOVEREIGN, SENT OFF at 33-1, today landed the biggest race in the Irish Flat calendar – the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby – for miracle man Padraig Beggy, who won the Epsom equivalent in 2017 on 40-1 shot Wings Of Eagles.

Having set a strong pace alongside stablemate Norway, which many believed would have been a ploy for stable first string and favourite Anthony Van Dyck, Sovereign never looked like stopping and eventually ran out a cosy six-length victor to the shock of the Curragh crowd.

He follows in the footsteps of his sire Galileo, who won this race in 2001, with this all-the-way success, racking up just his second victory after nine starts.

Beggy, who was riding his first winner from eight rides this year, said: “I’m over the moon. This one would be more important to me than the Epsom equivalent. This was the race I grew up wanting to win, it was my main ambition, and I’m just very, very lucky. It’s down to a big group of people but mainly Aidan O’Brien for putting me on.

“I just got into a lovely, comfortable rhythm and let him roll along at that pace. He’s just a big galloper, I got into a good rhythm and he kept going. I did think something would come to me but when I looked at the big screen and knew I was clear, I just thought keep him going.”

Anthony Van Dyck, who was looking to become the fifth Aidan O’Brien-trained three-year-old colt to win both the Irish and English Derby, stayed on well to finish second under Ryan Moore, while Norway plugged on for third and Madhmoon took fourth.

Siskin maintained his unbeaten record with a commanding victory in the Group 2 Railway Stakes at the Curragh to cement his position as one of the most exciting juveniles to appear on the track this season. 

Owned by Khalid Abdullah, Siskin broke well and showed an impressive turn of foot to power clear of his four rivals over the final furlong, justifying 4-6 favouritism and finishing two and a half lengths clear of the Aidan O’Brien trained Monarch Of Egypt.

The Ger Lyons-trained son of First Defence was slashed to 12-1 (from 20-1) by some bookmakers for the 2020 Qipco 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket.

The Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes back at the Curragh in August is the next target for the colt who was a third winner on the day for Lyons and stable jockey Colin Keane.

Lyons said: “I didn’t want to run him in the Coventry Stakes and Teddy [Grimthorpe, owner's racing manager] backed me 100 per cent. On the Sunday before Ascot we spoke and he asked me what I wanted to do. I told him I wanted to stick to my original plan and he was fine with that.

“It’s a huge bonus to have an owner like Prince Khalid in the yard and in Colin Keane we have the best jockey in Ireland riding for us.”

Brian Sheerin; for more visit the Racing Post  

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