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Baron Samedi surprises Vintage Crop rivals at Navan for Joseph O'Brien

Hot favourite Santiago only fourth as 20-1 shot shines at Navan.

Trainer Joseph O'Brien.
Trainer Joseph O'Brien.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

BARON SAMEDI CONTINUED his winning ways when springing a 20-1 surprise in a dramatic renewal of the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan.

The Joseph O’Brien-trained four-year-old came from last to first to record a sixth consecutive victory in this Group Three heat over a mile and three-quarters.

There was no fluke as Baron Samedi lifted this prize off a mark of 112, having started last term on a rating of 65, to give jockey Dylan Browne McMonagle a first Group-race winner at his first attempt.

Baron Samedi led home a one-two for O’Brien, whose Master Of Reality was second after landing this race in 2019.

There was early drama with Sunchart jinking and unshipping Andy Slattery on leaving the stalls. The jockey was able to walk away while Sunchart continued riderless.

Emperor Of The Sun and Master Of Reality took the remaining five runners along with the latter going on two furlongs out.

However, Baron Samedi was delivered from the rear to hit the front and defeat his stablemate by half a length. Emperor Of The Sun was third with Santiago, the 8-13 favourite, only fourth.

O’Brien’s assistant Brendan Powell said: “He’s one of those unbelievable horses that has kept improving.

“Even turning in, a few lads said ‘you’re beat here’, but he never knows when he’s beat. He seems to love a fight and he keeps quickening up.

“It was Dylan’s first ride in a Group race, and a winner. He’s a smashing rider for a young lad.

“That’s the quickest (ground) the horse would have run on, but he said he seemed to float away on it.

“He just kept pulling out that bit more and you just don’t know when he’s going to stop improving.

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“He’s filled out this year and he’s a bigger horse. He just keeps improving all the time.

“You never know, he could end up going to Australia with the others.”

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