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Westover dominates for Irish Derby crown

Epsom third strikes Classic gold at the Curragh.

Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

WESTOVER TURNED THE Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby into a procession with a dominant display at the Curragh.

Thought by many to be an unlucky third at Epsom behind Desert Crown, Rob Hornby had been replaced by Ireland’s champion jockey Colin Keane for his Classic assignment.

Keane was intent on not letting the early pace-setter French Claim gain too much of an advantage in front and while Westover was tracking the pace, his main market rival, Aidan O’Brien’s Oaks winner Tuesday, was dropped out by Ryan Moore.

Lionel was one of the first beaten and when Moore tried to make up ground on Tuesday, Keane asked Westover to go and win the race two furlongs out.

The Ralph Beckett-trained colt galloped clear in relentless fashion and while Piz Badile gave game chase, he was no match for the impressive winner.

A winning distance of seven lengths advertised his superiority with a further two back to French Claim in third. Tuesday came home in fourth.

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The winner was cut to 4-1 from 10s by Paddy Power for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes, while he is 7-4 from 4-1 for the St Leger with Ladbrokes.

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