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INVESTEC DERBY: Serpentine goes it alone for famous win
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INVESTEC DERBY: Serpentine goes it alone for famous win
on 04 July 2020
Emmet McNamara won the Derby with a brilliant first ride in the Epsom classic

AIDAN O’Brien trained his eighth Derby winner at Epsom when the 25/1 outsider Serpentine made most of the running under a well-judged ride by Emmet McNamara to win the classic by five and a half lengths from fellow outsiders Khalifa Sat (Tom Marquand, 50/1) and Amhran Na Bhfiann (66/1) with Kameko coming out best of the fancied horses in fourth.

Serpentine follows 2001 Galileo, 2002 High Chapparal, 2012 Camelot, 2013 Ruler Of The World, 2014 Australia, 2017 Wings Of Eagles, 2019 Anthony Van Dyck as Ballydoyle-trained winners.

Galileo is now the most successful Investec Derby sire of all time with five winners. His other scorers are New Approach (2008), Ruler Of The World (2013), Australia (2014) & Anthony Van Dyck (2019).

Serpentine went off on his own under Emmet McNamara at a steady pace but increased his advantage by half way and was up to 10 lengths clear round Tattenham Corner. He never looked like being caught up the straight.

A winner last Saturday by nine lengths in a Curragh maiden, the chesnut colt kept grinding to lead home a shock first three.

Serpentine was an eighth Derby winner for Aidan O'Brien\ Healy Racing

Aidan O’Brien was interviewed from home: “It’s unbelievable really. He has some pedigree and we always thought he would stay well.

He’s another homebred by Galileo. He always had the Derby pedigree. He took a bit of time to come last year and just had the one run. There was no doubt with his performance the last day he had to take his chance.

I’m absolutely delighted for Emmet. He gave him an incredible ride, so I’m over the moon. They all run on their merits and we give them the best instructions for each horse to win the race. He stayed well and there was no point waiting with him with no pace. We are always delighted if one of them wins.”

For McNamara, the race was as straightforward as it gets and he said: "I think I got a little bit of a freebie! I had a huge amount of confidence in the horse having spoken to Aidan during the week. He filled me with confidence and said that he is a horse that is going to stay a mile and six furlongs for you well. He said jump, go your own tempo, from halfway after you give him a breather from the six to the five, you keep building to that winning post, he will keep going. God, he was right!

"I couldn't hear a thing, I could just hear the horse breathing, he was in a good rhythm, he was relaxed. I couldn't hear a thing around me, I didn't want to be looking, I wasn't aware of it, I knew I was a few clear alright.

"It's a bit surreal really, can't believe it. I hope Eric McNamara (father) is OK at home and hasn't died of a heart attack or anything!

"It is unbelievable, a huge amount of thanks and gratitude to Aidan O'Brien and all his family - I have spent a fantastic six years there - and to all the owners who have shown a bit of faith in me today. I really appreciate it."

Paul Smith, son of Derrick Smith who owns winner along with Sue Magnier and Michael Tabor: "Incredible isn't it? Those Galileos - they never know when to lie down! Absolutely incredible.

"I am so pleased for Emmet McNamara, he is a big part of the team back at Ballydoyle. He got chinned in the Irish Derby a week or so back, he works so hard for us, no disrespect to the other jockeys, but I am delighted for him.

"When you have Galileo and you have Aidan, anything is possible! It really is! Aidan knew he would stay well, we knew that, they let him go and he just ran for fun.

"It was an Incredible race to watch, I was very, very hopeful because I knew he would get home, I really did. Once they let him alone, I thought this is going to be interesting.

"Love was classy too, I am just so pleased for the team and Emmet is such a team player.

Of the beaten horses trainers Andrew Balding, trainer of Khalifa Sat and Kameko said: "It was a funny race but Khalifa Sat ran great, I am thrilled with him. And Kameko ran well to a point - Oisin just felt he emptied out a little bit late on. Two lovely horses and fair play, they both ran great. We have always liked Khalifa Sat, he is a lovely type."

Ed Walker, trainer of fifth English King said: "The way the race panned out was frustrating, purely and simply. I am thrilled with everything - proud as punch of the horse, Frankie did well from a difficult draw. I have got no excuses, just a frustrating race.

“A Derby with no pace - there is no such thing these days, really - and we needed pace. But I am proud of the horse, he has run great. My first Derby experience; he has hit the line hard, another 50 yards and he might have been second."


The 241st Investec Derby (Group 1)

4.55pm, Epsom Downs, Saturday, 4 July, 2020. 1m 4f 6y. £500,000 Total Prize Fund.

1 (12) Serpentine (IRE) (Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith) Aidan O'Brien IRE 3-9-00 Emmet McNamara* 25/1

2 (14) Khalifa Sat (IRE) (Ahmad Al Shaikh) Andrew Balding 3-9-00 Tom Marquand* 50/1

3 (5) Amhran Na Bhfiann (IRE) (Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor) Aidan O'Brien IRE 3-9-00 William Buick 66/1

4 (11) Kameko (USA) (Qatar Racing Limited) Andrew Balding 3-9-00 Oisin Murphy 5/2 Fav

5 (1) English King (FR) (Bjorn Nielsen) Ed Walker 3-9-00 Frankie Dettori 100/30

6 (2) Mogul (Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier) Aidan O'Brien IRE 3-9-00 Ryan Moore 7/1

7 (6) Russian Emperor (IRE) (Laurie Macri/Sue Magnier et al) Aidan O'Brien IRE 3-9-00 Seamie Heffernan 6/1

8 (8) Vatican City (IRE) (Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith) Aidan O'Brien IRE 3-9-00 Padraig Beggy 17/2

9 (16) Gold Maze (The Long Wait Partnership) Jessica Harrington IRE 3-9-00 David Egan* 150/1

10 (13) Highland Chief (IRE) (Fitri Hay) Paul & Oliver Cole 3-9-00 Ben Curtis* 20/1

11 (3) Pyledriver (K & W Bloodstock Limited & Roger Devlin) William Muir 3-9-00 Martin Dwyer 16/1

12 (15) Mohican Heights (IRE) (Sun Bloodstock SARL) David Simcock 3-9-00 Andrea Atzeni 25/1

13 (10) Mythical (FR) (Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith) Aidan O'Brien IRE 3-9-00 James Doyle 100/1

14 (7) Max Vega (IRE) (The Pickford Hill Partnership) Ralph Beckett 3-9-00 Harry Bentley* 33/1

15 (4) Emissary (Khalid Abdullah) Hugo Palmer 3-9-00 Jim Crowley 40/1

16 (9) Worthily (USA) (George Strawbridge) John Gosden 3-9-00 Martin Harley* 40/1

16 ran Time: 2m 34.43s Distances: 5½, ½, nose, nk, ¾,

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