Battle won for O'Brien
Published 30/03/2013 | 16:56
Aidan O'Brien's Lines Of Battle held off Elleval to lead home an Irish one-two in the UAE Derby at Meydan.
Just 12 months on from O'Brien's win in the race with Daddy Long Legs, Ryan Moore made a positive move off a slow early pace to track Snowboarder into the straight.
Lines Of Battle kicked a couple of lengths clear, but David Marnane's Elleval emerged from the pack as his most serious challenger. He could never get on terms, though, and Lines Of Battle was a decisive winner. Snowboarder clung on for third.
O'Brien said: "We wanted the race to be a true test, but it wasn't because of the slow pace, which made it a good win in the circumstances. He doesn't like being in front too soon, but he quickened well and stayed well in the end. Ryan gave him a great ride."
Victory in the Group Two event earned Lines Of Battle significant points under the qualification criteria for the Kentucky Derby, and O'Brien confirmed: "Absolutely, that (the Kentucky Derby) was the plan coming here."
Moore said: "It was a farce of a race, they went so slow and I was saying to Hughesie (Richard Hughes, on Law Enforcement) down the back that this was too easy, and one of the problems was that my horse is idle.
"But he'd won around Dundalk and had a US pedigree, experience of travelling and the draw helped."