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Saturday 10 December 2016

Bay bounds to Derby success

Published 20/06/2015 | 20:06

Botany Bay wins at Down Royal
Botany Bay wins at Down Royal

Botany Bay produced a strong late surge to land the Magners Ulster Derby at Down Royal.

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Niall McCullagh was content to hold up the Charles O'Brien-trained 7/1 chance in mid-division, and still had plenty of ground to make up when favourite Fields Of Athenry struck the front over two furlongs out.

Botany Bay picked up well after the home turn, though, and prove too strong in the final furlong, getting on top close home to score by a length. Brightly Shining took third.

That was Botany Bay's first career success, and a delighted O'Brien said: "I wasn't sure that the pace was going to suit him. They went very slow early and I was hoping for a better gallop.

"It was only really the last 100 yards that he got going. He is a huge, long striding horse and I was just afraid when they quickened they would take him off his feet which they did actually and it was only in the last 100 yards he got going.

"I've always had great faith in this horse but he let me down quite badly on his couple of runs as a two-year-old, I was scratching my head a little bit. Anyway he has grown up and matured and obviously he is different horse this year."

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