Wings Of Eagles swoops for Derby glory at Epsom
Wings Of Eagles caused a huge 40-1 upset in the Investec Derby at Epsom to propel jockey Padraig Beggy into the limelight.
With only two behind him with three furlongs to run, the son of 2011 Derby winner Pour Moi came from the clouds to claim his Aidan O'Brien-trained stablemate Cliffs Of Moher in the dying strides.
The result had looked like going with the form book as Cliffs Of Moher just got the better of the two Frankel colts, Cracksman and Eminent, inside the final furlong.
But that was not taking into account Wings Of Eagles, the apparent Ballydoyle fifth string, who provided O'Brien with a sixth Derby winner.
Beggy, having his first ride in the race, said: "That's my first ride, but when you're riding one for Aidan you don't worry about the price, they always have a chance.
"I had a bit of bad luck in running but probably got there at the right time in the end."
There was a strong gallop set by The Anvil and carried on by Douglas Macarthur.
Cracksman - the 7-2 favourite - was never too far away under Frankie Dettori for John Gosden, and did well to stay on like he did.
Eminent made his move down the centre of the track in the hands of Jim Crowley, with Ryan Moore taking Cliffs Of Moher on his outside.
But just when Cliffs Of Moher looked to have the race in the bag, Wings Of Eagles, who was second to stable companion Venice Beach in the Chester Vase, hit top gear to win by three-quarters of a length. Cracksman was another neck back in third.
Beggy added: "A furlong down I thought if I get a run I'd win, I knew Ryan had gone, but in fairness to the big horse his best furlong is his last, which makes a big difference. I don't get to sit on many beasts like this at the races, so I'm going to enjoy it.
"I'd nearly given up on the big days, but Aidan O'Brien has made it happen. It's happy days."
O'Brien said: "His lad at home was delighted with him. We thought he was a very nice horse last year, he ran a lovely race at the back-end in France and then ran a lovely race at Chester.
"I couldn't be happier, and obviously I'm delighted with Cliffs Of Moher but he's a bit of a baby and his next run will be something to look forward to.
"Paddy is a world-class rider, he has a great mind and is always very aware - I'm delighted for him, I can't tell you how delighted we are to have him working with us."
O'Brien went on: "Ryan's horse got there and just got tired, but Padraig gave the winner a great ride. He had him in a lovely rhythm, nice and balanced.
"Seamus (Heffernan) rode him in the Vase and he ran a really good race, he's been working well since then.
"We were worried Cliffs Of Moher just came to hand late, it was a rush to get him to Chester, we had to have a run, if he hadn't he wouldn't have been here.
"It's possible the first two could go to the Irish Derby if the lads want to. I'd imagine Cliffs Of Moher is open to the most improvement, Ryan just felt the last half a furlong was a bit much today but he's only a baby."
Gosden said of Cracksman: "I think it was a good, solid run. I think Frankie found the horse slightly immature. I think he just ran a little babyish and he could have done with that other run, but I didn't want to run him on that soft ground (in the Dante).
"He ran a great race, he was just light on experience at the end but I don't think he was beaten too far.
"We knew there was going to be a lot of pace, but they (pacemakers) were rather ignored and they took a bit of catching in the end.
"He is in the Irish Derby, I would not mind going there at all, as it is a nice, galloping track."