Friday 19 July 2019

Beggy cashes in again as outsider Sovereign makes all to steal show

Sovereign and Padraig Beggy on their way to winning The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Sovereign and Padraig Beggy on their way to winning The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Marcus Armytage

Pádraig Beggy, who caused a shock when he won the Epsom Derby on Wings of Eagles two years ago, produced an even bigger rabbit from his hat yesterday when he stole the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on Sovereign, a 33-1 shot who was nominally Ballydoyle's fifth string and there on pace-making duties.

It might have been a record-extending 13th Irish Derby for Aidan O'Brien but it was not quite as he had planned it with Anthony Van Dyck, this year's Epsom winner, beaten a never-nearer six lengths into second.

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Beggy, who emerged from obscurity to win at Epsom, returned to it fairly soon afterwards and, though he rode Sovereign at Epsom at the start of the month leading until about three out, this win was his first of the season.

Beggy set off on Sovereign determined to make it a strong gallop and aided by his stable companion Norway, the pair were 10 lengths clear at the mile marker as the rest of the field chose to ignore them.

But while Norway cracked, Sovereign galloped all the way to the line for his jockey, who is making the most of his limited opportunities - this was his eighth ride of the season.

Questions will be asked of Ryan Moore's ride on the runner-up but he only really hit his stride and began to run on inside the last quarter mile, by which time he was chasing a lost cause. If there is a second Classic in this year's Investec Derby winner it might be the St Leger.

A further two and a half lengths away in third Norway just held on from Madhmoon who barely stayed the trip yesterday.

"I'm over the moon," said Beggy. "This would be more important to me than Epsom as an Irishman. I served my time with Kevin Prendergast across the Curragh. It was my main ambition as an apprentice. I'm very lucky, there's a big group of people behind this but mainly it's Aidan O'Brien.

"He just got into a lovely comfortable rhythm and my horse really enjoyed himself. It's a big galloping track and he's a big galloper. I did think something would come to me but when I was able to have a peak at the big screen I thought, 'Just keep him going to the line.' There were two races when I set out as a kid - the Irish Derby and the Epsom Derby isn't too bad either."

O'Brien said: "He was a very good two-year-old, he was third or fourth behind Japan, he stays very well and he's very genuine. Everyone knew he doesn't mind bowling along so the pace was always going to be solid and up front. Tactically he's quick early. Obviously he's a good horse.

"Pádraig's a great fella and a great rider. He works hard day in, day out. I'm delighted for him."

Earlier, Siskin took his unbeaten record to three with a convincing victory in the GAIN Railway Stakes. The decision by connections to bypass Royal Ascot was vindicated as the son of First Defence, owned by Khalid Abdullah, proved too good for his four rivals.

After lifting the Listed Marble Hill Stakes over this six furlongs following an earlier success in May, Siskin duly confirmed he is an exciting prospect. The early pace was set by O'Brien's Fort Myers and Kevin Ryan's British raider Romero until two furlongs from home, where Colin Keane unleashed Siskin. The 4-6 favourite, trained by Ger Lyons, quickened impressively to win by two and a half lengths from O'Brien's Monarch Of Egypt.

It was a treble on the card for Keane and Lyons after the wins of with Buffer Zone and Basic Law. "First and foremost it's a huge result to be training for these people in the first place," said Lyons.

"To get a good one so early in our career with them is a bonus. Credit to them, because they let me do what I wanted to do with him. I didn't want to go to Ascot - I could have been rushed into that, but they let me do what I wanted.

"I'm just one of those lucky lads, because things are falling together for us. We have the best jockey in the country riding for us, and Juddmonte are on the team now. My job is to just use the experience we've had in 20 years looking for these horses. We should know what we're doing at this stage."

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