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Anthony Van Dyck gives Aidan O’Brien more Derby delight

1 Jun 2019

Galileo colt provides trainer with record-equalling seventh victory in the premier Classic at Epsom.

Anthony Van Dyck edges home in a thrilling Investec Derby. Pic Steven Cargill /

Anthony Dan Dyck provided Aidan O’Brien with a record-equalling seventh victory in the Investec Derby at Epsom.

Eighteen years on from his first triumph in the premier Classic with Galileo, the County Tipperary trainer saddled no fewer than seven of the 13 runners in the QIPCO British Champions Series contest, with the previously unbeaten Sir Dragonet heading the market at 11-4 after being supplemented earlier in the week.

Anthony Van Dyck – a three-time winner as a two-year-old – earned his shot at Derby glory with an impressive comeback victory in the Lingfield Derby Trial three weeks ago and was also prominent in the betting at 13-2, following support in the minutes leading up to the race.

Seamie Heffernan’s mount raced in mid-division for much of the way, and still had more horses ahead of him than behind inside the final quarter-mile

Sir Dragonet and Madhmoon – trained by the 86-year-old Kevin Prendergast – were disputing the lead racing inside the final furlong, but Anthony Dan Dyck darted up the inside of the pair and galloped on strongly against the far rail.

Madhmoon boxed on for second to deny O’Brien a clean sweep, with another Ballydoyle inmate in Japan flying home to finish third, ahead of his stable companions Broome and Sir Dragonet in fourth and fifth respectively.

O’Brien said: “We are so privileged to be a small part of this, all of these people that put so much in on a daily, weekly and yearly basis.  I can’t tell you how delighted I am – they all came down the straight together and we still weren’t second! it just goes to show how competitive it is, Kevin’s horse ran an unbelievable race – he had his horse in unbelievable shape.

“I am so delighted for Seamus, and it is a dream come true to win any of these races. They are so tough to win every year. That is why we run so many horses, we always feel they are bred, reared and we try and keep them sound to compete in this race. It is the ultimate test in every way, it tests their speed, their stamina and then their mentality as well.

“John [Magnier] always says it is the ultimate test of the thoroughbred and that is why we come here and try and compete every year It is very tough and I can’t tell you how privileged we are.

“Seamus is an unbelievable fella, he is a world-class jockey, always has been, we’ve known each other a long time, before we went to Ballydoyle we worked together. Every day, day in and day out, he puts it all in, he is really experienced as a horseman and jockey he is second to none. And as a fella – we are so delighted for him.”

Heffernan – who was handed a two-day ban for careless riding – said: ” “Anthony Van Dyck is an uncomplicated horse, I was always happy, I decided to go down the inside, I needed a bit of luck and he came back on the bridle and switched in.

“I got beaten on the favourite [Fame And Glory, 2009] one year, then came out the following and finished second on a 150/1 shot, Aidan’s horses are capable of running above of what people think.

“It means a lot but I have been around good horses since I moved to Ballydoyle. They are all proper men there, if it doesn’t go on to plan, they take it on the chin. That’s the way it has always been.”