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Prendergast proud of Madhmoon after near-miss in Derby

2 Jun 2019

Veteran trainer offers no excuses and says "best horse won" in Epsom thriller.

Madhmoon chased home Anthony Van Dyck in the Investec Derby. Picture:

Veteran trainer Kevin Prendergast was proud of Madhmoon in defeat after his charge went down fighting in the Investec Derby at Epsom.

Prendergast – who will celebrate his 87th birthday next month – has enjoyed a glittering training career since first taking out a licence in 1963, enjoying eight Classic victories in his native Ireland and a British Classic success with Nebbiolo in the 2000 Guineas 42 years ago.

Having impressed in two starts as a juvenile, hopes were high Madhmoon could add to Prendergast’s Classic haul this season, and his staying-on effort when fourth in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket earned him a tilt at the biggest of them all.

There were doubts beforehand about whether Madhmoon‘s stamina would be exposed over the extra half-mile, but after travelling strongly under Chris Hayes, he stuck to his guns admirably to finish a half-length second to Aidan O’Brien’s Anthony Van Dyck.

Prendergast said: “We’d loved to have won, but we’re very proud of the horse. It was a very good ride from Chris Hayes and he did nothing wrong. The best horse won on the day.”

Wayne Lordan was third on the winner’s stablemate, Japan.

He said: “A little bit babyish on the track, but he got it together and came home well. I am delighted with him.”

Fifth home was favourite Sir Dragonet, of whom Ryan Moore said: “He ran a very good race for a horse of his experience. Hopefully he will come on for that.”

Hughie Morrison’s Dante winner Telecaster, like Sir Dragonet supplemented at a cost of £85,000, finished last of the 13 starters.

His rider Oisin Murphy said: “He ran flat. He did everything right before and during the race, he just ran a bit flat.”

A post-race veterinary examination of the New Approach colt failed to reveal any abnormalities, and his trainer’s explanation that he ran flat was noted by the stewards.